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signs of Spring

Hi all,

Had some time to really look around at what is going on in the area today,
and there are definite signs that winter is loosing its grip.

The Winter Jasmine is in full flower, but I'm not sure that counts, since
some years it starts blooming in December (this year it was mid January).
Same for Pansies, which are planted here for winter color (though they sort
of shut down till it warms up again if we have some nights in the teens).
On the more "real" side, I'm seeing things blooming such as Crocus (the
tiny early ones are done), Daffodils (the early little ones such as N.
pseudonarcissus, and some bigger Trumpet sorts in protected spots),
Hyacinth (just a few so far), Forsythia (just started), Witch Hazel (at the
late end of full bloom), Star Magnolia (found a white one with its last two
flowers open today, some others have none open yet), Flowering Quince,
Apricots (the first few flowers), assorted wind-pollen trees such as
Maples, Ash, Elms, various assorted Conifers (making everyone sneeze),
there are the weedy Mustards (one has leaves that taste exactly like "Gray
Poupon" - hate that taste), and - can't forget this one - Iris reticulata.

Since I have very few of the above in my yard, it is still pretty wintery
looking out there, but I do have green leaves on most of the Iris (even the
ones that go brown in winter are growing well now), and Crocus and Iris
reticulata are in flower.

Haven't looked yet, but there's one early sort of small cactus with flowers
that smell of Coconut, which might be blooming by now - Echinomastus
intertextus - a sort of a prickly wildflower in my yard.  This sort of
cactus are so small, with basically white flowers (about an inch across),
that you have to go out and hunt for them.  Some years I smell them before
I see them.

It's been a wet winter this year, which is pretty weird for central NM.
It'll be interesting to see how it affects plants, both in the garden and
in the wild, come spring.

Dave F.
central NM, Zone 6b - 8a (depending on the specific location I'm talking
about - I range over about 50 miles daily).

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