Flaming into Spring…

Another eye-catching spring blooming tree is the African Tulip Tree (Spathadea campanulata). The bright red/orange tulip shape blooms appear in clusters up to 80ft. high above the place one usually admire Tulips.

Flame of the Forest” is another name for the African Tulip Tree. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Natural bouquets of Tulips; a little difficult to collect. Best observed uncut. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The rims of the petals are fringed appearing more orange than the rest of the bloom. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Eventually, like all blooms the petals rest of the Earth. Here petals are accompanied by a Blue Dasher Dragonfly. It was a fun surprise evident only upon reviewing my saved images. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Spring’s coming slowly…

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Tulip leaves copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

13 degrees below our average temperature today makes winter coat wearing still a good idea. Brrrr…. So it was encouraging to see the first tulip leaves emerging this weekend. Proof that squirrels had not found all my underground treasures. Spring bulbs are evidence of nature’s patient resilience. Full of life they lie dormant, much like the Little Brown Bat in hibernation.

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Eastern Chipmunk copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Mid-morning a thin, winter weary chipmunk also emerged and sat on the stone ledge, surveying the garden taking a few moments to groom its fur. Unlike the tulips and bats the Eastern Chipmunk wakens periodically during its hibernation to eat some of its stockpile food (they are unable to store body fat).

Organic wrap…

It’s chilly for the first time this month in Chicago, slowing down the emergence of spring blooms. This white tulip appears to be cloaked in a green blanket curled to protect it from the wind and cold. It is more patient than I. This is day three since it began showing its color and I find myself checking to see if it has opened each time the sun peeks through the clouds. So far it has remained sheltered, so I suppose that nature knows best.

One anxious tulip partially opened several days earlier, this red and white bloom, stimulating my appetite to see more.  In a previous post I shared that tulips are not usually a part of my garden because they are too quickly dug up as a feast by the squirrels. This past fall I planted eight tulip bulbs in my garden and have been pleasantly surprised they had not been raided. I suppose I treasure them more than other plants at this moment because I know they are rare in my garden. Interesting how rarity increases value. I am thankful for their ability to survive and will try to patiently await their full debut.