28 April 2007

Annual Rites of Spring

Today I finally girded my loins and decided to find out what was making the stink under my back porch that was so bad I could smell it through the walls in the basement. First I dug a big hole over by my neighbor's house--heh, heh--then moved the bale of straw that makes up one of the sides of my fancy under-the-porch cat shelter. IT WAS THE LARGEST, FATTEST POSSUM I HAD EVER SEEN!! I didn't get a picture because I wanted to get this feculent (to borrow a word from Greg at the Petch House) thing in the ground. The hole wasn't big enough so I had to stand next to this oozing stinking thing and dig some more. I folded it into the hole--it had lost its rigor--and covered it up. I can still smell it through the ground over there.

Here is Spot checking out the toy possum. The door to the space is standing open.

It still stunk under the porch so I raked out a lot of the straw that was under the possum and took it and one of the bales to the city recycle site. I was still smelling something so got a flashlight and peered in. Now I know where all those succulent suicidal squirrels ended up. Something had been digging up all my squirrel burials and carting away the remains for a while--now I know who.
It smells a lot better on the patio now.

In other news this is my Magnolia x Soulangiana or Tulip Tree as we call them here, today.

It should look like this right now.

That's not gonna happen this year because of this a few weeks ago.

All the buds that hadn't opened are filled with brown mush and are falling off the tree. At least the lilacs are doing great, and the Black Currant (ribes nigrum) smells wonderful. (That really helped with the smell of the feculent possum.)

11 April 2007

Global Warming?

Well, here we are 3 weeks after my last post when I was celebrating the return of Spring. Things were fine for about a week and then the temperature plunged again. The end of March brought another warming trend and I started cleaning out the gardens and brought out the patio furniture. I was preparing for a nice week of garden prep the week before Easter when the weather changed again. First lots of rain that percolated down to my basement floor, followed by snow. A few days later the snow was almost gone and the weather was warming again.

Then today! The following pictures were taken from my back porch.

See all the sad little clumps of bulbs out there? A few days ago I had lots of daffodils and hyacinths standing proud. I was going to cut them yesterday because they were looking sad after the first bout of snow had knocked them down, but didn't. When I saw the snow today I suited up and went out there and cut all I could find.
I wait all year for this season and am not going to let this stupid snow ruin it for me! Hopefully the buds on the lilacs haven't been frosted.
There are some blue hyacinths in the middle that you can't see.