Category: Spring

Did You Hear?

An Eastern Meadowlark, which is becoming rarer in many parts of Massachusetts, visited the Audubon Sanctuary recently.

“There’s a Meadowlark in the South Meadow!”
“Heads up, Painted Turtles!”
The Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove and Northern Cardinal have a plan.
“Let’s go check it out!”
The Eastern Meadowlark rests in the grass.

Bluebird Picnic

Eastern Bluebirds flew into town and invited their friends for a feast at the feeders.

Male Eastern Bluebird, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton, MA
Female Eastern Bluebird
Female Bluebird, Blue Jay, Female Cardinal
Female Bluebird, Gray Squirrel
Downy Woodpecker, Male Bluebird

Nature’s Stitchwork

The Mountain Laurel is native to the eastern United States, and was first recorded in America in 1624.

Mountain Laurel is in full bloom in Massachusetts this week.
Cup-shaped buds open up to display tiny blossoms. These blossoms are sometimes said to look like miniature origami rice bowls .
Each blossom has five fused petals that surround ten stamens. Each stamen looks like a tiny half-pulled stitch.
The leaves are evergreen, providing year-round interest to the New England landscape.
The purple tones of a nearby rhododendron contrast with the pinkish laurel blossoms.
Mountain Laurels usually live for fifty to seventy-five years. Happily, this laurel in my yard is at least seventy years old, and is still going strong.

Ancient Irises

Iris means “rainbow” in Greek.

In Greek mythology, the goddess Iris carried messages from heaven to earth on the arc of the rainbow. Beautiful flowers appeared wherever she set foot on the ground.

Irises in a rainbow of colors are blooming in my garden this week!

The Queen of Shrubs

The easy-to-grow and fragrant lilac was brought from Europe to New England by the early colonists. Today this “Queen of Shrubs” is ubiquitous in Massachusetts.

Better Homes and Gardens notes that:

“Lilacs are known for their hardy nature and long lives—many lilac shrubs live to be more than 100 years old. Because of their life span, they often survive longer than the home of the gardener that planted them. So, if you’re on a country road and see a few seemingly-random lilac bushes, there was most likely a house or farm there in the last century.”