Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nature Notes...

Prairie Goldenpeas (thermopsis rhombifolia) which we call Sweet Peas, are blooming in the pasture.  Sweet Peas are a Mother's Day tradition here.  My children and their dad gathered handfuls of these golden beauties for me each year for Mother's Day and just because.  Hubby gathered them for his own mother when he was a boy.

A few Goldenpeas in the pasture.

These are Hood's Phlox (phlox hoodii).  An early bloomer on the prairie.

 These are the grape hyacinth in my garden.


 One more prairie beauty:  Plains Milkvetch (Astragalus gilviflorus).  I like to call it Wedding Bouquet.  The flowers grow in a clump that seems to form a cushion.  It's found on dry rocky ground.  The milkvetches are a type of "locoweed" which can poison livestock if eaten in large amounts, but we rarely ever see this happen.  It seems livestock have a sense of knowing not to eat it.  If we do have a large growth of locoweed, we will avoid putting livestock in that pasture until it is done growing.  This link shows a close-up of the Plains Milkvetch where you can see the pretty purple tongue inside the flowers.

This is a new arrival to us --  the Yellow Rumped Warbler.  
They love to eat insects from the trees, and they especially like the Willows.

In the Garden:
JJo, Peach, Toodles, Boy Blue, and Chief all helped me plant potatoes and onions.
We planted:  Yukon Gold, red, and white potatoes.
We planted:  Walla Walla onion plants and Yellow and White onion sets.
After this 82* day, we are expecting thunderstorms tonight and rain through the coming week.


  1. So pretty! Prairie flowers are so special. Wow! That's hot! I must think about Mother's Day. (BIG HUG!)

  2. We just heard thunder here in Eastern Washington close to Idaho. What fun to have those prairie flowers and what a sweet tradition to get them on Mother's day...

  3. I really love seeing your flowers. I would love to see those prairie flowers. I am glad you take such good pictures of them. I like your golden sweet peas too.
    Oh, I told you that I thought I gave you Russian Comfrey. Mine had never bloomed before. Now it has a shoot and It is going to bloom, so It must be the other kind. It liked being divided. :)

  4. Ahhhh, spring on the prairie! I can't believe you had snow just last week -- I would have loved that. One last little kiss goodbye from winter?

  5. Love prairie flowers! Looks like you could use a little rain. I have never seen mlkvetch before. Thanks for sharing.

    1. The prairie flowers are out on our gumbo pastures which really don't have a lot of grass. It's more about the soil than the rain cuz we just had 2" of moisture in rain/snow. It does look bleak in these pics though.

  6. Lovely flowers and a gorgeous bird, I do like your nature notes :-)

  7. Your sweet peas remind me of what we call "butter and eggs", but yours are much bigger. I've never seen those before. 50* with a cold wind here today.

  8. I read your post earlier but didn't have time to do it justice until now - I love the milkvetch, how it is such a ubiquitous weed that is, as you say, like wedding bouquets thrown all over the place -- and how exciting to have a new bird visitor!!

    When I look at these flowers, the phlox and the peas and all, growing out of what appears to be very inhospitable soil, but of course is actually what they like, it gives me so much joy. Life is everywhere, unstoppable.

    I bet your newly seeded potatoes are loving the rain!


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