Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Showers & Random Musings


Showers, drizzle, and mist for four glorious days. Pardon my excitement about rain and please join me in a Hallelujah!


Our drought isn’t labeled “exceptional” any longer. It’s severe; however, some counties in North Carolina have lifted their water restrictions as lakes are over-full. We’ve been in real danger for well over a year but the crisis didn't peak until last summer - it would be a blessing not to worry about the water supply. After this, we’ll always be more aware of conservation, no doubt.

Oh, how I’m ready to visit the nurseries, pull out the cash and plastic, and dig!!!


The earth is soft and quiet underfoot for the first time in over a year. No dust clouds – no crunching. I lifted my face to the mist a few times and let my dry skin soak it in. Wonderful. This afternoon we had sunshine and warmth - until the weekend when we’ll give more thanks for rain!

The chilly, damp weather didn’t keep me inside much.




Ok, I fess up for editing this photo a bit, taken on a dark, damp day through the passenger window in my car.


In the warm sun of last week, I found father and child Eastern Fence Lizards on the front steps. Getting a focus on both was impossible but I’m happy to see them getting out and about.


Dark-eyed Juncos are still here. They left quietly last spring but I don’t remember when… I don’t pay attention to them enough.


This perfect little nest convinced me that I MUST get two nesting boxes at my house, real soon. On campus, a Carolina Chickadee is working this nest and I’m excited to see if it produces offspring.


He and his guy friends are baaaaaack!


I thought this was a female Grackle. I've been corrected: it's a COWBIRD.


Could this be the same Carolina Wren that flew inside my house last week? Clever little birds, they are. Michael and I, on two different occasions, caught two of them in the garage eating mealworms from an open Rubbermaid container on the work bench. That’s okay with me. They’re sweet, sweet, sweet.


Fresh nectar and Hibiscus are waiting for hummingbirds. They are northwest of us and on the Atlantic coast as far north as New Jersey. I’m getting a little UPSET.

If you are whining about cold weather and waiting impatiently for tee-shirt weather, HERE - HAVE ANOTHER SHOT OF SWALLOWTAIL.



thailandchani said...

Oh, gosh! They're so pretty.. as usual! No rain here. This place could definitely use it, too.

Carol Michel said...

Hallelujah for the rain, Mary!

KGMom said...

Thank goodness for rain--we have had rain all winter (no snow) but the good part of it is we won't be in a drought state.
Enjoy the warm earth, dig away.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

No hummingbirds yet? Mine have been around for a few days now!

(April fool!)

Glad you're getting the much-needed rain!

Bek said...

I can understand how you must feel now being able to plant some new stuff. We had water restrictions until a couple weeks ago. I also keep hoping for more rain.

Anonymous said...

So glad that you are getting that much needed rain! I haven't seen any hummingbirds here either. Beautiful pictures!!


Q said...

Dear Mary,
So happy you are getting rain!
Glorious rain! Wonderful pictures of the raindrops.
I love seeing Swallowtail! Beautiful picture. Still too cold for Swallowtails at my house. Grass is starting to green up but it is still freezing at night.
The Hummers will be back at your house any day now. Mine do not return until around the 15th.
Happy gardening! Getting some native plants going will be great for all your butterflies.
Enjoy your Spring!

Chrissy said...

Glad you all got rain! Yeaaa. Lovely photos.

brucesc said...

Wonderful that the drought has broken. I can see it has really awakened the gardener in you. Excellent droplet photos and all the birds too! Your female grackle looks more like a male cowbird to me, but still pretty in that good light you got. I really enjoy your posts!

Susan Gets Native said...


By the way, that's a male cowbird.

beckie said...

I,too, am happy for your rain. Droughts are tough to live through, but they do make us much more aware of conservation. Your pic are lovely as usual. I don't know how you get those bird pics! The nesting box looks full of promise.

Beth said...

Oh Mary, I always feel so refreshed after reading what you have written. I'm glad you got some rain--drought stress is hard on every living thing. I especially liked the father son lizard picture

Julie Zickefoose said...

Fabulous photos this time, as always. The swallowtail lifts my heart. See how fat its abdomen looks? Probably just hatched, still some caterpillar juice in there!

We don't get hummingbirds until around April 17--Nina really got me going there, as we're both in southern Ohio.

Rose said...

Beautiful photos; I would love to have the picture of the swallowtail hanging on my wall to brighten my day.
I'm glad your drought is over. Here in the Midwest we've been complaining about all the rain; this puts things in perspective.

Stacey Olson said...

Beautiful capture..Love the raindrops. Looks like ducky weather.

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

A wonderful series of pictures, Mary. Everything looks so green and spring has definitely sprung. Last night we had strong thunderstorms here - a clear indication that winter is finally letting go.

Mary said...

Those water shots are great! Very nicely done. Love the birds, too.

NCmountainwoman said...

We're frustrated as well by having the hummingbirds to the east, west, north and south of us. Alas, they aren't here yet.

I just loved the Canada goose (and the other shots as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this rain has been a real joy, hasn't it? I might give half my kingdom for a reasonably priced rain barrel!

Beautiful water droplet shot, and I love that wren!

Aditya said...

omg.. they're amazing!
what machine do you have? a telescope?? :)! Excellent apparel photo you have there. Keep it up! kudos!

Mary said...

Thanks everyone for your nice comments!

UPDATE: I'm taking a little "spring break" from blogging. I'll be visiting blogs occasionally until I'm ready to start posting again. Just need a little rest and spare time :o)


Mary said...

And, Nina, you really got me for a minute! :o)

Peg Silloway said...

Thanks for the shot of spring, Mary. Yesterday we had one of those surprise days - gray drippy morning followed by sudden sunshine and temperatures leaping into the 70s. Yes! We flung open the windows and aired out the winter-stale house. The sun stayed around for today but temps in the 50s say we still have a way to go. Thanks for sharing that promise of things to come.

Sherry at the Zoo said...

What wonderful pictures! And Praise God for the RAIN! Yippee!! Let it rain, rain, rain!

Chrissie said...

Strange how we have had so much rain and you so little. Today our sky is blue and we are celebrating the sunshine :-) Enjoy your break, Mary!

Richard said...

Great pictures. The blackbird appears to be a Brewer's Blackbird. I saw a couple the other day but didn't get a picture. I thought they were miniture Grackles...lol.:)

JeanMac said...

great pics, as usual. I'm so happy you have rain.

Cheryl said...

The swallowtail is so beautiful, I could look at the photo again and again.
We have had a warm spell and I saw a butterfly yesterday. Bad weather due again at the weekend.

Isn't it strange how rain is so beautiful when you don't have much of it. My garden is so sodden because of torrential rain that to cut the grass is out of the question. It is now about six inches long. I just keep thinking please give us a dry spell just for a couple of weeks, so that I can get things sorted out.
Never satisfied are we!!

Cathy said...

I just can't believe the amount of beauty you're sifting through your camera lens.

Mary. It's all so wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you :0)

Big {{Hug}}

PS: I love:"The earth is soft and quiet underfoot . ."


Donna said...

Mary, great pictures! I'm glad for the rain too, but I prefer sunshine.
Have a great day!

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, wonderful writing and wonderful photos. Love the raindrops on the leaves. Looks like you have benn bu-u-s-sy!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OH Mary Lizards, butterflies, flowers and birds all in the same post. How wonderful. I can feel your relief from the drought. I hope you get much more rain.

That Dad and little lizard are darling. How can you tell it is a male lizard? I think it a good photo.

Mary said...

Lisa, I learned from the Science Chimp that males have a bright blue metallic underside. Look closely or enlarge the photo to see it.

LauraHinNJ said...

What is the tree in the last shot with the swallowtail? It makes me think of a mystery from last spring... do tell!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'm playing catch up on your wonderful posts. I've had mallards visiting me and I think the female might be trying to nest in my garden. I'd love it if she did, but my golden might give her trouble. I hope she goes elsewhere.

Mel said...

Beautiful post and pictures!
Hope the rain keeps comming in a good way :)

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Mary, glad to see some drought restrictions being lifted in the south, I'm in northern California, we are lucky this year to have "average" snowpack, the central and south part of the state is another story. Great photos, rain, rain, don't go away!

Rurality said...

We just saw our first hummingbird today so don't feel bad - we're south of you!

Unknown said...

Hi Mary

Yea rain!!! Our snow finally melted and the weather warmed up enough for me to go out and uncover the flower beds to find new growth.

I hope you are still getting more rain and that soon you will have hummingbirds. Perhaps you have already since you wrote this post.
You must be busy in the garden and that my friend is a good thing.

Susie said...

Hi Mary,
Lovely photos as always. I'm surprised your hibiscus is already blooming. Ours doesn't even have leaves yet! So glad you're getting that wonderful rain.

Naturegirl said...

The rain drops look so refreshing!Something to look forward to when we return home in May..I know I'll miss the April showers but certainly I'll arrive home to April showers!
Love all the bird images..I still struggle to capture them here in the desert..I must be an early bird and get out to the desert before the sun comes up and the heat's about..still in Arizona..sending hugs NG

Kerri Farley said...

Sorry I have been absent this week....not much blog visiting....but I'm so glad I came by yours today! LOVE LOVE LOVE those water drops and am so EXCITED that you are getting rain. Us too! And I welcome it!

I have a female Canada Goose that I have been watching for a few weeks....It is definitely nesting....and I hope to see little ones soon :)

Anonymous said...

Mary, Mary, Mary! These are terrific! That butterfly shot is stunning in its brightness and detail. And congratulations on the rain. Hummers have been buzzing about my garden - I think I may have even gotten a photo of one...

Anonymous said...

Glad you are getting a little rain. Love those lizards--do you have the kind with the bright blue tails? When I was a kid in Oklahoma, we used to see them all the time. No lizards in Maine, though.

I am jealous of your butterfly. Great shot you got of it, too.