Bunnies were not so demanding this morning. Nice play time and not so many chores, after catching up last week. The does are now looking after active bunnies that romp around the cages, doing binkies and climbing all over the patient mothers. Only one doe still has the bunnies in the nest, but they will be out soon!
Lily's ready to go along as I take a walk around the yard, discovering the changes a day can bring. She sniffs along everywhere, her sensitive nose revealing a world that is hidden to me. Two very large dogs roamed through the fields yesterday evening, circling the bunny barn as I shouted to drive them away. The bunny house is safely built to keep them out but I don't want them here, just in case. It's rare to see a strange dog these days. Lily was annoyed by the intruders and checks carefully to find traces of their passing.
Buttercups in the field dance in the breezes, adding a golden glow to the fresh green of the grass. Closer to home, bright buttercups grow by my path to the bunny house.
Early Iris are out, gracing the long bed by the grape arbor with their handsome blooms and spears of new growth. This iris is a rather ordinary specimen, just plain purple with no flash. But it is an old one in this area and blooms early, speading color in the beds while later iris tease me with closed buds.
Shy and bold, there are so many flowers out right now. I saw fire pinks on my trip north and lots of pink and flame azalea on the roadsides. Tulip poplar is still blooming alongside the haze of locust blossom. There is a dogwood across the road from the farm that stands brilliant in the sun against the dark shadows of a pine and hardwood stand of trees. In warmer areas peony is bragging in lawns, with brilliant hues of red and white.
Here we still have rhododendron, glowing with purple in the sun on large evergreen shrubs. I remember playing in the rhododendron when we were children. It grows large in the wild, shrubs that tower over my head even now. In the little woods on the farm the rhododendron made secretive caverns over the creek, and we played for hours in the shadows of green.
The green things are as beautiful as the blossoms. Mayapple is spreading across low banks and hills in curtains of green. Last night I saw a stand of tall ferns under the trees, lacy and elegant in the twilight. Some plants shoot up, seemingly overnight, while others unfurl in graceful stages as they seek the sun. My grape vines are bursting out of bud in sturdy tendrils, ready to wrap themselves around the arbor and grow rapidly through the season.
One of my favorite mountain plants is deciduous azalea, or flame azalea. The brilliant orange of this wild flower makes an uncommon statement in the mountain forests, while the pink version of the same tree compliments the many white blossoms of dogwood and other trees. There is an evergreen azalea that grows well in some places on the mountain, but prefers a more sheltered and warmer space than these wild natives.
The sky this morning is a stunning blue, with loftly white clouds soaring lazily overhead, moving with the breeze. The grass is billowing in the wind as cloud shadows drift across the fields while buttercups dance. The tall spruce in the front yard, planted by my grandmother many years ago, stand tall with branches whispering in the wind. New green needles at the tips of the darker branches are capped with a papery protective cover that is being thrown off into the new breezes with the universal plant longing for the sun.
Today will be a day of watching the fields from my window as I work on the computer. Later a few hours spent at the antique shop will be a fun change, with people involved. My mother is promising more strawberries after a visit with an aunt that is ailing in the hospital. Somewhere along the way a beautiful fawn doe should get a haircut.
And a surprise for me this morning at the end of my little walk, accompanied by Lily and a curious calico cat. My bleeding heart bloomed early this year, only to be cruelly treated by frost. The blooms were gone and the leaves damaged, yet it has raised sprays of delicate pink blossoms again above the lacy green.