(Please click on the pictures to enlarge them!)This post is for some of my blogging friends who asked if I could post some pictures of where I live. It's still more than a month until spring begins, but winter has been exceptionally mild here. I have been cleaning the garden and weeding. I just finished turning the earth around my raspberries. All summer, I put grass clippingss on the soil and turn it under in the late fall, then all winter, I put the fireplace ashes on the soil and turn it under in late winter. When I fork the earth, it turns up all the hibernating larvae of the pests which I can't see, but the hungry birds can!
Every where I look, I see the beginnings of new life on all of the plants. The willows are beginning to glow green. If you look closely at the buds of the new growth on the raspberries, you will see the beginnings of leaves getting ready to burst forth.
There is still frost on the ground in the morning but the wild pale yellow primroses are already beginning to bloom.
Soon the cuckoos, another form of wild primrose are going to start. In the garden, the dafodils and dutch irises are already blooming.
Soon, all the camelias will be in flower and every morning a more and more violets. I don't recall seeing hellebore too frequently in the States, but they seem to thrive here and start blooming in January.
I have been able to do some biking because of the mild temperatures. I am not one of these guys who can stand to bike in freezing weather. What I like to do in all kinds of weather is hike. Lately I have discovered a few new trails across the valley and to the top of the next ridge. I have been doing that almost every day for the last 3 months and it is fascinating to see the gradual change of the seasons. On the West side of the hills, spring is almost arrived. In the shadows in the valleys, the frost never melts. In about 1 and a half months, the first wild orchids will begin to appear. The last picture is a shot of the valley and the forested hill where my favorite trails are...