Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons: March

Each month, those of us participating in this photo challenge return to our chosen location to note the passage of time through “The Changing Seasons.” I’ve chosen to document a year around my old house and gardens.

Extraterrestrial to human ambassador: Why does the human work so hard during the month of March?

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Pajama gardening is a benefit to life in the country.

Human Ambassador to ET: She is not working. She is gardening.

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ET: But it is not logical. She is removing everything she worked so hard to cultivate last year. It seems her life would be far easier were she simply not to plant so much in the first place.

HA: She is of the species Gardener. Often their activities are not fathomable even to the rest of us Humans.

ET: We overheard her use some interesting language while pruning the roses. Her back is stiff – even a human could observe that at a glance – and she has a hand full of splinters. Why then is there that air of peace and contentment about her?

HA: As I explained earlier, not all humans fall into the Gardener species and much of their motivation is unknowable, even to us. They are an odd lot but generally harmless, we find. In fact the birds, bees, and butterflies I mentioned to you earlier find them quite indispensable. And the rest of us benefit so from the beauty they create.

ET: Well, it is all most illogical, but let’s move on now to that other strange species, shall we? What do you call them? Bloggers?


Yes, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing all March long. Cleaning up the disaster area that was my once neatly cultivated garden. In addition to the regular garden clean-up, the big trees are dropping pine cones and gumballs by the bazillions. Well, I stopped counting at a bazillion….there very well might be more.

Of course none of this clean-up is as vexing as that required because of a true subspecies: those who throw trash out of their car windows. Luckily I see none of this from the house, but the roadside clean-up remains a fact of our lives year-round. If I were Queen, there would be a special dungeon into which I would throw these heathens. Depending on my mood, there might even be mild torture….

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While the woods are still free of ticks, poison ivy, and the dreaded snake, I like to venture in to free the saplings from the stranglehold of abundant and vigorous vines. I don’t remember the woods in Massachusetts being so full of vines. Is it a uniquely Southern thing?

Max is enjoying getting out and about, and he’s been developing friendlier relations with the mule-next-door, Prada. The horse, Zephyr, remains impervious to Max’s charms.

In March, as the weather slowly warms and the days grow a bit longer, the fields begin to return to green:

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Here and there, the first signs of life are stirring:

Oh! In case you were wondering why I attack the vines along the edges of the woods, check out this terrifying vine we encountered while walking along the James River. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

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That is NOT something I want to tackle next March, believe me.

Many thanks to Cardinal Guzman for hosting this challenge. I hope you enjoyed what the month of March brings to my old Barn.

Thanks for reading,

Barbara

About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
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120 Responses to Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons: March

  1. dorannrule says:

    A grand tour of a lingering winter month that holds the promise of life. I love the photo of Max visiting his towering pal Prada. What a cutie Max is!

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  2. John says:

    Love the photos! Not the work. 😉 Ahhh the smell of spring in the air, we don’t have that in Vegas.

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  3. Now on to April! Fun post.

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  4. Jodi says:

    You’ve been busy! And I know the fruits of your labor will be extraordinary! Like YOU! 💚

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  5. What plant/tree do those little “gumballs” come from? I have one but don’t remember where I picked it up.

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    • It’s called a sweet gum tree, Barb. Actually I like the little gumballs. I’ve gathered bunches and placed in a little silver bowl in the house. But believe me, I could start a cottage industry with the amount I have were I to come up with something clever in which to use them!

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      • Outlier Babe says:

        That wonderful tree is the first thing I planted in our front yard here in Los Angeles because it is the only tree that shows true fall colors here–gorgeous ones–and then drops its leaves. My boys got to see Autumn leaves each year, and, when small enough, leap into a pile of them. (I’d drive them to a park in Long Beach with several sweetgums so that they could delight in a huge leaf pile.)

        I like the balls, too, but will say that stepping on a Lego in bare feet doesn’t hold a candle to stepping on a sweetgum ball on hard L.A. St. Augustine grass. Ouch!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I want you to know that as I was falling asleep last night, I thought of you and made a mental note to track you down to see how you are. And where you are. And here you are! I just saw a meme (or cartoon….what the heck is a meme anyway?) about spitefully wishing somebody to step on a Lego and I thought YIKES. And then I read this. The sweetgum balls are nothing, Babe, compared to the outer shell of the Chinese chestnuts. Vicious little things. Nice to see you!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        First, thank you, Barbara, for wondering at my absence. All is well. I have been a teensy ill, a teensy down, a teensy busy, a teensy low-energy, and all the teensies added up to no extra time or energy for reading or writing blog posts. On my fourth course of antibiotics now, and noticing a refreshed sense of purpose, so it is possible more was physical than I credited.

        Just googled Chinese chestnuts, and have seen them. I am guessing you must mean dried? For, because they have more spikes more closely spaced, they look like they’d hurt less. Nonetheless, I bow to your superior painful podiatric experience!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That is some awesome and terrifying vine!! As for the gardening, i may as well be the extraterrestrial, i think my thumb is black!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 04 | Cardinal Guzman

  8. Hehe, Pajama gardening sounds good to me! Are the snakes poisonous?
    The dog and I share the same name. 🙂

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    • Max! I’ll never forget your name now. Some of our snakes are poisonous, namely the copperhead which is quite abundant here. There is a large black snake which lives here and is a valuable creature to have around. It kills the rodents and evidently also keeps the copperheads to a minimum or so I am told. It is not poisonous but would bite you if you provoked it. The copperhead bite won’t kill you but it hurts like hell, my neighbor informs me, and can leave a nasty welt. She described it as feeling like a really bad hornet sting.

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      • Sounds painful. We have only one poisonous snake in Norway and it mainly keeps to itself in the forest. I’ve seen many, but never been bitten by any.
        This is the one we have: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipera_berus

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      • That’s the thing, isn’t it? Snakes so rarely will attack you unless provoked. The trouble is they are so good at camouflage that you can be on top of one before you know it. That’s why I wish mine would wear little bells so I could hear them tinkling their way along the garden path. I actually put my hand around one once. I had gone into a bag of potting soil to get a handful of dirt and I felt something slither through my hand. It seems a snake, a black one, had made the bag of potting soil a home. So I’ve learned now to be on high alert and watch out for where they might live. I don’t want to kill them just because they scare me. Seems wrong, doesn’t it? And I am so surprised to read about this adder of yours, Max. I somehow imagined Norway too cold to have snakes. Interesting link, thank you.

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  9. Teach those vines a lesson they won’t forget.

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  10. bkpyett says:

    Delightful post and photos of your burgeoning spring, Barbara. ❤

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  11. Sandra says:

    Beautiful photos, loved the crocus. That horse must have a heart of ice to resist Max’s attentions though.
    Do you get Japanese Knotweed over there?

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    • You won’t be surprised that I am much fonder of the mule than the horse for that very reason, Sandra. I googled the Japanese Knotweed. Wow, it seems like it would rival kudzu for an invasive species. I don’t think we have it here but not really sure. Kudzu, meanwhile, is slowly enveloping the deep South.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ritaroberts says:

    Gorgeous photo’s Barbara ! Its hard work is gardening but we reap the reward when spring arrives, and your garden is telling you that it has appreciated all the TLC you have given it when the trees sprout their buds, and the flower show off their lovely colours for you to be proud of.
    Great post as always.

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  13. A.PROMPTreply says:

    I love that photo of the daffodils and the house behind……wonderful perspective and balance there! Also, quite an innovative approach, this interview with an ET!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. joannesisco says:

    Spring has arrived to your corner of the world! It looks like you are at least a month ahead of us. I am so looking forward to the first flowers of spring … but I’ve never seen anything quite so fearsome as that vine!! Do they end up strangling the tree?
    Looking at all the work you tortured Gardener species have to endure, I’m suddenly grateful that I have just a tiny patch of land. During the months May to September, that tiny patch feels like more than I can handle 😉
    The photo of the daffodils with the house on top of the hill is unique perspective. It gives the house a regal look 🙂
    Happy gardening!

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    • Some trees don’t survive the stranglehold of the vine and others do. I guess it’s nature at work with the whole “survival of the fittest” concept. I could just leave mine alone – they seemed to do fine for the ninety years I wasn’t here – but I can’t stand watching them take over. And tulips are blooming today, Joanne. Yippee!!!!

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  15. Pat S. says:

    Gardening is your Om.

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  16. Barbara Stevens says:

    Just in from a lovely half hour of pajama gardening myself. Our next door neighbors are away for spring break and I took advantage with a stroll through the herb patch, coffee and secateurs in hand. Looking forward to seeing more photos of the fruits of your labors in your fabulous garden Barbara…Oh and Max, more pictures of Max please.

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    • Hello, darling BS2. YES! Pajamas, coffee, and secateurs in hand is exactly the vision of morning splendor that my cows behold! They don’t seem to mind at all. Max? Did you hear this? You have quite the fan base, you little monster.

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  17. You remind me I want to get rid of the poison ivy in the back 40. I didn’t find it until I was harvesting blackberries…We’re not where you are yet. Just barely opening tulip trees, maple buds falling, redbuds unopened, tulips closed…
    Gorgeous pictures!
    I love gardening. I think many people overlook the joy of toiling in the soil. It’s so good for humans.

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    • Gardening is my refuge. I would be much more of a lunatic than I already am without it. How do you eradicate the poison ivy? Have you had luck with the sprays? The first year I lived here, I just got covered with the rash which truly was one of the more miserable experiences of my life. My husband, who doesn’t get the rash, dug it out of all the areas around the house but it’s still abundant in our woods. Awful stuff.

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      • I am extremely allergic, meaning last time I had poison ivy, I ended up in the hospital. I removed it once with the dreaded Round-Up (at our old house.)
        My husband cut the leaves off and then I attacked the stems with a paintbrush of the vile chemicals and it withered to bits seemingly overnight, as when I pulled it up, the roots slipped right out of the pavers. That is my plan for the back 40 as well. Last summer, he had to hold back the plant while I picked the berries. It sorta snuck up on me. It wasn’t there and wasn’t there, and then by golly, it was! Fels-Naptha soap works wonders for the rash, and infected clothes, if you’re a normal person and not me. lol

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      • Oh no, Joey. I didn’t end up in the hospital although I would have liked to have been sedated until the itching abated. Last time I got it, the rash was all over the undersides of my arms and neck with a big patch on my face. I had been snuggling my Westie-boy, Berkley, who had evidently rambled through some. AGONY!!! Be careful. Never mind careful, get a Haz-Mat suit from Home Depot.

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      • Oh yes, animals carry poison ivy very well :/ I will be careful, I promise 🙂

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  18. Heyjude says:

    Love this! Especially the conversation between ET and HA – so very true. One thing about NOT having a garden is that there is very little for me to tidy up in March, but I still suffer with the stiff back 😦 Leaves swept up, dead twigs pruned, weeds pulled, slug bait scattered. Let the flowers commence…and at least we don’t have your problems (poison ivy? snakes? strangling vines?) Just an annoying blackbird who tosses soil all over the patio looking for worms in the containers!
    But, yes, spring is for getting ones hands dirty – though I notice you wear gloves 😉

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    • Oh yes, gloves. Every time I forget to wear them, I end up with some hideous splinter or other wound. It’s a jungle out there, Jude!! The poison ivy and vines are consigned to the woods, thankfully, but the snakes feel the garden is their domain too. The black snake is allowed to live, but the copperheads are dispatched immediately. It’s not that often we see them actually; last summer I did not see one at all, so don’t imagine we’re in some sort of reptilian nightmare here. Now watch, I’ll go outside and get attacked by something COL!!!!

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      • Heyjude says:

        I hope not! I have tried wearing gloves whilst gardening, but find they just get in the way (unless pulling out stinging nettles) so I always end up with muck under my damaged nails for days after!!

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  19. OhMyGosh, so funny… pajama gardening… dying! I jumped on the mower yesterday in CH’s boxers and it was two in the afternoon! CH was on the lawn tractor in respectable outside work-wear picking up piles of Oak debris and trash. Roadside clean-up is a PIA and I agree with you.. to the dungeon for those heathens! Torture included especially when it is a box of kittens.. yes, it has happened. At least you are picking up Chick-fil-A, our trash is almost all beer cans and single serve pizza boxes. That vine truly has a life of its own and it is skeery yet beautiful and magical in its twistiness.

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    • Bahahaha, Pix, so you understand me perfectly! Oh yes, this was the G-rated photo of roadside trash. Big ol’ nasty cans of malt liquor and other gross stuff are regularly hurled out onto the road. It’s terrifying to contemplate that these good ol’ boys are driving. Honestly, there is a need for my dungeon. I don’t even want to know about the box of kittens except I hope that YOU found them and they are all okay now. Another wing needs to be added to the dungeon for those people and it will involve thumbscrews. I agree, Pix, that the vine is spectacular, but I prefer specimens of that size remain down by the James. Can’t you just picture Tarzan swinging by on one of those things?

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      • CH found the kittens five years ago, their story was on my old Blogger blog. We cleaned them up, fed them, and took them to the shelter. They all were adopted quickly after they had put on some weight. They were snowshoe kittens and they were darling. I will never understand… they aren’t the only kittens and adult cats dumped here. Yes I have visions of Tarzan swinging from vine to vine!

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      • We get the abandoned hound dogs after hunting season. Makes me so MAD. You know the expression “that dog don’t hunt?” Yeah, well, if it doesn’t, they just take the poor thing’s collar off and abandon it.

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  20. Almost Iowa says:

    My wife is deathly afraid of snakes. Even the sight of one on TV will send her fleeing from the room, which makes it hard because she loves to garden and the sight of a snake in the garden will keep her out of it all year. So guess who tends the garden? [grumble]

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    • I used to be like that too, Greg, just a mess at the sight of one. But I’ve learned to peacefully co-exist with the black snakes while dispatching the copperheads when necessary. It was either that or give up my gardening and that was not going to happen. Is it veggies or flowers or both you grow?

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  21. shoreacres says:

    I do miss the more obvious transition from winter to spring that your area has, but our profusion of wildflowers makes up for it all. Our spring has been lovely, but we hit 86 yesterday, and everyone’s hoping that’s a fluke. We need a little more coolth before summer arrives, full force.

    Gardeners amaze me. I might be tempted in that direction myself, but apartment dwelling doesn’t allow for much beyond the potted plants. I do have forty pounds of organic potting soil in the trunk of my car. As soon as I get up the oomph to get it up the stairs, the gardening will commence. The good news? No snakes on my balcony!

    I like your photo of the vine. Do you happen to know what it is? We have some beauties, ourselves. I’m pretty sure this one is rattan: a different species than the furniture-making rattan, but still quite interesting.

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    • Hi Linda, yes, I’ve been told by more than one person that the vine is a wild grape. I’ve not verified that though. Suzi, earlier in the comments to this post, called it grape too, so let’s go with that for now. And WOWZERS! That is some gorgeous vine you’ve linked us to – actually rather similar in scale to mine.
      When we were last in Germany and Switzerland I was so impressed with the glorious balcony gardens there. You could really tell who the apartment-dwelling gardeners were with their absolutely spectacular window boxes just overflowing with blooms. I saw lemon trees and herbs and just about everything in between. Oh Yes! Cherry tomatoes, I remember just growing like mad. Most impressive what an inspired gardener and a balcony can do together. Do let us know what you create on your balcony once those forty pounds of magic are hauled upstairs.

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      • Time was, I also wandered the banks of the James in Richmond and cut wild grape vines in the woods to make wreathes. Those are definitely grape vines, Barbara, and they certainly are beautiful. Great photos! ‘Sculptural’ is such a nice way to describe them 😉 See how they aren’t choking the trees? Much more nicely behaved than either poison ivy or honeysuckle. Virginia’s woods are just full of all sorts of vines. Our hot and humid summers make all of that rampant growth possible, and our birds help plant them in the first place 😉 Best wishes-

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      • Yes! I do see how much more nicely behaved they are. The honeysuckles just dig in so tightly I am amazed any tree survives their chokehold. The other day a friend of ours who regularly walks the trails down in Pony Pasture posted a photo of this very vine. I think it might be in a lot of Facebook and IG feeds, as impressive as it is.

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      • Wow! The vine is famous. Will it soon have its own Facebook page? I noticed similiar vines hanging from the trees along the Colonial Parkway today between W’burg and Y’Town. The woods are just full of them. All part of the amazing ecosystem here- thank goodness they are symbiotic rather than parasitic! (Don’t you love walking sticks made from branches once wrapped with honeysuckle? They leave such beautiful texture- though not good for the tree…)

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  22. Parnassus says:

    Hello Barbara, Even for non-gardeners with a yard, it is amazing how much work and how much debris the spring clean-up entails. All those leaves and dead branches. My favorite tool was a plastic-tined rake meant for shag carpeting and left over from the 1960’s. The lightness, maneuverability, and the way it grabbed onto leaves and twigs couldn’t be beat. The only problem was that the tines were losing about a millimeter a year!

    Actually, spring yard work comes at the right psychological moment–you are so happy to be outdoors again that you don’t mind all the drudge work.
    –Jim

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    • Hi Jim. I’ve been out all morning in the garden and have filled three wheelbarrow-loads full of leaves and debris. I’m intrigued at the idea of this rake but there are several types available on-line and I’m not sure which would be best. Would you take a peek in Google images and let me know which one you’d recommend? I’d really appreciate it. Thank you!

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  23. In perhaps a month, Minnesota will look more like your yard. Oh, the flowers, the green grass…, but those vines are, indeed, frightening in their choking hold.

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    • No vines in Minnesota, right? I don’t remember them but it’s possible my teenaged self wasn’t as observant in matters botanical back then! Thanks, Audrey, and hang in there….one more month!

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  24. suzicate says:

    Those are some monster vines! Loved swinging on those wild “grape vines” (don’t know what they were but that’s what we called them) as a kid…still can’t help myself these days as I will often climb up on them to see if they can hold my weight now, ha!

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    • Yes, I was told these are wild grape vines. Maybe I should go check in high summer and see what the vine looks like then to be sure. And I bet that vine could more than support you, Suzi. It’s really rather beautiful in its sculptural quality, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. What a fun post! I would have given ET exactly the same answers as you. I say that sitting here with a stiff back from yesterday’s gardening. 🙂

    That vine is very scary looking, but scarier still is to read that you have snakes in your woods. I loathe snakes. I saw a garter snake on my walk yesterday and almost had a heart attack.

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    • I know, Kristie, I so know. I guess I’m a bit over it only because I have no choice. When I say “over it,” I still leap back with a small scream and an elevated heart rate, believe me. But I don’t automatically call for the heavy artillery anymore. If it’s a harmless black snake I let it go about its business. This has taken several years to reach this sort of amicable coexistence. I so understand the fear!

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  26. Carrie Rubin says:

    Beautiful photos. I love the idea of an extraterrestrial trying to figure out gardening. Or anything else for that matter. I wonder what they’d think of us standing in line for an expensive cup of coffee (though I’m not a coffee drinker, I have stood in line for tea when necessary…) or engrossed in our phones as we’re crossing the street, boarding trains, etc. They’d probably say, “Snap out of it!”

    I share your anger about littering. How difficult is it to throw something in the trash? If there’s no trash can around, wait until there is. Takes so little effort.

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    • I’ve actually felt guilty hurling an apple core out of the window….I waited until nobody was around to do it, for crying out loud. My favorite extraterrestrial cartoon showed an alien spaceship landing on a smoldering Earth. One alien was holding up a newspaper to another. Its headline was announcing the hire of a new ball player and his salary. The caption read something like “Wow! Look how much they paid a football player. Imagine what the teachers and police officers must have made!”

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I loved the photograph of the house up on the heights and the daffodils in the foreground.
    Here it’s clearing up all the dead leaves and the prunings which The Men insist will rot down and I think like hell, not in a month of Sundays…..
    We have terciopelo here (fer de lance) which are irritable beasts and will attack so it’s wellies at all times, heavy gloves and a handy machete in case of a brief encounter.

    Gardeners are a special breed, aren’t they (we)!

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    • Oh, yours are a nasty looking snake, Helen (I’ve just been googling!) Yes, I would be wearing my Wellies, if not hip boots, were I ever to encounter a viper like that. I had a black snake who took up residence in the potting shed which I discovered after barging in and seeing it on the floor in a state of shock (it, not me.) So we agreed that I would knock before entering to give it a chance to go wherever it goes and that seemed to work. We’ll see what sort of detente I need to arrange this season….

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      • We don’t tend to have them near the house…the chickens decimate any young ones, but they are rife near the new house so we are putting chickens up there ahead of us to start the clear up work.

        Yes, I can imagine that the snake was wondering what had become of manners these days….people barging into its potting shed without a by your leave….a wonder it wasn’t fanning itself!

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      • I’ve just learned something new. I didn’t know chickens ate young snakes. You see you are once again expanding my vast base of knowledge which might get me a dollar or two on Jeopardy! I’ll share the pot although at what ratio, I’m not yet decided.

        Liked by 2 people

  28. Sue Mayo says:

    Everything is looking good. Hard work pays off.

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  29. nrhatch says:

    Nature is nurturing and, like those tremendous vines, gardening gains a foot-hold in our psyche. Especially in spring!

    Love the shots of Max with his new friend and the budding flowers. Enjoy your spring clean up.

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    • It’s been so interesting to observe how this mule and Max are warming up to each other. I love that dynamic between animals; they’ve overcome their fear and are now curious about one another. We tell Max “no barks!” and he listens, thankfully. I’m enjoying watching the two of them so much! Thanks, Nancy, you’re so right about the nurturing quality of gardening.

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  30. I have always admired the tenacity of gardeners. I can manage to grow vegetables, but never had the knack for flowers…wish that I did. The results are so lovely. The vine pictures are amazing !

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  31. Behind the Story says:

    I loved our tour through your yard and woods. I’ve often thought that I’m lucky to live in more than one place at a time because of my familiarity with my daughters’ homes, neighborhoods and cities. Through the Monthly Photo Challenge, I’m beginning to get acquainted with your lovely surroundings and enjoying it immensely. I like the wheelbarrow full of dried up leaves and sticks–such a picture of cleaning up and getting ready. The cones in the grass is such a lovely, textural picture. And I love the perspective of the daffodils with the house seen through the woods with the blue sky behind.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. KerryCan says:

    You’re working hard, kiddo! And, yet, I envy you–we’re not quite there yet and still are waiting for the snowbanks to melt. By the time I’m cleaning up winter debris, you’ll have glory! Your photos capture the joy, and the agony, of spring!

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  33. Yesterday we celebrated the changing of the seasons in urban Honolulu. We went outside, sat and watched the mango tree. A mango fell. Welcome, Spring! That was it.

    PS: loved the post!

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Kate (@thefigintherose) says:

    Stunning Barbara! And as a member of the sub-species Gardener, I can appreciate it totally! However, in my climate, I don’t have to contend with so much winter after-math… but then, I don’t get the joys of your springtime, either. Temperate climates are a blessing and a curse. Oh to be able to grow peonies!!!!! We spend March getting the garden winter-ready – finally being able to get back into it after the summer heat (or summer wet, this year!!) do a final prune and tidy, weed and last plantings, then sit back and enjoy a few months of things staying where they are supposed to, without exploding growth all round! Enjoy the glories of your spring!! Kate

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    • I am fascinated by this topsy-turvy world of gardening we share. I saw another Aussie’s post on fall vines in bright blazing red for Easter and it really drove home how differently we garden. I was a bit lazy last fall and didn’t do much garden clean-up for which I am paying a big price this year. They say to leave seed heads alone through the winter to feed the birds, etc. but I took it to extremes, I guess. When my peonies bloom, I will tag you in an IG post so you can properly salivate!

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  35. Wonderful to see flowers in your garden, Barbara. Everything certainly looks beautiful! Human Ambassador has a fond place in my heart already. Such wisdom 😉 It is good to get outside and get moving again, isn’t it? The spring chores feel endless, probably because I keep thinking up more to do in addition to what is obvious and necessary. It does feel easier to clean up in spring than in fall, though, as everything is somewhat decayed and weakened from winter. And, I’m much more motivated to clear away the old 😉 Pajama gardening is a definite benefit of country life. Snazzy coordination there with the new gloves 😉 ❤

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    • Ha! What you don’t see are the ever-so-chic bright yellow garden shoes emblazoned with chickens. I didn’t want to send readers into a frenzy of jealousy so kept them out of the shot. You’re right, of course, about the clean-up in spring being easier plus we’ve let the birds peck away at the seed heads all winter long. Today we dove into the compost! My best batch ever, E., best ever! So excited.

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      • I would be in envy over your chicken emblazoned garden shoes! You should see the amazing socks my BH just bought for me at Brent and Becky’s in Gloucester. Oh, Barbara- tree frogs, bees, dragonflies, ducks- you name it! Did you find the email I sent to you yesterday? Glad you have wonderful compost. What more can a gardener ask for than abundant rain and beautiful compost to start the new gardening year? Hugs, WG

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  36. Eliza Waters says:

    Delightful post, Barbara. Love the pajama gardening! 🙂 Gardeners are a wonderfully eccentric breed, aren’t we? What are those monster vines? We have grape vines that can get that big and those nasty Asian bittersweet can take over, too. But don’t get me started on that!
    Great to see March in your garden – it’s shaping up beautifully!

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    • Our friend, WG, confirmed they are wild grape vines, Incredible aren’t they? I used to love bittersweet up in Massachusetts for arrangments and wreaths but it was never near enough to my gardens to be a problem. I only learned recently that it is so invasive to you all. I guess it’s your version of kudzu. Things are really taking off now which I guess is going to happen for you in a week or two. Has a spring ever been more yearned for?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I was just thinking how it’s been like I’ve been holding my breath, waiting for spring to show up. That’s why my post title was ‘At Last’ – I could finally expel breath!
        Yes, bittersweet is almost as bad as kudzu, only it doesn’t grow as fast, thankfully. Unlike grape, which is pretty easy to control, bittersweet strangles and eventually pulls down its host, which makes it unwelcome here!

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  37. Haha! Well, yes…we are such strange species, aren’t we?! Gardeners and bloggers alike! I’m all about your pajama gardening, I often do it, too! And the hot mess that is the garden each Spring?! It never ceases to amaze me how the changing of seasons can wreak havoc on such a lovely space! All our work, time and energy is undone…creating the space for us to begin again. Such raw beauty, such hope. Happy Spring!!!

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    • Aha! You would not even have to self-identify as a gardener and I would know you were from this comment. I’ve spent a good part of this morning in the garden and have the fingernails to prove it. Happy spring to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Pingback: SPRING PERSPECTIVES | A.PROMPTreply

  39. Looking at the vine reminds me of the trees that grabbed Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion on their journey to Oz. Very scary to encounter such crazy vines. I was shaking my head at the photos of the pine cones and those balls. Oh, I just hate those things. We have quite a few very large, old pine trees on our property and I’ve spent the better part of spring gathering them up. I supposed it all amounts to good exercise. Who needs a gym membership, any way? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  40. We are getting hammered with rain and thunderstorm. But I go outside every chance I get and I check out if my plants come back. Can’t wait to see more green popping in the flowerbeds. Did leave cleaning before the flood gates got opened :-). Great post as always and beautiful pictures.

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  41. M-R says:

    Ah, your wonderful place, bB !! – life is most definitely springing anew there ! 🙂
    Do you have any idea what those vines ARE ? – why aren’t your local authorities keeping them down ? They’re really alarming, I agree !

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  42. Angie Mc says:

    Barbara, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Notice how I slipped right past all the hard work and focused on the gorgeous?! Perhaps that, in part, explains why I can barely keep a houseplant alive. Living in the desert gives me a great excuse to not have a garden. I find happiness living vicariously through you 😀

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  43. Yes, gardeners are generally harmless. Thanks for the lovely tour.

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  44. WOW! What gorgeous surroundings! 😀

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  45. Oh my godfathers, that vine! It is tremendously beautiful!

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  46. Lola Jane says:

    Great post and photos! On your “If I were Queen, there would be a special dungeon into which I would throw these heathens. Depending on my mood, there might even be mild torture….” I don’t normally like to think I would throw someone in a dungeon, but I do get SO irritated with thrash throwers too, I would have to permit the mild torture too! 🙂

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    • Hi Lola Jane, Yes it’s a good thing I have not been granted Queen status because I do think I would have a dungeon. It would contain the strangest offenders though….people who are mean to dogs, or who text when driving, that sort of thing. No life sentences though, just mild “rehab.” LOL!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lola Jane says:

        Perhaps a special Queen Status to oversee sentencing these strange offenders. The rehab would include having to pick up, sort and recycle all the roadside trash others throw, and work at a seaside wildlife center to save creatures that have ingested plastics and other trash that makes its way to the ocean. And as far as people mean to dogs…I can’t even fathom why, but the special torture area would be warranted for sure.

        By the way, Zephyr the horse must have very strong will power to resist the charm of Max :)…

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      • I am now, on the rare occasion that I actually buy a six pack of anything, cutting those plastic rings apart before disposing. I saw a photo of a turtle in the grip of one of those rings and I swear the image was so upsetting, I can’t get it out of my mind. You’re right about that. My brother-in-law is an avid bird photographer and consequently spends a lot of time down at a damn. He has made it his mission to pick up as much of the fishing line as possible when he’s there. It’s remarkable how sportsmen/fishermen can be so careless with their environment. And, yes, Zephyr is operating under the delusion that she is higher up on the food chain than Max. Can you imagine? LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  47. I’m not fond of endless photo challenges (or any challenges) but I do find myself looking forward to seeing what diferent views of your beautiful garden appear each month. Not forgetting Max and Prada 🙂

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    • Just back from a walk around the field to see Prada. Max is now insisting on participating in the nightly carrot-feeding routine. Get this, Kate, Prada is now leaning over the fence all the way down to Max who licks her muzzle. This has been going on for a few nights now. It’s really quite endearing.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. markbialczak says:

    Now I know what snaking vines look like, Barbara. Good word! The Max and Prada relationship is pretty darn precious. 🙂

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  49. Love your flowers, Barbara. Max and Prada do seem to be getting along fine. That aloof Zephr may eventually join in. 😉

    Are those strangler vines? I’ve heard of them and know that they are deadly to the trees they take over.

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