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2/28/22 The Ever-changing Season

February is the ever-changing month. Every day is different from the day before. Just over one night, Forsythia hung out its little yellow bells. Hellebore opened their pink cup shape flowers - they have such a gentle and dreamy air. Oriental paper bush started to send out a strong fragrance with its tiny yellow flowers opening in each white sphere.

Hellebore or Lenten Rose
Hellebore or Lenten Rose is hardy and easy to grow, even directly in Georgia's red clay soil

When I looked through my notes, I realized that this Spring is much slower than last year. By now, cherry trees should have blossomed in their prime time throughout our neighborhood. Yet, we haven't seen a single open flower bud. Some early flowering trees have finally started their Spring performance. O Yashima double flowering quince has a short bloom time, but whenever it blooms, its delicate posture is just supreme. Apple blossom flowering quince that we bought along with the O Yashima quince can bloom multiple times throughout the year. Its flower petals are less full but more open, which is a good attraction to pollinators. In the city, Redbuds are blooming passionately. Wherever we drive, we see large round shaped magnolia flowers. From far away, you may think a group of colorful doves are perching on the trees.

O Yashima flowering quince
O Yashima flowering quince is one of the pretties flowers in our garden (in my opnion)

Animals also started to wake up and become more and more active. We saw a Kingsnake last week. It had beautiful gold ring bands on its body, and it was resting on our juniper after a long night of rain. Kingsnakes are known to eat the other venomous snakes as well as rodents, lizards, turtle eggs, birds, and other small animals. It is also hunted by eagles, coyotes, foxes, etc. I am glad to have witnessed another wildlife resident in our small garden ecosystem. Meanwhile, we are well reminded to always wear shoes and gloves when doing gardening activities.

Eastern Kingsnake
This Eastern Kingsnake was just lying peacefully in our juniper under the gentle sun

Starting last week, we heard the first toad mating call of this year. It was in early evening, the sky was still dark blue, and the air was chilling, and our garden seemed serene. And there it was, a long and almost a little bit sad chords were let out from our pond direction. It was probably too early, this little guy woke up before the others and it could only sing in solos. We stood by our kitchen sink, turned our ears towards the backyard, and listened for a while, thinking we were the only audience. Well, we were wrong! Just a couple of days after that, we found a toad guarding the side of our pond with a long belt of spawn in the water. Good job Toad!

Weather Report: H:57 F and L:43F Cloudy and cold today. But it will get hot soon for the rest of this week

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