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 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

10 Responses

  1. rainfield Says:

    And I race to be the number one among your reader.

  2. sharkbytes Says:

    I love winter aconite, but it doesn’t seem to want to grow here. It’s all over in Ann Arbor (near Ratty), but I don’t see it here, and some I transplanted died out in only a couple of years.

  3. Ellada Says:

    Nice shot. The frozen waterfalls is AMAZING.

  4. Louise Says:

    Flowers? You have flowers? Grrrr, you’re in the North Country. You’re not supposed to be way ahead of us here by the Lake.

  5. Out on the prairie Says:

    Lovely shots and liked your flower race.My first crocus are withering with hyacinth blooms just opening and it is snowing today to top off all of this.I thought I was finished with that.Here in Iowa we say the crazy weather gives us something to talk about.

  6. Ratty Says:

    I haven’t seen any flowers yet, but that may be because I’m still not getting out as often as I’d like. I did go on a fungus hunt a few days ago, following your example, but I’m not very good at it yet.

  7. marguerite Says:

    Flowers already! no fair. I would have pegged the winter aconite as the winner, surprised to see vinca blooming this early but as you say, sometimes they do pop out a single bloom or three right off the bat.

  8. Emma Springfield Says:

    It’s always nice to see the first spring flowers popping out. I’m going to miss your pictures of icy things a little though.

  9. Elephant's Eye Says:

    Hmmm the air bubbles below a sheet of ice is a magical photo. Glad to look at it while wearing shorts and a T shirt tho ;~)

  10. SLU Says:

    This blog is great! I came across it looking for information on spring ephemerals in Northern NY. My project for my winter ecology class is to put together a report of spring ephemerals and edible plants. This was a huge help!