May is a funny month. Seems it’s supposed to be the month for flowers and April was the month for showers… However, it seems after us pink apes have messed with Mother Nature and global warming has increased…
Looks like things are starting to pop here in the Midwest! I’m guessing I’ll be able to post at least once a week in the Phenology section. Last year, I attached quotes related about TIME with these posts. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet, However I’ll entertain any ideas =-)
Last weekend, my hubby allowed himself to get talked into a quick jaunt around Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve in Long Grove, Illinois. It’s a pretty small preserve at 36 acres. It was donated to the Long Grove Park District by Barbara Reed-Turner. It’s a fabulous little gem with so much diversity and wildlife to see. The town of Long Grove does have many activities such as Strawberry & Apple Fests, along with it’s quaint feel, makes for a great day trip. All of the following flowers were captured at the preserve. Since I’ve not had another blooming flowers in the past that’s remotely close to this one, I’m not linking back to any past blooming posts.
Winter aconites – Eranthis hyemalis
Aren’t they adorable? They look like little ballerinas.
Pussy willows ~ Salix discolor
Scilla Siberica – Siberian Squill or Wood Squill
Vinca minor ~ Periwinkle
Bird Log – Lots of birds fly through here!!
Natural Stadium Seating
The only bird I can pick-out here is the White-breasted Nuthatch. An maaaybe a red-breasted. Their noise is a bit higher pitched.
I hear Redwinged Blackbirds, Robins and many loud ‘Clicky’ birds. I could see it was a midsize bird, but that’s it with the dank gray skies.
Where to plant and what type of bulbs varies with how the gardener wants to deal with the remaining leaves after blooming. The leaves must be allowed to stay long enough to gather energy for next year. Taller bulb varieties must not be mowed down until early summer. Shorter leaved varieties can be mowed over, as leaf height is close to the same height of grass. My experience deems these shorter varieties have a better chance for survival, as most residents feel the need to mow their lawn as early as possible.
Leaves are green because of chlorophylls that function by capturing the sun’s energy and to manufacture food for the plant or photosynthesis. All of this takes place in the plastids (specialized cells). During the growing season, the green color of these chlorophylls masks out all the other colors that may be present. So all you see is green.
As the growing season slows in autumn, chlorophyll production slows and the green-color dominance lowers to reveal the other colors of the leaf. Many influences such as amount of water, sunlight, temperature, and microclimate can manipulate the timing of the color changes. A couple of weeks of bright sunny days mixed with clear, cool nights seem to bring out the best fall colors.
Thatch is a layer of dead grass, crowns, and surface roots that accumulate at the surface of the soil just under the turf. Allowing a small layer, about ½ an inch will act as a great natural mulch, but any more than that will cause the following:
Tight, spongy mat that will choke the crowns of the living grass
Inhibits the decomposition of organic debris around the grass
Changing your lawn care habits might reduce your risk of fungi problems. A healthy lawn has a really good chance of pulling through a fungal infection, but that is up to you!
Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
A nitrogen-based fertilizer applied annually (in the fall) supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.
I’ve noticed many different types of fungus coming out in droves because of our weather this season. Some are fairly rare and hard to treat. I wish we could get over the ‘Perfect Lawn’ mentality and all just enjoy the clovers and other blooming weeds. =-)
Wow! A Saturday post! 😉 I usually like to collect
my photos on the weekends and post on the weekdays, HOWEVER, this was too awesome to wait!
I noticed this little donation from Mother Nature on the side of my house today! I didn’t see any in 2014, however, it was April 9th when I had discovered them in 2013. Way later than this year. I hope this is a good sign that things will progress a bit faster this year! Screw you, Mr. Groundhog!
I thought I might try to get a different perspective of what mulch gets to see when it looks up at the world. Giggle, Giggle!
That’s Madam Spruce with her fabulous, flowing skirts and Professor Elm surveying the vast landscape of his view.