Friday, April 11, 2008

SPRING is here!

The daffodils in my yard are announcing that spring is finally here! As most of you know, this is my favorite time of the year so I'm always extremely happy when I see those little yellow flowers.

I had another more unexpected visitor announcing the season. I was sitting at my computer yesterday when I heard a little rustle near the trash can in the corner where I stash large padded envelopes that I might want to re-use someday. I figured it was a mouse. I was wrong, it was a yellow spotted salamander. I've seen these critters occasionally outside near the woodpile but they have never visited me inside the house before this.

I wanted to get my camera to take his picture, but expected that as soon as I moved he'd scamper (or slither) back into the pile of envelopes. He didn't. He wasn't real lively so maybe he just came out of hibernation and hadn't fully woken up yet. I took his picture and he just sat there. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with him, so I grabbed an empty plastic container and plopped it over him. (This is a technique I use with spiders that occasionally have the nerve to show themselves.... I don't like squashing them, but want them dead... so I cover them with a jar or a box, weight it down with a book and wait for a male type person to do the dirty work.)

Anyhow I put the box over him and figured I'd think about it. Maybe I'd keep him. I began to think that maybe he was a spider and bug eater and he might be handy to keep around if he wanted to stay. Later in the day I went back and he was gone. The box was still there but he'd somehow gotten out from under it. I should have remembered the lesson I'd learned with spiders doing the same thing... which is when I began putting a book on top the container.

Oh well... my little friend was still with me. I researched him a bit on the internet.. and yeah, he would eat bugs. Unless I have a lot of bugs (which I hope I don't) he will probably starve unless he finds his way outside. Also, he likes to be around water, and there's not much chance of that in here. I guess if he shows himself again, I will take a more active role in his survival by ushering him outside.

Back to the daffodils...

These are "mini-daffs" they are only about 4-6 inches tall and are always the first to bloom. Jay bought them for me a few years ago in a little pot from a florist. After they bloomed I planted them in the ground and they are quite happy now.

Most of the daffodils that I have are planted around the edge of the yard between the yard and the "woods". All of them are transplanted from the yard in an old farmhouse we have where they are almost "wild". They were probably planted up there decades ago... because we have owned the place since 1981 and have never planted anything, nor have any of the renters. There are a lot of iris plants up there that are probably just as old.

A few years ago I bought "fancy" daffodil bulbs and planted them randomly in the yard near some of the tree trunks. They are slower to bloom than these "wild" ones.

The little spots of yellow around the edge of the yard are welcome spots of color in the rather dull world of winter in Missouri. Tulips will bloom next, then the Iris. The trees won't leaf out for several more weeks.

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