I went out in the front yard after church today. I'm sorry to say, that's something I don't do all that often (except to walk from the front door to the car, and from the car to the front door). It seems I spend most of my time at work or doing chores inside the house or running errands or going to meetings.
Our mountain spring started a little bit early this year. Except for a small snowfall two weeks ago, it has been unseasonably warm. When I drove home from church around 2:30 this afternoon, it was 80 degrees out. So I probably missed all the first signs of spring, but I was delighted to find there were still several patches of color and greenery to enjoy:
I don't know what these white flowers are, but they are adorable, like a little bunch of tiny daisies. This bunch was nestled at the foot of one of our tall pines.
I know what these are! As a child, I spent a lot of time sitting in fields of clover dotted with dandelion plants. We used to pick the yellow dandelion blossoms and use our fingernails to cut a slit in the hollow stems (which oozed a thick, milky sap), and then thread another stem through the hole, and repeat the process over and over again until we had a long, lovely dandelion chain to wear around our wrist or neck or even as a floral crown.
Even better than the blossoms were when the flowers drooped and dried up, and out popped the feathery seed balls! Who hasn't made a wish and then blown on these little puffs, watching hundreds of seed parachutes float gently through the air and out of sight to new vistas? As the picture shows, our windy weather has already stripped most of the dandelion seeds and sent them on their way.
I've never noticed these little fern plants in our yard before. There are several patches here and there. I think ferns are my favorite type of greenery, because they are so delicate-looking. Besides, it's a family thing. My Grandma Haley's name is Alta Fern, my sister's name is Karla Fern, my niece's name is Genevieve Fern, and I also have an Aunt Fern (one of my dad's eight older sisters)!
I suppose that I should point out that we do not have a typical American yard with a lawn and flower gardens and so forth. Most of us who live here in the White Mountains simply allow our yards to go "au naturale." Due to the high acidity of fallen pine needles, lawns don't do very well under the pine trees.
This bush was in the yard, against the fence, when we bought the house 19 years ago. I'm sure it has always put out these purple flowers, but I surely can't remember ever seeing them before (I'm so unobservant, I'd be a terrible witness to a crime...). Does anyone have a clue what type of bush this is? It might be some kind of lilac, but I am no horticulturist, obviously!
Need proof of my cluelessness? Remember this bush that annoyed me so much that I thought often about cutting it out? Until last fall when I discovered it was producing delicious little red apples!
Ed meant to prune it into an actual tree shape, but he didn't get to it in time. However, he did cut back the branches of the pine tree that had been blocking the apple tree's growth and sunlight. Today I found that the tree had recently been covered with apple blossoms, still clinging to the branches despite the new green leaves, so it looks like we may get an even better crop of apples this autumn!