Spring Makes an Appearance in My Back Yard

Spring is in full swing here in Dallas.

Nearly every vestige of winter is gone and May is busting out all over.  Everywhere one looks, there is greenery and colorful flowers and twittering birds and scampering squirrels.

I am not very musical, but when I went out into my backyard the other day, I was tempted to twirl like Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” and let loose with The hills are alive … with the sound of music!

Except there are no hills in Dallas.  It is flat as an ironing board here.

And there are city ordinances against singing too loudly in one’s back yard.  Or at all.  After all, we are not living in Sodom.

So, since I could not sing, I decided to take a few pictures instead.  I hope you enjoy them.  I’m not a professional photographer by any means.

01 Mullberries 01
Not-quite-ripe mulberries in my mulberry tree.  Or, as I like to call it, the world’s largest birdfeeder.  My mulberry tree is about 50 or 60 feet tall and for about 3 weeks in the spring it is bursting with mulberries.  During that time, my back yard is a riot of birds and squirrels.          The funny thing is, I did not plant the tree.  It started growing on its own about 8 years ago and I let it grow and now it is ginormous.  I’m glad I didn’t run over it with the lawn mower those many years ago!

 

02 Pink Flower 01
I think this is called a Hoary Pea.  The flat part of the bloom is about the size of a US dime (about 18mm).

 

03 Pomegranite Blossoms 01
My pomegranate tree is in full bloom!  I love the colors of these blossoms.  They start out looking sort of like coffee beans, but then open up into beautiful trumpet-like blooms.  Needless to say, the birds love the resulting pomegranates! 

 

04 Yellow Flowers 01
I’m not sure what these are.  They might be yellow wood-sorrel.  They are very tiny … smaller than the nail on your little finger.  They are probably a weed, but I am leaving them for now as an early food source for the bees.

 

05 Wild Strawberry 01
This is a wild strawberry.  They pop up in random places here and throughout the southeastern U.S.  I think they are strawberries in name only.  I remember how disappointed I was as a child to find out that they are completely tasteless.  They are also considered something of a weed, but I am leaving them on the off chance that the bunnies living in my neighborhood like them.  So far, however, nothing seems to like to eat them.

 

06 Dandelion and Ants 01
This is an extreme closeup of a dandelion blossom to show the ants working diligently within the tiny petals.  I guess there is some sort of nectar or something in there that they really like.  Or perhaps there is something that makes them high as a kite and they forgot how to find their way out of the dandelion.

 

07 Caterpiller 01
A furry little caterpillar on a rose bush.  Actually, it’s not that little.  It was probably 4 or 5 inches long (10 – 13 cm).  Hard to believe something this ugly will turn into a butterfly someday.  

 

08 Lizard 01
A lizard sunning himself on some bricks and giving me the side-eye.

 

09 Squirrel 01
One of many squirrels who come into my yard to eat.  Can you tell I overindulge them?  He is standing on a bed of empty sunflower seed shells.  But I have made my peace with the squirrels.  I used to get quite angry at them for always trying to chew their way into my house.  But now I enjoy being entertained by their antics.  Already this year I have watched about 2 generations of squirrels grow up before my very eyes.

25 comments

    • Thanks, Suzanne! Nature is the real star here … I am merely a lucky admirer. And, yes, the pomegranates are edible, though I’ve never actually eaten one off of my own tree. The birds usually beat me to them! Maybe I’ll try one this year.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I have a 75-300 mm zoom lens on my camera. I took that photo from about 12 or 15 meters away.

      And though your NY plants are usually a few weeks behind what we have here in Texas, yours are much more beautiful and last much longer. Our spring here in Texas is depressingly short. As soon as summer gets here, it burns away anything delicate and beautiful and all that is left is the hardy and tenacious.

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  1. City ordinances on Singing? I don’t think so. Unless it’s after 10 night. Come to Vegas. Nobody will care. They may not listen, either.
    Love the squirrel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of the Dallas suburbs like everything to be as bland and as uniform as possible. It helps maintain property values and thus a healthy tax base.
      As far as going to Vegas … it is hard to imagine going somewhere that is even hotter than Dallas! Ha ha! But going there is actually on my bucket list. Not to gamble, but I want to go see Hoover Dam and the new Hoover Dam Bridge. And a few other non-Casino type things.

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  2. I love that you leave flowering ‘weeds’ for the early bees and other invertebrates. My yard/garden is, to human eyes, a disaster area… but every other important creature, whose nature habitats humans have otherwise stolen, bloody love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bryntin! I think it’s important for us to coexist with Nature as much as possible. If we don’t, we may find out that we cannot exist without her! I practice limited xeriscaping. I do it enough to let Nature know she is more than welcome on my land, and to try to encourage bees and butterflies and birds and squirrels, but not so much as to earn myself a citation from the city for abandoned property! 😀

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    • Thank you, Ortensia! I am doing well, thank you. Me and my family have been mercifully relatively untouched by the current madness. We are all praying for a quick end to this! And how are you doing? I hope you and your family are doing great.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Biff, we are all well, here in Ireland and in Italy but I m starting to miss my mum.I ve never been so long without seeing her and as things stars now I don’t think it will happen before after summer. I can see when we skype she is feeling even more than me, but we are all healthy and this will pass.A big hug is on your way my friend

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    • You’re quite right, Noel. I think I AM losing it. I am a hermit by nature and so self-quarantining is no hardship for me. The problem is that everyone else is self-quarantining, too, and it is disconcerting to me to have people around me all the time. Maybe things will return to normal soon and people can go back to work and pursue their normal pursuits.

      And I did indeed write Wordsworth, but so far he has not answered my letter.

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    • Thank you, Christine! My yard is not as beautiful as all that. I merely take pictures of the pretty parts and ignore the rest. 😀

      I love pomegranate blooms, too. I had never seen one until I moved into this house and discovered that I was now the owner of a pomegranate tree. The blooms are lovely, but the pomegranate tree itself can be a hazard. They are very thorny and prickly and will chew you up if you start rummaging about in their fronds for pomegranates. Still .. a very handsome tree!

      And you’re quite right about summers in the Southeast and Texas. One does not tarry outside for very long for fear of suffering heatstroke. Or, worse, finding that your nice, clean, pressed, and very smart outfit is suddenly soaked in sweat and hanging off of you like wet cardboard.

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re enjoying your spring.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! Yes, they are quite the acrobats and the burglars. I have watched in amazement as they study and then thwart all of the “squirrel-proof” bird feeders I have put out. But they’re just so cute, I can’t bring myself to try and shoo them away. Not that I could, even if I wanted too. They are way smarter than me.

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