Spring is Here?

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Spring is Here?

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru, Newsworthy

We passed the Vernal Equinox this week but you wouldn’t know it by looking outside.  For nearly a month now, we have had MUCH below average high temperatures (but no record lows –not even close) and Saturday night’s predicted THIRD MEGA-SNOW appears eminent.   Of course we had an all-time record high in this past month too; it just wouldn’t be spring in our region without a wild, exhilarating ride.  We do have flowers outdoors and all should be fine.  The tall budded daffodils will be flattened by heavy snow but have shown their resilience in past years by springing back once it melts.  Snow is actually a good insulator against the cold and will actually help protect emerging plants.

Here’s one of our early daffodils ‘February Gold’ blooming on the Island Garden.

Snow also melts into the soil well and will be a major component to the rehydration of our soil profile’s precious moisture — so depleted by the last couple years of drought.  Reservoirs at Powell Gardens have refilled, our lake actually flowing over its outlet again!  We may curse all this snow but it may be just what the doctor ordered for a better year in gardening and agriculture.  Today is also World Water Day a commodity we should not take for granted.

I read another great blog today and share its link here because it talks about the importance of flowers in our lives.  I couldn’t have said it any better so here’s the link: http://www.fordhookvoice.com/2013/03/the-spring-of-flowers/?utm_source=03192013-The-Spring-of-Flowers&utm_medium=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Hvoice.

Powell Gardens’ conservatory is a great place to see flowers right now despite the snow.  The Living Room and Orchid display is a floral feast and sure to reivive you from the winter blues.

The living room’s chandelier in orchids is my favorite part of the display but be sure and look at each room in every corner of the conservatory: kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bath!

Here’s a better perspective so you can see the planted rug, coffee table and sofas.  Yes, all the plants and flowers are REAL, alive and growing.

Yesterday, Todd Stewart, USDA Wildlife Biologist, released 2 Red-tailed Hawks and this Barred Owl relocated from Whiteman Airforce Base to Powell Gardens.  Todd is part of Operation Support Squadron’s Wildlife Services Department; an effort to protect birds and planes!  Research has shown that relocating birds approximately 40 miles east or west of where they are threatened reduces their return rate.  The Red-tailed Hawks captured were most certainly migrants at this time and will change their route because of the relocation.  A 1% return rate and recaptures as far away as Saskatchewan show the program is working.

Here’s a closeup of one of the Red-tailed Hawks released.  Several visitors were on hand to see the birds release and Todd did a magnificent job of interpreting what he was accomplishing.  Visitors are welcome to watch any release but we only have about an hour’s notice of such an event.  Birds are always relocated and released within 24 hours of capture.

With the wintry weather the bird feeders outside Cafe Thyme most certainly will entertain visitors.  Be sure and stop in for lunch today or Saturday (the weather forecast is good for most of Saturday).  See the Conservatory’s displays and be renewed by its many flowers.  One bright spot is the 3 month weather outlook just posted by the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov):  above normal temperatures for April, May and June!