WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Apr 7th, 2011

deer today – duck tomorrow

Apr 7

I know it’s been a while since the last post. It may be a while longer before the next. A matter of life and death is keeping me occupied. Now that things are settling down somewhat I’ll be making an effort to post but I’m not promising anything.

There were more deer on the side of the road than the 11 in the photo. By the time I stopped the truck about half as many had disappeared into the brush.

roadside deer

The rest quickly followed.
Only the bravest of the group paused to glance back at me before they too vanished.


It’s been about a week since I took those photos. It seems so long ago. A lifetime in a way.

This morning I was standing on the back steps when I saw a pair of birds land in the trees. If I hadn’t noticed the movement I might easily have overlooked them sitting there.

wood duck in tree wood duck in tree

I couldn’t tell what they were until I doctored the photos. A little gamma correction brought out enough color and details to identify them as wood ducks. I was a bit surprised. I never before thought ducks perched in trees, somthing about webbed feet kept me from getting a firm grip on the idea.

wood duck in tree

I should mention – I’m fine.
It’s a close friend that’s approaching his end of days. Until then my home is his.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 24th, 2011

race for first flower

Mar 24

The first blooms of this year are a good week late compared to last year. It was a real horse race this year with 3 garden flowers in the running. Crocus, Vinca minor and Winter aconite ran bud to bud. It took a photo finish to declare a winner. Winter Aconite was the favorite, followed by Crocus with Vinca considered the dark horse in the race.

The first bud photographed was Crocus.

It’s still pretty uptight and not quite ready to open up yet. It did manage to show but it was a couple of lengths behind the others.

I knew the race was on when I spotted it. When I see these ready to bloom the Winter Aconite at my friend’s house are likely to have already flowered.

crocus bud

I don’t know how this pair of crocus managed to get into the back field but they’ve naturalized. After the 3 or 4 years I’ve seen them there I half expected to see more. They may be surviving but they’re not propagating. I think the quack-grass is giving them a hard time.

crocus flower buds

Winter aconite – Eranthis hyemalis

The favorite is just opening.
If the sun was out the Winter Aconite might have been a little faster out of the gate.

winter aconite- Eranthis hyemalis

Two flowers opened just enough to get a peek inside but not enough to win this years race.

winter aconite

…for a look at the flower fully opened you can check out the post from last year
March 17, 2010 – Winter Aconite

…and the winner is

Periwinkle – Vinca minor

vinca minor flower

I can’t say it was a complete surprise. Every year a vinca bloom or two opens around this time. This year it was just a bit earlier while the winter aconite was holding back waiting for the sun.

…and now for something completely different.

It’s been (I hate to say) cold. Daytime temps have been hovering just below freezing and dipping into the single digits at night. Ice season isn’t over yet.

A puddle had an invisible (to the camera) thin layer of ice suspended above the water’s surface. The ‘bubbles’ are actually water droplets clinging to the underside of the ice.

water drops on the underside of a thin ice sheet

Snow melt is feeding multiple little run-off streams while the cold nights attempt to hold back the flow. The result is minature frozen waterfalls. Pookey approved

tiny icy waterfalls

I took the next 2 photos yesterday while the sun popped out for a minute. I need to go back and see if I can get a better Lichen Landscape photo but this one will do for now. This landscape will be easy to find again since it’s on a rock pile in the middle of a corn field.

Lichen landscape - pixie cups

Of course I can’t go out back with out seeing a deer in the corn field. What I didn’t catch with the camera were the other 4 deer behind the rise. I might have been able to out wait this deer in order to stalk it if it wasn’t for my wildlife repellant. Pookey never saw them but they sure did notice her.

deer in corn stubble

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 17th, 2011

look again

Mar 17

Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be.

At a distance this didn’t seem like anything special. Just more moss covered rocks in a pile that pretends to be a stone wall. Not until I examined it closely by trying to pull the head off did I realize this was a one piece stone. It kind of looks like a turtle to me. I think it would like living in my pond garden if I can coax it to follow me home.

mossy rock

Sometimes ya got to take a closer look. The tip of the head had some interesting moss. The ‘sky’ background is actually shadowed snow.


Sometimes ya don’t get a second look. It was a stand off. A deer out in the corn stubble had spotted me as I fumbled for my camera. No way was I going to be able to stalk this one for a closer shot.

deer in corn stuble
another day – another deer. nothing to see here, time to move on

Sometimes ya got to know what you’re looking at. This is an ant hill. The area is swampy so the ants have to build up instead of down to avoid getting flooded out. I’ve never seen one more than a couple feet high but I have seen them about 4 feet across.

ant hill

A look across the front yard from the widow at my desk. The Amish are using stealth buggies that confuse my camera. See it? It wasn’t all that stelthy because of the noise. I could hear it coming down the road and had just enouth time to get the window opened.

amish horse and buggy

A not so quick camera setting change gave me enought time to get another shot off before it moved out of range.

amish buggy

These photos were taken yesterday. The snow in the yard is nealy gone now. Whoot! Mud Season has arrived.

Keep looking. I found more stuff today.

This looks Lichen some kind of mutant terrestrial kelp to me. To even guess at the identity would make me look lichen some kind of Foliose.

Foliose lichen - Nephroma resupinatum

I did look around the web for clues.
The closest thing I saw that looked like this was – Nephroma resupinatum

Foliose lichen

I didn’t have to look this one up. I know it’s a velvet foot mushroom.

velvet foot mushroom

I thought it was cute growing in the knot hole.

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