Pennsylvania Garden Expo

Some friends and I went to the Pennsylvania Garden Expo on March 10. Our original plan to go to the Philadelphia Flower Show fell through. Still, we had fun at much less expense and half the distance of travel.

Some photos from the Garden Expo:

A winning lad in a kilt directed the St. Patrick's Day parade participants. We watched this Saturday afternoon after going to the garden expo.

The weather was wonderful! Quite a contrast to the conditions a month earlier after the "Valentine's Day" storm. This is what I deal with on my back stairs after a storm:


"A Little Bird Told Me"

Birds play a role in the garden. I probably don't have to tell that to anyone reading this post. Still, maybe I don't pay enough attention to birds, outside of the ubiquitous ducks in Bellefonte, especially in and around Talleyrand Park. (Watch where you step.) I say this because I'm always thrilled to hear birds in late winter and early spring. That's when I realize how much I miss them.

I usually notice migrating geese because of the squawk-like honks. In summer, a quack draws my attention to a duck, who seems happy to discover a newly formed swimming spot. After heavy rain, small temporary ponds appear, several of them outside the building where I work. Some form so regularly that water plants grow. I'm often amazed at how quickly the "aquatic quackers" get there. I'm disappointed if there are none.

It's always a pleasure to me to see urban wildlife. I've seen plenty of squirrels, some very aggressive, but they still fascinate me with their rapid movements and bouncing.

With the benefits birds are to a garden, it's nice to know I can do a little more for them. A couple of wrens seem to be enjoying the wooden ledge above the door to my back porch, indicated by the frantic flapping of wings when I open the door and by the tiny droppings I sweep away almost daily. When I got home yesterday, I found one of the dried sunflower seed heads from my garden displaced, seeds that I honestly didn't think were in it, and shells scattered on the porch. Good for them! They can have all they want. I'll have to make sure the other dried flower heads are accessible.

(Note to self: I must prepare those dried gourds to provide a house for these little birds.)


Reality Check

Animals are as much a part of creation as plants and humans. This isn't my usual topic for this blog, but it's important for this information to be out.

This video is just one example of how cruel the fur industry is. This fur is put on coats and sold in the U.S. as fake fur.

Here's the graphic video:

Racoon Dog Skinned -- Alive

Informative Video: Humane Society Link

What to do? Link


Eager to Start

Spring's promise approaches, energy slowly uncurls in the shoots from a seed, tender embyonic tendrils pushing up toward the dangers of wind and cold to be fed by the sun. The season yields to fluctuations that drive its identity, then surrenders to the warmth that brings summer.

I'll be starting my brocolli and some other cold weather veggies from seed this week.

Winter was like a see-saw this year in Pennsylvania. December was cold, January was unusually warm and enjoyable, then February turned frigid with a lot of snow. Although the duration of extreme winter weather was short for us, the promise looks good when warmer days strip away laced-up boots, gloves, hat, heavy coat and penguin-like plodding on slippery surfaces. Again.

Reminds me of a symbol of promise. The rainbow. We had a lot of them late last year. One Sunday afternoon, I saw a double one, and photographed it in State College. I could not fit it all in frame, so here it is in halves:

They can also be found on my flickr page.