Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Arrives

Here in the northern part of Colorado, Spring spent her first day cleaning up the mess Winter left behind as one final parting gift. The week began with wind. I have declared my loathing for wind, and for most of March winds have stayed in Wyoming. (The joke around here when the wind kicks up: We live too close to Wyoming which is windy all the time.) Then the snow came in late Thursday and continued though the night and a good part of Friday with a scant more early Saturday. It was one of those light, fluffy, wet snows, heavy with much needed moisture, and it was cold. We had about 4 inches.

Generally, I do garden clean-up during spring break because as a teacher I had that week off and the routine still fits nicely, except the bad weather kept me in this year. There are plenty of signs of Spring the garden. The daffodils have yet to bloom, the crocuses are blooming, and the tulips are close to bursting open. I worried about the buds on the trees freezing, but Tree Hugger Heather assured me that as long as the buds are still tightly closed the frost won't damage them. Fingers crossed. So while Winter has fled to the Southern Hemisphere, Spring will warm us up, but we have to remember than she does tend to get a bit edgy and could team up Jack Frost even as late as early May. According the weather people, Spring will take her time warming things up. She seems to have arrived this year with a bit of temper for there is more snow and cold  on the way this week. 

This morning it is obvious that Spring still has some work to do.

We are waiting, literally, for the spring thaw so that we can get the water features cleaned and the pumps running again. Won't happen this week. The right photo shows Veteran's Honor leafing out before I had a chance to cut the roses back. Remember last year when I fussed and fumed that the roses had probably winter killed? Not the case this year. They are coming out early and strong. The Aspens are just about to burst out with their fuzzy little seed heads. Soon they will be abuzz with bees.

The chamomile is such hardy stuff, surviving the harshest even winter condition. As you can see, too,  I leave the perennial dead heads all winter to either reseed or for the birds to munch on, so I have a lot clean-up to do. The crocuses are fading. The layer of snow broke them over, but they were lovely for a few days.

The little girls had spring break last week, so Wednesday we loaded up two cars and drove to Denver to visit the Denver Aquarium. What fun. Though the facility was packed with school children, we were able to navigate through the displays. Jennifer packed a lunch, so we ate in the facility's designated place on the second level inside because it was too cold go out on the patio to eat. Then we took another walk through the aquarium this time without the hoards of children. Join us as we visit the magic of marine life.

Magic, indeed. All last summer the granddaughters channeled their inner mermaid selves with mother making them mermaid tails, they played with there mermaid Barbies, and watched over and over agin their favorite mermaid movies. Now look at the wonder in a little girl's face the first time she sees a real-life mermaid.

There girls are amazing. One of my students a few years ago was a mermaid. 

After their show, the mermaids sit for photos with the children. Lily was just too shy to get her photo taken. Behind the girls is a tank of small manta rays that the children can feed, probably their favorite thing to do--to get to touch a little ray. 

As we waited at the elevator to take us to the ground level, two young ladies pushed a covered dog crate through the nearby exit doors on a cart labeled "Sloth." I had seen the sloth on a news story, so I was excited to see the sloth. We lingered then, watching the young women move the cart about. One told us to wait to see the Serval. 

 A small group gathered there at the exit door as she told us about this special resident of the aquarium, stressing that she though she was very well trained, she was still a wild animal and must be respected as such. Interestingly, she can run up to 50 miles and hour and is the only cat to have both stripes and dots as camouflage markings. She can literally hide in green grass and go unnoticed.

Coincidentally on the news last night, a story presented a woman who paid $5,000. for a Serval to keep as a house pet. This young woman speaking to us about the cat respected the animal's wild nature and emphasized that she was not a pet.

The aquarium also keeps a tiger. The first time we walked through, he was high atop his rock mountain sleeping. We could barley see his head as he napped in the sunshine. On our second round, he came down from his nap spot, headed for his den. 

The marine aquarium is a wonderful place to visit. The little girls had a great time and I think the Head Gardener enjoyed his time off, too.

Back at home for the weekend, Heather and the boys visited. 

We celebrated Heather's birthday a week early. This year it falls on Easter Sunday. There is bit of an inside joke with the cake that her sister made for her. Heather earned her horticulture degree at Colorado State University, taking classes from Dr. Klet, the leading horticulturist in Colorado. He trained his protégés that yard art was vulgar, so she has had an attitude about pink flamingos for a long time, so we goad her a bit with flamingos every chance we get. She is also a beach type person, loving the California beaches where she and her will vacation this summer. Jen always comes up great cakes. 

Next week the grandsons have their spring break, which they will spend here with us. I am thinking a trip to the Butterfly Pavilion will make a good day trip. 

This week I am nursing a cold and waiting out the weather with more snow and cold in the forecast.  I am also working on photo album for my youngest grandson and working on the dollhouse. For the miniaturists in the crowd, visit my dollhouse blog to see my latest project, a tiny sheep pull toy, one like our grandmothers might have towed around.

I'd like to welcome new friends to the Garden Spot, Lady Jane is the newest. 

Have a wonderful week.


  1. Can imagine how the girls enjoyed the aquarium with real mermaids, so nice. And then the surprise of the Serval, a real beauty. You ended with the fun cake for Heather's birthday, it must have been a lovely family week.
    Regards, Janneke

  2. Oh how fun, my youngest LOVES mermaids, and that is a darling cake.

  3. What fun! I thought you had come to Florida without telling me! We have a place with Mermaids near us and we love to go there. I hope you have a wonderful Spring break! Sweet hugs, Diane

  4. Wow, real mermaids! They will have such memories in years to come.
    I've never seen a Serval, what a beautiful animal.

  5. What fun to see mermaids. I hear you about spring, one day our fish are swimming around happily at the surface, the next day the pond is frozen over again. We have snow coming this week.

  6. Ann I love when spring arrives, the snow retreats and the first blooms awaken! And what a fun day at the aquarium!

    Donna@Gardens Eye View
    and Living From Happiness

  7. Eeek! I don't care much for spring snow. So far, we've dodged that particular bullet. Don't worry, crocus only bloom for a few days anyway, so the snow didn't do too much. LOL

  8. The serval is so pretty. And the signs of spring in your garden a joy!

  9. What a fun post, Ann! I love the cake. What is used as the sand? I have seen crushed biscuits used, but that sand looks so real! :)
    Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter and a beautiful spring!

  10. Hello, Ann! Your pond looks pretty. It is nice to finally see the signs of springs and some blooms. The aquarium visit looks like fun for the family. Happy Birthday to Heather, the cake is cute. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    Happy Easter!