Saturday, March 15, 2008

Signs of Spring

It's been months since the backyard was dry enough for me to venture out into it without staying on the stepping stones, but today I was able to take my camera for a short walk through the grass (or, more accurately, the dollarweed). The signs of Spring were thrilling.

The fig tree is covered with baby leaves, perfectly shaped but very tiny.

The tangelo tree survived a couple of freezes and now displays clusters of white buds. Each bud has the potential to be a blossom, and each blossom could produce a fruit. This will be the third summer for this tree, and I'm hoping the fruit will be sweeter this year.

I'm a little concerned about the gardenia bush. Some of the leaves don't look too healthy, and there's no sign of buds yet. Maybe it's too soon...or maybe this bright red bug (and others like him) are causing problems. Does anyone know what this creature is?

The crawfish (not the edible kind) have been busy building their muddy towers all Winter long, and there are quite a few of them in the backyard. The most ingenious of the lot belongs to the builder of this structure. At least one of the walls in his living room is wood-paneled.

Yesterday I saw the surest sign of all that Spring has arrived: my daughter and son-in-law mowing the lawn for the first time of the season. Thanks, Kelli and Troy. Next time, will you stand still long enough for a photo?


  1. *sigh* lawn mowing. What a concept. I have a swamp for a back yard again, but at least I see buds on my forsythia and lilac. I've been gazing at nursery websites with the same longing as I imagine people gaze at pornographic websites. Yep, must be spring.

  2. There's an eating kind and a not eating kind? I did not know that.

    My little yard is also bursting with new life -- especially the trees. I love this time of year.

  3. quick, send some spring st louis bound!! we can't wait for spring!!!


  4. I didn't know crawfish even made homes like that. I'm not sure what I imagined these must be the kind the kids dug up in the muck they used to play in before all the building began about 40 years ago! They called them crawdads and I guess we don't eat crawdads. CrawFISH I love!

    Don't know what that bug is, could be they are laying eggs?

  5. My gosh, your Spring is much further along than ours. No one here has even thought about mowing their lawn yet.

    I've never before seen a crawdad house but sure enjoyed seeing this one today.

  6. i think it is a borer and if it is you better do something if you want to save your tree.

    . Long-horned beetles or roundheaded borers: locust borer cottonwood borer and red-headed ash borer

  7. Janet, there's something about early spring buds that's so refreshing and invigorating. I'm looking forward to seeing what you plant this year.

    Duly Inspired, I did a little further digging into the "edible vs. inedible" thing. Apparently, it's conceivable that the backyard crawfish could be eaten, too -- but nobody wants to eat them. They're skinny, we don't know what *they* have been eating, and they only come out at night. The ones that are farm raised are much more appetizing.

    Keepers, I stood outside this afternoon and waved a bunch of warm air northward. I hope you get it.

    Nan16, crawfish, crawdads, all the same thing. (See my answer to Duly Inspired above about the edibility factor.) Their little mud houses pop up all around the yard when the ground stays wet for a long time, and this is probably exactly the kind your kids played with. Usually, their mudball towers stand alone; this is the first one I've ever seen that was built onto a structure.

    Annie, I'm glad you liked the crawfish photo. It's funny how things that some of us take for granted are interesting to those who aren't familiar with them. I've learned about SO many things on the Internet.

    Patsy, thanks for the tip on the red bug. I Googled the names you mentioned, and this bug looks a little like the red-headed ash borer, although I can't find any sites indicating that particular insect exists in this part of the country. I'll keep looking -- and spraying.


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