Wildflowers and the orchard

Pictures of the garden and forest over the last week – fruit trees, orchids and other wildflowers.

We had a spectacular display this year from our apples, cherry and crab apples.

Crab apple
Crab apple

From further back

Crab apple and cherry
Crab apple and cherry – apples in the background

These were taken last weekend.  We had a huge thunderstorm on Tuesday so all the flowers are gone now, though the thorn tree and the mountain ash have taken over.  There was a tornado touched down about 50 miles north so you can imagine it was very windy even here.  And from hot tornado weather we had a sudden drop to near frost two days later and the cold is still with us.

We have pussy toes in our lawn.  They’re not much to look at:

Pussy toes
Pussy toes

But if you look closely, the individual flowers are quite intricate:

Pussy toes
Pussy toes close up

The hellebores are blooming in the garden:

Hellebore
Hellebore

and the wild ladyslippers are just on the verge of opening:

 

 

Ladyslippers
Ladyslippers

We usually have lots of columbines, but I could only find one today – perhaps this was an early one.

Wild columbine
Wild columbine

In the high-resolution original, the fine hairs that you can just make out in this are showing a nice rainbow effect.

The baneberries also came out this week:

Baneberry

Slightly off the wildflower topic, this downy woodpecker is turning orange:

Woodpecker-2 Woodpecker-1

Bluebirds and Swallowtails

Later in the spring – bluebirds, woodpeckers, ruffed grouse and swallowtail butterflies – nature is getting rambunctious.

After working dawn til dusk for a while and not being home the week before that,  I had some catching up to do.  We have several pairs of bluebirds nesting in our boxes.  Here is one on top of the pole which holds his box:

Bluebird on pole
Bluebird guarding his nest

And here is a back view – through a window with the light hitting obliquely, which fogged the picture a little.

Bluebird on feeder
Bluebird on feeder

Here is a female ruby-throated hummingbird perched on top of our blue spruce – about 7m high, so she gets a good view.

Hummingbird
Hummingbird

 

Totem Pole Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker carving totem pole

He has a lot of work to do before this pole is finished.

We are also fortunate enough to have grouse nesting in the hardwood forest on the south side of the house.  I took this picture of the eggs but haven’t been back as she flew off the nest when I got close and I don’t want to frighten her away.  It must be very difficult to stay safe with all the predators there are around.

Ruffed Grouse Nest
Ruffed Grouse Nest

There are lots of butterflies around, too.  Here is a Swallowtail, showing the top side of its wings:

Swallowtail butterfly on Dame's Rocket
Swallowtail butterfly on Dame's Rocket

And here is the underside of the wing:

Swallowtail butterfly on Dame's Rocket
Swallowtail butterfly on Dame's Rocket - underwing

Finally, a couple of wildflowers.  First another picture of the ladyslippers I showed in my last post:

Ladyslippers
Ladyslippers

and the wild scarlet columbines are out again, but not so many this year.  They’re still recovering from the power company clearing the lines as that is where most of them grow where it is open, dry and sunny.

Scarlet Columbine

Ladyslippers

These ladyslippers grow in just one spot near our house and bloom for about a week.

No posts recently be cause I’ve been working too many hours.  Work, eat, sleep (and a break for the Swamp Hollow Party on the weekend).  But I couldn’t resist posting these ladyslippers which have bloomed this week.

Ladyslipper
Ladyslipper

I have been taking more pictures so maybe I’ll finally get my May long weekend this weekend and post some bird pictures as well as more wildflowers.