Welcome April

On the first Wednesday of every most months, you can find us checking in with what’s coming up on the calendar, both literally and figuratively. 

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Don’t you feel like April is the month when we have at least one foot firmly planted in Spring? Sure, there was a little snow shower up in the mountains last week, but it didn’t seem to dampen any spirits, because there’s no going back to winter now : the first flowers are blooming, and spring is definitely on its way!  I love seeing the definite transformation from winter to spring.  Tiny buds, blossoming flowers and pollen in your sinuses.  It really is a beautiful world we live in. That and it’s finally dress and moccasin season.

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I’m so excited to see how the perennial gardens develop at our house in the mountain. Currently, the daffodils and grape hyacinth are in full bloom. The larger hyacinths are starting to develop, but I think it’ll be a couple of weeks until we have flowers yet, but down the mountain in Boulder proper, I saw a few hyacinths in full bloom just in time for Easter! It’s expected that peak bloom for the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be April 11-14th this year, again later than the average bloom date of April 4th.  In Sarah’s neck of the woods (North Carolina) the magnolias, dogwoods, crabapple and cherry blossom trees are blooming already.  The weather has hovered in the seventies for the past week and looks to be warming up even more next week.

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I have to be honest, we have bees on the brain this season (maybe we need an insect of the season category!). During last month’s welcome we highlighted bees and talked about some of the early spring activity that you may observe in their colonies. When introducing nuts as our ingredient of the season, we mentioned the valuable services bees provide as pollinators to the country’s almond crops, but their work doesn’t end there. Migratory beekeepers have many miles yet to travel this spring as they move their hives across the country. Around this time, hives have been placed in the cherry, plum, and avocado orchards in California, some have moved north to the apple and cherry orchards in Washington state, and others have traveled east to pollinate the tupelos and gallberries in Florida.

In other buzzin’ buddy news, hummingbirds are on the move! I spotted my first of the season earlier this week, which prompted a post about filling and hanging hummingbird feeders. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any drinking out of the feeder yet, but I’m hoping that’s because they hit the nectar early in the morning.

Besides birds, I’ve seen lots of reptile and insect activity this past week.  There was an enormous black snake in the driveway of the pottery studio and I saw a tiny green garden snake in my yard yesterday.  Spring is a popular time of year for our slithering friends.  They’ll be boppin’ about during the warmer days this month and next so watch where you step!  In insect news, I spotted my first tick yesterday *groan* while I was hiking with Cash. It was crawling on my leg.  If you’re a dog owner, vaccinate your pup!  It looks like we’re getting a little bit closer to preventing Lyme disease for humans too.  I’ve also dealt with my fair share of fire ants this past week.  Apparently my yard is full of fire ant mounds, which became apparent after a few barefoot escapades. Ouch.  As the season rolls on I’ll let you know if I take action or try to ignore the enormous underground anthill that is my yard.

Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which is the 24th this year and the eve of baby AMax’s second birthday! We’ll have to plant a tree in honor of that little guy and all the growing he has done over the past 24 months.  If you’d like to plant a tree or ten, you should become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation. It’s only $10 and you receive ten free trees when you sign up! Sounds like a steal to me.

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Earth Day – It’s the 45th anniversary of Earth Day this year and we think focusing on the health of our environment is of utmost importance today and every day.  We also love a good Earth Day celebration.  There’s an Xtreme Zero Waste event going on in Boulder that we may have to check out.  How will you be celebrating? Planting any trees? Walking to work?  Every bit counts.

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