May 31, 2021

Wordless Prairie Six Weeks After Prescribed Burn

prairie late spring
May 31: prairie at end of spring
[Click on images to enlarge for detail.]

burned prairie 2
April: prairie following a prescribed burn

prairie late winter
March: prairie just before snowmelt

December: prairie before the snow

May 19, 2021

Wordless Wildflowers, Shrubs, and Trees
At the State Park

Prunus virginiana
Prunus virginiana

Maianthemum racemosum
Maianthemum racemosum

Geranium maculatum 1
Geranium maculatum

Geranium maculatum 2
Geranium maculatum

Arisaema triphyllum
Arisaema triphyllum

Viburnum lentago
Viburnum lentago

Dodecatheon meadia
Dodecatheon meadia

May 11, 2021

June Weather in April; April Weather in May

The Trilliums are OK: l. to r., T. erectum, T. grandiflorum, T. recurvatum.

I realize that no season, month, week, or day is really "normal." But we've had a truly unusual spring this year. Yes, most Midwest springs feature unpredictable weather--popping back and forth between cold and warm; and snowy, rainy, and mild. But I don't recall a spring with truly summer weather for several days in April, a drought mid-spring, and then an extended period of cool weather into the middle of May. Most years, we have many spring days in the 60F-70F (15C-21C) range, while this year, most days have had high temps on either side of that, with a couple of days in April approaching 90F (32C).

The outcome? Many plants had an early start, and then simply paused for weeks on end. It's been a beautiful season for spring-flowering bulbs and Trilliums, because they're lasting longer. But it's changed the flow of the garden and the comfort level of the gardener.

I've seen very few migrating birds in my garden, and no orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings, or scarlet tanagers. I don't know if I missed them or if more might pass through the area with the warmer weather ahead.

ostrich ferns

The Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) were up and uncoiled before I had a chance to harvest some for sautéing.


Meanwhile, the Redbud (Cercis canadensis) blooms are lasting longer than they usually do with "refrigeration."

shagbark hickory

I'm wondering if the early leaf-out of the Shagbark Hickories (Carya ovata) is hiding the bird feeders and oranges I put out for the migrating birds.

lily of the valley

The Lily of the Valley flowers (Convallaria majalis) seem unfazed. (I need to remember pick some for a few vases.)

mayapple patch

The Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) patch emerged early, and seemed to have an extended budding period.


Now, the Mayapples are blooming. :)


The Bugbane (Actaea racemosa) plants are farther along than I would expect. They generally don't bloom until midsummer, so it will be interesting to see how they progress this year.


The Crabapples (Malus spp.) had a short bloom time (drought, then heavy rain). I wonder how this will affect the local orchards.


And now we're entering the Lilac-blooming (Syringa spp.) period, one of the best times to visit Southern Wisconsin, in my opinion. The weather looks to warm and normalize a bit in the days ahead. Time to plant the annuals, edibles, and a few perennials!