with temperature in the lower 60's, a hooded sweatshirt was enough to keep me comfortable as i peddled the fuji to belmont for some yard work. the bike makes an annoying creaking sound which has gotten worse now, but i'm too lazy to fix it. also one pair of brakes makes a high-pitched squeal whenever i press it, which sounds scary but can also be used as a deterrent to let cars know i'm in the area.
more and more flowers have blossomed so now it's hard to keep track of the flowering cherries, pears, forsythias and magnolias, each one vying for the spotlight as showiest spring tree. the crabapples aren't even out yet, which will cause additional identification confusion but i look forward to even more colors.
speaking of colors, a nearby neighbor has a dwarf peach growing on their lawn. the tree has been there for many years, protected by a collar of chicken wires to keep rabbits from damaging the bark. but only now did we realize it's a peach tree, and a dwarf one at that since it never seems to grow very big. it was probably purchased as a bareroot and has taken many years to get to this point.
originally i was just going to make some breakfast at home before leaving for belmont but my father said he already made some food: rice porridge, sausages, orange juice, and egg omelettes with garlic chives. hailey was at home, she kept wanting to go outside and i think she wanted someone to play bubbles with her. later when she came back in the home she went to one of the bedrooms to sleep.
more kwanzan cherry blossoms have emerged. their flowers have been mutated so much for maximum impact that judging by flowers alone i wouldn't necessarily identify them as cherries. a single blossom has so many layers (compared to the traditional 5 cherry petals) that they look more like pink carnations. some sources say that kwanzan are fragrant but i noticed no scent. the leaves are already out, which seems unusual compared to other flowering cherries where they flower first. it may be a side effect of where this tree was originally grown (we think it was south), but maybe the flowers will eventually bloom enough that they hide the leaves. we noticed the same thing with our KV plum, that it already leafed out without many flowers.
we started working in the backyard around 1pm but had to take a short break because of an intermittent drizzle. we dug out a wisteria that'd been growing in the middle of the lawn. we tried to save it until we started digging and realized the above ground plant was actually still attached to thick underground roots with 1" diameter. we tried digging out the roots but they were too deep, so we just cut the roots and pulled out as much as we could, hoping the roots will die eventually, but keeping an eye out for future shoots. the above ground portion of the wisteria still had some healthy branches, just no roots. i planted it in a pot anyway, hoping it might survive.
next we dug up the escaping golden raspberry canes growing on the lawn on the western side of the house. it would've been a waste to throw them all away so we decided to replant some in pots. we saved the best canes, throwing out weaker ones. i also relocated some violet clumps. after drilling holes in the bottom of the large plastic pots we got from costco a few weeks ago, we poured a large bag of potting soil into each one, planting the best canes in the process (pour dirt halfway, layer the canes, pour the rest), about half a dozen canes per pot. we still had some leftover canes which we kept alive soaking in a pot. later i replanted half a dozen more canes back to the raspberry patch.
i relocated a few wild lupines into pots, hoping to move them back into the ground once they get big enough. there were a few wild lupines last year that all disappeared due to rabbit predation. we've actually been pretty lucky this year, haven't seen a single rabbit in the backyard for a while now. i have no doubt they could come back as there are still a few places they could sneak in (and they could always dig underneath the fence) but part of the reason we had so much rabbit problems last year was all the brush that were laying around, and there was even a rabbit nest.
i planted 25 hyacinth seeds, after reading the packet instructions saying to plant early in the season after danger of frost. most of them went in the same spots as the snap peas i planted a few days ago (on the back border of the raised beds) but i also planted some along the southern fence. at least two of our peonies haven't sprouted yet (including the deep pink one we purchased last year), so out of curiosity i dug one up to see if there was an activity. the ground tuber seems fine, just no sprouts. maybe they will appear later, or maybe this plant is taking a sabbatical. i accidentally severed one of the tubers while digging, and decided against digging out the other peony as well. peonies are hardy and some believe they're immortal. but starting them takes patience, as they don't like being transplanted, and can take a few years to successfully establish in a new spot. even the peonies that have sprouted shoots this year, i wouldn't hold my breath thinking they'll produce flowers. at most maybe a few flower buds that will simply whither away. finally we moved all the buckets of pruned branches and twigs in anticipation of tuesday morning's trash pickup. the one thing we didn't do today was to reduce the pile of maple and willow branches. that will be next week's yard work.
my father pan-fried some porkchops for dinner, plus roasting the haymarket asparagus i bought on friday. afterwards we ate one of the dragon fruits. this particular one wasn't very sweet, and had an earthy raw taste to it. my father was afraid to eat too much because he said dragon fruits give you diarrhea, so i ended up eating most of it, with no side effects.
on my way home, i watched an animal climb a tree. at first i thought it was a cat, but it took me a few more seconds to realize it was a raccoon. perhaps it was waking up from its nest inside the tree? it spent a long time climb all over the tree, but enough time for me to get off my bike and grab my camera. it was a fat raccoon too, maybe somebody's been feeding it. after a minutes it finally got off the tree and ran across the street to some neighbor's backyard. i've also noticed a profusion of white flowering trees. initially i thought they were all flowering pears, but i think most of them are white-flowering cherries, if i had to guess yoshinos.
back at home i waited for the start of the 2nd episode of game of thrones. still not a lot of action as people got ready for the big battle against the living dead army of the white walkers.