to brighten your day ...first Blooms of 2013

mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)January 11, 2013

Happy New Year to all...

This is the first thing that blooms for me each year. This morning I noticed the blooms beginning to open and two wild bee's are already busy. Before long, the blooms will be covered with wild bee's. This plant produces many berries (Grapes) in late spring that drive the Mockingbirds wild. The leaves of the plant look a lot like holly. I grow it in shade at the base of the deck, in front of Confederate Jasmine vines. And to stay on topic, I can hardly wait for spring and the return of the little fluttering jewels we all enjoy.


Berberis aquifolium or Mahonia ~ Oregon Grape From __Garden Flowers - plants

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Beautiful photo of a beautiful plant, Mary! I love the Mahonias.

Do you have butterflies yet? I know its early, but some were around here so very late in the year - until mid-December for some.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:45AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Thank you, Susan. I'm always surprised to see these blooms in January. It seems it would be too cold here but so far, each January, there they are. And where do the wild bee's come from? They must roam about, even during the winter months. I need to google wild bee's and read more about them.

As to Butterflies, I've seen no sign of the little jewels for some time. Since I've begun growing host and nectar plants and watching for them, I think the earliest I've noticed butterflies is March.

BTW, did your growing zone change last year? We were considered 7b but last year we were changed to 8a.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Ironically, this "Oregon Grape" (state flower of Oregon) is not yet blooming in Oregon (although my related darwinii barberry always has some precocious winter blooms)!

It will not be visited by a bee until March when usually a queen bumblebee hangs out on a daily basis. A hummingbird popped up from the bush some days ago when I exited the house.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 10:15PM
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No, Mary, I am still 7a. I did notice that the very, very southernmost edge of Oklahoma, bordering Texas, is 8a now, as well as the Southeast corner. These used to be 7bs into Dallas, I believe.

Larry, you still have some Anna's hanging around, or another species? Cool beans!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Anna's tent to stick to the foothills or mountains around here, but it is possible for an urban sighting. Otherwise, rufous dominate in the city, though most head south for the winter.

And thank you for acquainting me with the phrase "cool beans", that was not used here in the 60s.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:42PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Beautiful picture, Mary! During the long warm spell, I noticed many weeds blooming, but no 'proper' flowers. It's turned cold now, so I don't know what the weeds are doing now.

It's snowing heavily now in north Mississippi, not down here in the southern part of the state, but the pictures are amazing!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Mary, Thanks for sharing!
I have Mahonias but never really noticed the blooms! They get berries on them & the mockingbirds seem to be the first to eat them all up!
I think the first thing that blooms here is my 2 Lenten Roses but have never seen any butterflies on them. Then the hyacinths I have planted...then the daffodils! Trees...redbud & Mexican plums are my first to bloom!
I've seen some weeds especially dandelions blooming already as well as a purple flowered weed...henbit(Lamium amplexicaule)...I think!
No BFs so far in 2013 but I do have my fruit feeder out still...just in case! What all BFs overwinter as adults???

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:25PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)


I'm not certain. The Monarchs, we know, overwinter in Mexico as adults. Here in my area, some BST's overwinter in their chrysalides, and then emerge with warm spring weather. I'd guess that is the way most butterflies overwinter but don't know.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 7:32PM
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When I came home from my DDs today, I was greeted by a Question Mark butterfly fluttering around the trees in my yard. What a nice sighting! It was up in the 60s here today, and will be tomorrow.

Char-Char and I wandered around the backyard today and I noticed the Henbit was beginning to bloom, as well as the little blue blooms of the Speedwell. Looking at my yard, the Mullein's big, grey-green foliage is green still - it usually is evergreen here - as is the Mountain Mint, Rosemary, Oregano and the Fennel is putting up new foliage, too. The old Honeysuckle vine has a bit of new foliage on it, and that's about all for now. Oh, the Azaleas are evergreen varieties. They were here when I moved in, so I don't know what kind they are. It's still January, after all. We just really, really need some moisture in whatever form it chooses. We are currently on water rationing because the lakes, ponds and rivers are down so much.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 5:47PM
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