Spring sightings

Short notes to mark the calendar:

Last Saturday (5/3/14) I saw this year’s first butterfly other than the cabbage whites that started the season: a small blue visitor, possibly an Eastern Tailed Blue.

Plants:

The azaleas are hitting their stride, although the ones in front near the sidewalk have some dead spots. (Note added 5/10: the deciduous azalea “Northern HiLights” opened its first bloom today. In 2010 it started blooming on April 20, according to my notes.) This week the crape myrtles started to leaf out. The viburnum is getting ready to bloom. Yesterday the very early daylily had a spent bloom already. This is the medium sized gold daylily I brought from Maine, where it is a very late bloomer; here in Maryland it blooms twice, early and late. Other daylilies as well as Siberian iris are well up but not blooming. The Korean lilac (Miss Kim??) has buds, while what I think of as the “regular” lilac is finishing, having bloomed well in spite of  losing some branches over the winter. The flowering crab apple is also finishing, having attracted a mix of insects I didn’t spot elsewhere in the yard, including (I think) a wasp, although it was too high for precise identification. A Dutch iris I’d forgotten about bloomed today. All of the clematis have buds. The columbine that was supposed to be the red native variety is blooming  vigorously and has proved to be a dark blue of the Barlow type, striking but unexpected, and, like so many things, non-native.

The butterfly bushes are all showing leaves but two of the three have died back almost to the ground.

Coming up: lilies, baptisia, rudbeckia, solidago, liatris, peonies, platycodon, oenothera, hostas, and too many asters.

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