Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 2017 - April on Cape Cod is all about the flora and fauna.

Gone are the big stacks of firewood and salt containers on the porch.  The glider pillows have reappeared, and little seed packets are getting tucked into peat pots, hoping for a few good seedlings to go into the garden by May 1st.  The grape jelly and oranges are out for the orioles to rediscover, and the hummingbird feeder just got its first syrupy infusion.  Each day there are new bird reports of who spotted the first of a species.  And, even if you have no use for a herring, it suddenly has become very important to know if they are running, yet.   With some milder April temperatures, the perennial gardens seem to be in a race to see which plant will bloom first, and bare tree branches are suddenly bursting with buds, which please the birds, as they offer better camouflage from the hungry Cooper's hawk.  This is Phase Two kicking in of life beyond winter, but only after the brave crocuses and snowdrops first tested the waters.  Now each day through Fall will bring new discoveries of long ago plantings, revisiting as old friends.  

It gets very quiet when the Cooper's hawk visits.
One of the perks of the fallow winter garden is that it gives gardeners a chance to reflect on the successes and failures of their efforts.  And, with the quiet winter season of a resort town, there is plenty of time sitting by the cozy fireplace to come up with new, grandiose plans of what will make it "the perfect garden" next year.  In the dead of winter, achy bones don't factor into these plans at all.  One can still visualize the finished project and not worry about how it actually gets that way.  The changes are just beginning, and  are resulting in the removal of one of the three raised beds to reposition the greenhouse so it will receive better sun.  As it turns out, this wasn't a difficult decision as I really hadn't counted on it filling up with roots from the big trees nearby.  Live and learn, AND relocate a lot of dirt, with a lot of help from friends.  

Once this is accomplished, the next phase, when time allows, will be to increase the garden fence height by a few feet of lattice to make it more of a "secret garden" for the innkeepers, family and friends.  The lattice will, of course, allow for peeks of color and activity, but with more of an illusion of privacy.  And, for good measure, the old wooden gate from the now defunct garden on the shady side of the house will be refitted to make a real entrance.  It's so nice to have a carpenter in the house.  While politics rage across the country about "sanctuary cities", we are designing our own little sanctuary in the truest sense.     

For some, Easter is a religious holiday, for others, it's all about finding hidden candied eggs, but for us, it turned into a perfect day to spend some pre-High Season relaxing time at the beach.  As a kid, growing up two hours from the ocean, I always thought if I ever lived closer, I'd certainly be walking the beaches every day.  I guess I hadn't counted on all that darned grownup stuff getting in the way, but we're vowing to do better this year. 

First Encounter Beach on Cape Cod Bay - our favorite.  

And, the fauna report wouldn't be complete without an update on whales.  A researcher at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life reported seeing 112 in one day.  Scientists estimate that there are only 524 North Atlantic right whales left, so this sighting represented about a fifth of the world’s population.  
Enjoy this aerial view:   Return of the right whales

Next month...LOBSTAHS, or "lobsters" as the rest of you pronounce them.

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