May 2020

It was a great Spring for birds. Here is a dove nest.  They were in the pines near the house, in the birch along the water, and in the pine grove by the stream.  Robins nested in the fruit trees and the hemlock and on the small nest platform I put under the roof of the hand pump well. Bluebirds raised two sets of brood, starting the second before the first had fully fledged.

Quince, just at the top of May.

Rhubarb.  There are two varieties planted in the lower garden.  This one, producing thinner, more Burgundy colored stalks, is called Valentine.  The other one (at the time of this writing it is located at the end of the first row of asparagus) is called Canada Red and produces thick, mostly red stalks.

Baltimore oriole. I love to watch them work the flowering fruit trees like monkeys.

Indigo Bunting.  So far three sightings, two of which have been this year!

Liberty grafted onto Sweet Winesap.  I need to remember that future grafts will be Spitzenburg, Cox Orange Pippen, and Sherry AND Liberty, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp.  Those are the combos if you want improved pollination.

Vase of quince, probably around May 14th.

I was shocked at how quickly a few of these grafts took off. I did not start grafting till the first week of May, but as you can see, the one on the right, started to grow immediately. Unfortunately, a few nights of hard cold (around 26 degrees) seems to have done this and another one in (located on the apple, American). UPDATE, the reason the graft on the right took so long to break bud was because they were flower blossoms. Since, they have erupted. In fact, this year, despite dismal grafting skills, I had about a 90% success rate.

I think this cultivar is Lincoln, but I’ll have to check the notes.

English bluebells against some kind of azalea. By the way. Did a bunch of hardwood/rooting cutting rooting trials: Mulberry, black locust, and Osage orange.  So far, only the hardwood black locust have rooted.  Everything else appears to be dead.

The wild lilac. My favorite.

Northern lights azalea.  I cut several pieces off and attempted to root. We’ll see.

I have to look this cultivar up.  One of the French lilacs, probably Paul Thirion.

I was at the farm a lot this spring.  Watching the asparagus emerge, especially the purple, was something.  Camera doesn’t quite capture the abundance of the harvest or the size of the spears, some almost twice as big as your thumb.  They are all tender, juice, snappy, and remarkably sweet.


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