Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Colors of Spring

It was another beautiful spring day here in SE Minnesota. For the second day in a row, Mr. Johnson and I were able to eat our lunch together outside! It was one of those days when I found it extremely difficult to head back indoors for more work.

I'm sitting here preparing this post and all of my windows are open--outside I'm hearing the songs of many birds including Baltimore Oriole, Chipping Sparrow and Cardinal--what a treat. But the pleasure just isn't for my are some pictures I've taken in the last couple of days to share with you all the beautiful colors of spring in my backyard.

Baltimore Oriole (sings from the Swamp White Oak that's finally getting some leaves!)

Not one but two Indigo Buntings (a poor picture taken through the window screen, but there's no question about the identity of these birds!)

American Goldfinches (I've had lots of these in my yard for the past several days and they're all singing like crazy too)

Mrs. Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Chubby Cheeked Chipmunk

Finally got the cola-colored water and a wheelbarrow full of leaves out of my little goldfish pond. The grackles will probably drop dozens of fecal sacs in it tomorrow (sigh). I'll let the water warm up for a couple days and then release my goldfish back outside for the summer.

Crabapple blossoms are just starting to open.

This tree is covered with buds--it should be FABULOUS by Sunday!

Thanks to all of you, my faithful readers for checking in and commenting--especially when I haven't had the time to post regularly or check in with many of you on your blogs either. I can't remember how I managed to get so many posts done last year at this time and still have time for my other activities. I guess my time management skills have declined over the past year. I just want you to know that I'm not deliberately ignoring you, but I've actually been pretty busy at work and when I get home---> the backyard beckons. I guess I need to look into getting a wireless laptop so I can post from the hammock or lawn chair. I'll try to get caught up on the next rainy day!!


Lynne said...

Hi Ruthie! You photos are BEAUTIFUL!! Lucky you with Indigo Buntings!! I've never seen them in my yard. Your chipmunk is too cute. Relax and blog when you can. I want to think of you stretched out gazing at your birds and that gorgeous crabapple.


Lynne said...

Wait!! Where'dyou get that cute knitting graphic girl?

Mary said...


Indigo Buntings and a Mrs. Grosbeak? You lucky lady. Pfffft.

It's good to hear the weather is springy and you're having so much fun.

Hey, regarding your last paragraph. I'm with ya, girlfriend. Last year was easy in blogworld. I don't know what happened this year - work, backyard, yawning at 7pm.


Deb said...

You are so lucky to see an indigo bunting up close! I just read on the MOU Rare Bird Alert they saw a male Painted Bunting at the Lake City DNR office. Dang it, I'm working at the wrong location!

Anonymous said...

What a treat for the eyes all those beautiful birds and crabapple tree ready to burst into bloom. I did notice that the wasps and hornets are out too, not happy about that at all.

Jayne said...

Hi Ruthie! We've missed you, but understand completely. I am not at all sure where the days go anymore. Glad everything is lush and blooming there for you. Have a beautiful weekend.

KGMom said...

Ruthie--I think you have tapped into something many of us bloggers have felt. I still have things to write about, but other activities seem more . . .pressing. And this has been a very wet spring for us in central PA, so I have to do outside work when I can!
Love all the photos and bird updates from you.

Trixie said...

What a display in your backyard! I would be spending my time there, too. Enjoy your spring, we will be here when you have time.

Hedgewitch said...

hey ruthie!

the crabapple blossom is beautiful .. if you don't mind I'll put it in my tree tribute post for May?

I love the birds - they're SO colourful, its amazing .. thanks for sharing the pictures, as its not something I would get to see otherwise :-)

Marsha said...

Great shots of spring! It is about time it arrived in MN don't you think? I know exactly what you mean about spending most of your time is just to nice to be sitting inside. I have been looking for indigos to arrive in my yard but haven't had any luck yet. I am sure enjoying the orioles though. Have a wonderful time relaxing in your beautiful yard...and we'll look forward to your visits on rainy days :-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Ruthie. Good to hear you are enjoying the out of doors. Love seeing all that color in your garden.

I couldn't hardly wait to tell you we had a Purple Martin couple stop at the houses today. That is the good news. Unfortunately a Starling stood on the top bar and flapped its wings and wheezed at them. Also a darned House Sparrow male flew at them. Grrrrrr I hope the PM's come back.

We had a Yellow-throated Vireo in our garden too. That was a yard bird. A real thriller.

Have fun in your garden...

RuthieJ said...

Thank you Lynne--although my pictures are nowhere near as wonderful as yours! The indigo buntings were here about 5 minutes, so I was lucky to see them. They live in the woods nearby, so at least I can go and see them there.
My knitting girl is from I just couldn't resist ;-)

Thanks Mare, I knew of all people you would understand best!

Oh Deb, I saw that Painted Bunting report too--wouldn't it be so neat to see one of them? The Indigo Bunting is a pretty fair consolation prize though!

Hi Mom,
There are some wasps out where we eat lunch too--fortunately they haven't bothered us yet.

Thank you Jayne. I feel really out of touch--especially with all my blogging friends who manage to post pretty regularly. You have a good weekend too! I hope there are no more storms in your forecast for a few days.

Thanks Donna, for understanding. Even with the longer days, you also know how hard it is to get everything done outside when it's nice. If I could just win the lottery and not have to go to work anymore.....

Thanks Trixie. The backyard becomes much more of a sanctuary once the trees and shrubs leaf out and block out the views of other properties and yards beyond mine. The numbers of birds hanging out continues to increase and amaze me.

Hi Steph,
You can sure include this crabapple tree in your tribute--if you want to wait till Sunday, it should be in full bloom by then and I'll take some more pictures to send you. Every spring I'm amazed at the gorgeous beauty this inexpensive tree has grown up to it's a bird magnet!

Hi Marsha,
I sure hope spring is here to stay and I can finally turn my furnace off! Even if I'm not outside, it's just nice to have the windows open and hear birds singing nearby (especially those orioles!)

Hi Lisa,
Great news about the Purple Martins! I hope they persist in spite of the sparrows and starlings. I have a suspicion (hope) that I might see some subadult martins arriving this weekend since the weather's going to be nice. I'll keep you posted on that.
Yellow-Throated Vireo is very exciting also! I've seen them here in Minnesota, but never in my backyard. Good for you!

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, need a hammock to blog from. And so do I, come to think of it.
Your crab apple is just NOW blooming? Spring sure comes late to Minnesoooooota.

Mary C said...

Hi Ruthie - great photos. Your Baltimore oriole is very striking. Did he come to get some grape jelly? And your crabapple tree definitely looks like a bird magnet. BTW, how is your veggie garden doing? Enjoy your springtime, especially with the open windows hearing the birds sing, and your windchimes chiming.

Ruth said...

I am just catching up on some blogs from this week. It is a busy time of year and you cannot do everything. I love your avatar.
I saw in Indigo Bunting for the first time this week.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Susan,
I do have a hammock, but it's a couple hundred yards from the house--is that too far for a wireless connection??
I highly recommend a hammock for every backyard, not only will you love it, but your girls will too!

Hi Mary C,
The oriole did come for some grape jelly--I have a dish on the deck and one on a hanger below the tree where he was perched for this picture.
No sprouts in the garden yet, but I think this week sometime as it has been sunny and nice for about 5 days straight now!

Hi Ruth,
Aren't Indigo Buntings the most beautiful bird? It's just like they are lit from within by a bright blue bulb!
I like my avatar too...she gives me a giggle whenever I scroll down the page! (but she never makes any progress on that orange scarf she's knitting)

Jennifer said...

I'm envious of your Indicgos! Your Mrs. R-B-G made me remember that when I was giving a bunch of fourth graders the Recycling Spiel as they sat down to lunch, a pair put on quite a show. At first the kids thought they were fighting. I explained that one was male and the other was female and said that they weren't fighting, but they'd have to ask their mothers what they WERE doing. Ha ha... One kid yelled out: They're Mating!

Yarrow said...

Hi Ruthie, found your lovely blog through the hedgewitch. I really enjoyed the beautiful photos, what a lucky birdy you are to have so many in your yard. Blessings.