First, a glimpse of similar flowers, a little slower to bloom. Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing these flower pictures from New England:
At the Cat Sanctuary we have violets. (In the weird spring of 2011 there were hardly any blue violets and only a few white ones, so it's good to see all species back, full force.) We also have hepaticas, redbuds (still), dogwoods, the quirky spring asters called "daisy fleabane" or "fleabane daisies," buttercups, dandelions, celandine, shepherds-purse, and vincas. The Prunus--fruit trees--have already bloomed; nice that some people still have those to look forward to.
This has not been a year for azaleas in Gate City, although in Kingsport some carefully tended azaleas have displayed the mass of color they're supposed to have at this time of year. Grandma Bonnie Peters came home to find her candytuft and white irises in bloom, her dogwoods and forsythias already past their peak.
In Gate City, some people already have tulip and iris blooming in their yards, pansies, other cultivated flowers, and one garden on Jackson Street has a single stray California Poppy blooming on a sunny bank. Not a native wild flower, but it looks as if it's naturalized.
The last few days have been mild and damp, lows in the upper forties, highs in the fifties and sixties (Fahrenheit of course). Lots of bird activity. This morning it rained, so I procrastinated and didn't come out to the computer center until a phoebe perched in the hedge and started yelling "PHOE-be!", apparently trying to pick a quarrel with the cardinals, who are more aggressive but less loud. Birds don't quarrel about nesting space while it's raining so I came out. I saw bluejays, robins, wrens, and sparrows on the way. It's good to see them, because even on Jackson Street gnats are already quite a nuisance this year.
More about one particular flower in the next post...