The hills (and the gardens) are alive!

I just can't believe how much things have changed in the past week. We had a short but delicious rain late Sunday night/Monday morning, and since then temperatures have been heating up (supposed to be in the mid-80's this weekend) and life is bursting everywhere! Every time I go in to the garden, Western Fence Lizards scurry, native bees buzz all around, and butterflies and Crane flies whirl in the air, mating. New flowers appear every day. In the hills, the fiddlenecks have given way to vetch and native clovers.

In the garden, I can't keep up. New flowers are open every time I go outside.

cow parsnip
our apple tree
Douglas iris
coral bells (or alum root, or Huechera)
mallow, about to unfurl
our namesake and the State flower, a California poppy
golden currant (Ribes aureum gracillimum)

All this life makes me happy, but I do very much miss my honeybees. I'm so sorry they didn't make it through the winter to see these riches appear in spring. I wish they had lived! The garden just seems very quiet without honeybees. I do see one once in a while; I know a beekeeper about a half mile away, so I'm surprised I don't see more. Honeybees add life to the garden. My new colony will get some of the goods, but a lot of this will be gone in two weeks when they arrive. Oh well, different stuff will be blooming then.

I also found a new Fuligo septica (or 'dog vomit fungus') in the yard today. Turns out these aren't really fungi at all, see link for more info. I'm fascinated by them. They do almost always appear on wood chips, although I found my first one hanging off the side of the compost bin.

My seed potatoes arrived today. Or at least the first batch did, from Renee's. I think I double ordered and will also be getting some from Seed Savers. Whoops. And darn it, I think I ordered the same kind from both places.

They need a cool place to stay until I plant them next week, so they'll live in a corner of the bedroom for a while (honestly the coolest place in our house that's not our fridge).

Next week, new raised beds get built, and all the spring planting begins! Good times.