Is winter over? Has spring arrived early this year? It certainly seemed like it this week as daytime temperatures headed toward 80 degrees.
Looking around the yard, it was clear that something was going on. The bluebirds and the wrens were busy checking out possible nesting sites. As I went about my garden tasks, I kept encountering green anoles who were out sunning themselves. Last night, when I turned on the back porch light, I looked up to see a couple of Mediterranean geckos perched on the ceiling waiting for some unwary insect to come close enough to grab. Also, that harbinger of spring for our more northern friends, the American Robin, showed up in the yard this week.
Some years I have robins in my yard all winter long, occasionally in very large numbers, but I hadn't actually seen or heard any in the yard this winter until this week. The last ones I had seen here were in late summer/early autumn. Now, suddenly, they seem to be everywhere.
And then there are the butterflies. I stopped seeing Monarchs and Queens several weeks ago, but this week they've joined my winter butterflies, the Sulphurs, the Painted Ladies, the American Snouts, and the Red Admirals, in a virtual parade of butterfly beauty.
Of course, if it is January, it's time for the Carolina jessamine to start blooming.
And there it is - right on cue. In another week or ten days, this vine will be full of these yellow blossoms.
The cold weather that we had last week encouraged the purple oxalis to bring out its pretty little pink blooms.
This oxalis generally continues to bloom for me well into spring when the hot weather causes it to take a rest.
Cleanup of the winter garden continued this week at a slow pace. I developed a respiratory infection with fever. Cold? Flu? Who knows - it just makes one feel rotten. So I had to take it easy, but I did manage to get a few things done. My best work of the week was adding some pansies and violas for a little winter color.