- February is such a teaser month. One day it's warm and sunny and
the next it's snowing all day.
- My bulbs are confused. I see some tulip bulbs peeking their tips
up through the wet soil, while the rest of the yard is still covered
with snow. And a weeping pussy willow tree in the front yard is full
of white buds. I hope they have the hardiness to open, but I'm not
Our average last frost in Missoula is not until May 27th and Hamilton
is May 24th. So we still have to be patient. But as I walked
outdoors to the back yard, I saw promise that spring is near. A
mother squirrel has already taken possession of the squirrel nesting
house in our tree and she will be producing three to four baby
squirrels within the next six weeks. This will be our 11th generation
of baby squirrels to use the house that Pete built. One year we
helped raise three babies when we found their mother dead in the box.
Only watchful diligence on our part and Pete's willingness to climb up
a tall ladder to rescue the baby squirrels saved their lives. We hand
fed them goat's milk and apple for several weeks until they were ready
to return to the outdoors; it still is one of our fondest memories.
Standing out in the sunny back yard and watching quietly reveals a lot
of activity. The finch and sparrows, who live in our bird brush pile
all winter, are choosing their bird houses already. We feed them all
year, of course, with a mixture of 1/2 black oil sunflower seed, 1/4
corn and 1/4 proso white millet. They reward us with a lot of song
and entertainment year around. We also place a few suet cakes around
the trees which are enjoyed by the woodpeckers.
And there is almost as much activity in my greenhouse. It's sunny in
my greenhouse today, even as the natural gas furnace is spewing out
the heat at the rate of about a $1.00 a minute. But I long for a free
day just to spend inside the greenhouse in the bright sunshine. The
blooms of many geraniums cheer me, colors in pinks, fushia, reds,
salmon and white thrill my senses. Since I started many of the
geranium cuttings in the fall, and fertilized them a couple weeks ago,
they are now blooming like crazy. I can't wait to see them blooming
in my garden this summer. Aw, but patience will reward me.
Alas, I found some purple blooming crocus in a big layered pot I
planted last fall and put on the floor of the greenhouse where it
would receive some chill, but not freeze. What a joy! And daffodils
are popping up in another big pot. Some Allium Alligator, which I
didn't have time to put into the gardens last Fall, are getting big
enough to bloom soon in their one gallon containers. I'm afraid
they'll outgrow their containers soon, but I can't wait to see what
they look like. Because I've forgotten what I ordered.
Azaleas, three of them in different pots, are all in vivid bloom. One
I transferred to the kitchen so I could enjoy it each day. I also
over-wintered some parrot plant from the pond in two big water-filled
buckets. If anyone wants some for their pond, let me know in the
spring and I'll be happy to share.
If this doesn't give you all spring fever, nothing will.