These huge, furry, pollen-laden willow catkins stopped me in my tracks (pun intended) while walking near a crowded train station here in Calgary last week. I sort of wanted to hug them, but made do with a photograph instead.
What signs of spring (or autumn!) are you celebrating in your part of the world?
I’m super late with Flowery Friday (actually, I’m even late for Saturday; in some places it’s close to Sunday by now), but we’ll roll with it because it’s really all about the flowers, anyway. Or, at least that’s what I’ll claim so that no one notices just how disorganized I am….
This darling little heap of Hepaticas* isn’t late. These plants are right on time, as one of the earliest spring blooms you’re going to see in my neck of the woods. (See what I did there?). Sadly, these beauties are not from my garden – I visited them at the William Reader Rock Garden here in Calgary early last week. (Three days later, we received 15 centimetres of snow. Ah, Spring! Your vagaries delight!).
*Hmmmm…what would be the collective noun for Hepaticas? “Herd of Hepaticas“? Nah, that makes me think of a marauding band of them blanketing the countryside (which, on second thought, might not be such a bad thing). What about “hillock of Hepaticas“? You know…because I found them in a tumulose, rangy rock garden. Ba dum tsss! Okay, I’ll go now.
One of my favourite times of the year is when the new issue of The Prairie Garden arrives in my mailbox! This themed, annual digest has been in publication for a whopping 63 years and I am delighted to have been a contributing writer since 2011 (although I missed 2015 and 2017). This year, the theme is Growing Food and it includes my article “Integrated Pest Management.” Check out The Prairie Garden‘s website for more information about the book and the other featured writers, as well as for details on how to order both the new book and available back issues. (The book is also available for purchase in select bookstores, garden centres, and nurseries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta).
Between my work schedule and the weird weather around here (no snow, then extreme cold), snowshoeing isn’t really happening this year. My hubby and I have managed one trip so far, in January. Due to the huge avalanche risk nearly everywhere on our side of the Rockies at the time, we headed for a safe place: the first few kilometers of Wintour, in Kananaskis Country. In the couple of hours we were out there, we heard the thundering crack of EIGHT avalanches in the peaks several kilometers west and east of us. That gives you a bit of an idea of just how risky it would have been to head out into the backcountry that day!
It was a sparkly, frosty day here in Calgary – but just look at that brilliant blue sky over this young elm tree!
I was recently doing a bit more reading about the origins and history of Dutch elm disease, which has decimated elm trees worldwide. (This information at this link is particularly fascinating). We are fortunate here in the province of Alberta that, due to rigid pruning restrictions and strict monitoring, our elms are currently free of the disease. Hopefully this tree and its kin stay healthy and thrive into old age. ♥