This past week we have been totally focused on completing the rejuvenation of our two raised beds located just outside our picket fence. Jim pulled up the old rotted boards and we commenced to cultivating and weeding the beds before lining them out for new boards. Once the new pine boards were in place, we mixed in a bale of “enhanced” peat moss and a sprinkling of garden fertilizer. Let the planting commence!!
Last night, with temperatures dipping down into the low 30’s, we were forced to dig out some old plastic pots and provide a little frost protection! I’m happy to report that all plants weathered the chilly temperatures!
I also managed to pot up my clay plant containers and iron hanging baskets with an assortment of annuals. With a healthy dose of fertilizer and unusually warm temperatures, the flowers are growing nicely!!
In a few days, my peony will be blooming along side my clumps of iris, blue salvia, yarrow and baptisia. I can hardly wait!! In the meantime, the fothergilla continued with its showy display, my crabapple burst into flower and the blueberries brought forth their bell-shaped flowers in conjunction with the bright green witchhazel leaves expanding. I spent a considerable amount of time weeding, cultivating and fertilizing the blueberry bushes this past week and they look happy for the attention!!
Since arriving back in Vermont, I’ve witnessed the slow emergence of spring. My 4-mile loop walk along our neighborhood dirt roads has transformed into a bright, green jungle!!
We experienced a little oddity (to us) that occurred this past week. For several days in a row, we noticed a bat flying around the outside of house and outbuildings during mid-day. When we first moved to Vermont in the late 1990’s, we regularly watched bats emerging just after dusk – entertained by their erratic flapping wings and haphazard search for insects – their presence appreciated due to their unique role in our ecosystem. Did you know that one bat can eat thousands of mosquitoes in one night of feeding!? With the recent decline of bats in Vermont due to the White-nose Syndrome disease, we have not seen them in years. In fact, the Vermont F&WD explains that we have lost almost 90% of our bat population. So, we were so excited to see this bat! But, I was also a tad concerned that it was flying during the day.
I accessed the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website and conducted a search for “bats” to find any information I could about why this bat might be flying during the day. I noticed an online form to report “sick acting bats” – (the form noted that “flying during the day” could be a sign of a sick bat.) I filled out the form and sent it off into cyberspace. I received a reply with 2 hours from a state biologist! I was happy to learn that this bat is not necessarily sick. Often times with very hot weather, the roosting spot a bat has chosen the night before becomes too hot and they are forced to “move” to a cooler location during the day. Since this behavior coincided with our record high temperatures last week, it explains why this bat was behaving out of the ordinary. I love learning new tidbits of information like this!
Happy First of June!!