Changing Seasons: April Whirlwind

I am managing to sneak in my post on the Changing Seasons just before the end of the month.

April has been a crazy, whirlwind of a month – the weather has been typically inconsistent, I foolishly entered the A to Z Challenge again, and I’ve been hopping all month trying to get the house prepped for guests in May for 3 weeks … and planning a family reunion.

I did manage however to take a few photos of this month’s chaos.

It started with snow at the beginning of the month.

I don’t know who ordered it or why, but they should be punished.  No joke – we had more snow by mid-month April than we had during any month this past winter.  Mother Nature has been terribly confused.

snow

April 3rd – view from my back deck

Helen and I still managed to get out walking on some of the trails around Toronto.  From the snowy trail along the Humber River one week …

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Old Mill Bridge

… to flowering plants in the forest 2 weeks later …

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Scarborough Bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario

However, it’s still April and mostly things are still looking rather barren in this part of the world.

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Scarborough Bluffs near the Guild

This is also the time of year when my workload around the house seems to increase exponentially.  Now it’s not just the inside of the house that needs regular cleaning, but the outside demands attention too.

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I’ve been slowly getting the garden beds cleaned up and the outdoor *art* in place.

There shouldn’t be anything spectacular about tulips starting to bloom in April … except theoretically I don’t have any tulips.

tulips

In the 20+ years we’ve lived in this house, we’ve re-landscaped the yard several times. Each time the tulips have been pulled out.  Every April they come back like clockwork. Why is it that the things I WANT to grow can’t take a lesson or two from these tenacious tulips?!  Peonies? … are you listening?!!

… and speaking of coming back like clockwork … yes, every April we have ducks.

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I know.  I know.  The pool needs major repairs. 

These beauties are not wooden decoys (although they would be lovely!).  This pooped pair decided to siesta poolside while I laboured with unruly clematis plants and maple seedlings popping up everywhere.  They blissfully ignored me.

Yes – April has been a whirlwind of activity, but May doesn’t promise to be any calmer.

Changing Seasons is a monthly photo feature hosted by Cardinal Guzman.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Nature, Outdoor Stuff, Photo Challenges, photography, Random Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to Changing Seasons: April Whirlwind

  1. Oh lord! Please tell me your coping already looked like that in the fall and it wasn’t done by this miserable excuse for a Winter that just passed… Suddenly starting to panic (we haven’t pulled the cover off of ours yet):

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  2. Living in New England now, our weather’s not that different from yours. We had snow in early April also. Now our tulips are blooming away (but we WANT the tulips – why don’t you??) and we’ve just planted a peony, hoping this gruesome cold dreary 2-week-long weather we’ve had won’t discourage them from rooting and staying. Happy May! Enjoy your guests.

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    • joannesisco says:

      The jury is still out on my peony. There is clearly something wrong with this location. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
      Best wishes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Joanne wait, you might not need to move it; it may just be that the soil is too high on your peony’s roots… Just like Iris’, they’re incredibly particular about being buried too deep and will simply refuse to bloom until they get what they want… ; )

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  3. Alex Hurst says:

    April seems to have been crazy for everyone…. but I’d definitely take the snow over the fires going on right now in Alberta. 😦 I hope you have fun with your houseguests!

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  4. badfish says:

    Joanne…yeah…that’s life. Ups and downs. Tulips…gotta love tenacity like that. Do you pull up the bulbs, too? The ducks know what’s what. I love the Buddha on the log!! Is it solid or hollow inside?

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    • joannesisco says:

      The Buddha I dropped and broke last year was hollow … hope it isn’t very bad luck to break a Buddha!
      This one in comparison is quite heavy so I expect it is at least less hollow (if that makes sense)

      I THINK we’ve managed to pull out the tulip bulbs each time, but obviously something is getting left behind. The last few years we’ve stopped trying. They’ve earned the right to be left alone 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Lovely images! I wish I had that kind of luck with Tulips. I planted some many years ago and each year the flower was smaller and smaller. I finally dug them out and haven’t planted bulbs since. I’d love Peonies!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I love peonies too, but they clearly don’t love where I’ve planted them. Since it was the best peony location in my yard, I may simply have to admit defeat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😦 I’ve never tried to grow them. I tried a few Dahlia’s last year, and they did alright, but didn’t survive the new wall/planter box construction. I’ll never know if they would have bloomed this year or not. I’ll have to do some research to see when and where to plant them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ducks, tulips and even some Russia Blue Bells. Not that bad! Luckily you don’t have any squills! 🙂
    For many years I’ve been thinking about planting tulips in the backyard, but since I only live in a rented apartment the money has ended up in the food budget instead.

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  7. LB says:

    Good luck with the house guests, Joanne, and I’ll hope for lovely, spring weather.

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  8. reocochran says:

    I have made it through my catching up with Joanne whirlwind myself! 😀 I enjoyed your alphabet series and the way you showed your yard, pool and the view from the deck in the winter time. I like your special Far Eastern art and it is lovely indeed. NO big deal about tulips, maybe those wild blue/violet flowers are enough to share and brighten those who are seeking flowers, J. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you 🙂 Such a lovely comment on a wet and dreary day like today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • reocochran says:

        Today, I am amazed a week flew by since this comment, Joanne. I hope you are having a wonderful Mother’s Day. Mine started on Friday and ended by 2:00 today. Maybe I looked like I needed a nap?! 🙂 I managed to get a photo opportunity with my daughter’s two sons at the President Warren Harding memorial which will go on a post sometime soon! Also, we went to see the Captain America movie and ate dinner out at Red Lobster. I liked the pool with ducks for guests and wondered if there were any baby ducklings? 🙂
        By the time I got to today, I had gathered a pot of flowers from my DIL, lunch and a box of chocolates from my youngest daughter. Now, I must be leaving the library where I search so much better than on my cell phone for people I like and wish to send regards to. Happy rest of your Mother’s Day and hope yours keeps on going. Moms deserve being celebrated every day, as well as parents who are still around. My Mom received a nice Welcome sign and some flowers but my big visit with her will be first Memorial Day weekend, then all week of July Fourth. Hugs, Robin

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The weather at 42°S has also been crazy, warm and mild instead of getting colder. Today has been a big change though so perhaps winter is on the way and I hope that means that your spring and summer are going to do their brilliant best. I know what you mean, Joanne, about the things you want to grow being reluctant and things that we’d rather not have being robust!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      I’ve got my fingers crossed that I won’t have to be digging out more dead shrubs this year like last year! I hope they start showing some signs of life soon.

      … and I hope your temperatures start dropping a little 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: April 2016 – Cardinal Guzman

  11. DailyMusings says:

    crazy weather but lovely photos! Tulips are so hardy. Those ducks do look like statues 🙂

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  12. joey says:

    That IS strange and funny about your tulips. Here, I’m always adding them. This spring was less than my favorite. I don’t think we had a hard enough winter for some bulbs. Also, the squirrels get at my bulbs. But I keep planting!
    Peonies are very particular about location. Order a particular variety from a place that has specific guidelines about how to get them established. My experience has been that it’s all about the beginning. For me, it’s always been where the grass grows the thickest and lushest; that’s where mine thrive. Moist, but well-drained soil, a bit loose. But I don’t know about there…
    Excellent photos! I love the ducks. It was a strange duck day, according to my blog reading and having witnessed a duck sitting atop of a business door today. (We were on the interstate so I didn’t take a photo.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for the info on the peonies. I spent quite a while researching what I could have done wrong. So far the most likely culprit is the soil.

      Ducks are such silly birds – or maybe it’s just the pair that show up in our yard every spring 😉
      Seeing a duck on top of a door would be very odd!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Heyjude says:

    Oh, but tulips are the most delightful spring bulbs – how can you not welcome their tenacity? If you don’t want them send them to me… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      Tulips are always a welcome sight in the spring 🙂
      I just wish they would grow where I plant them instead of insisting on their own location! I must admit though, I get a smile out them every year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Lynn says:

    You are such a rebel Joanne, stopping your alphabet at “w”!😂 April has been the strangest month, it’s spring, no it’s winter, no it’s spring! No wonder the ducks think your poo, is a pond! They are just as confused as we are!😗

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    • joannesisco says:

      hahaha! I have my own version of the alphabet … better to quit while I’m ahead 🙂
      I have to remain optimistic that warmer days are ahead … although today’s rain isn’t inspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Kathe W. says:

    love those duckies! Have a great sunny day!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love the Old Mill Bridge. Your photos give a great impression of where you live. Thanks!

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  17. Chez Shea says:

    Wow, what crazy weather and what beautiful ducks! So lovely that they come back year after year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      This crazy weather is unfortunately rather typical of April … it doesn’t mean we don’t like to complain about it though 😉

      The ducks are one of those silly little things that make us smile. We think of it as our own personal sign of spring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. jan says:

    We can’t grow tulips here in Cali – not cold enough!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I only just recently learned that tulips need the cold dormant stage and cool soil.
      I guess California makes up for it with lots of different vegetation we can only dream about here 🙂

      Like

      • Hi ladies! Did you know that parts of Ontario are farther south than parts of Northern California? Point Pelee in Essex County has (remnants of): Carolinian forest and is the jumping of point for many migratory species – famous for its Spring & Fall bird and Monarch Butterfly counts (not sure if the butterfly count still happens, was cancelled due to lack of numbers in 2013):

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  19. Corina says:

    It has definitely been a strange April. Here in Portland, we had several days in the 80’s which we never see. Usually we have to wait til July for 80 degrees! Supposedly May 1 and 2 will be in the 80s as well!

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  20. Dan Antion says:

    Beautiful photos!

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  21. Barbed Words says:

    Great pics! I’m very jealous – I want ducks in my garden too. May have to blow up a paddling pool in the hopes of attracting some 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. bikerchick57 says:

    That’s funny about the tulips, although I have a friend who tends to have new flowers every year that she never planted…brought in by seed-eating birds, she thinks.

    It’s not been the best April around here. Same as yours, I suspect…not enough bike riding weather 😉

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    • joannesisco says:

      I had really hoped to be riding today – but it’s pouring rain 😦
      I guess I’ll be spinning indoors instead.

      I think the only thing birds are dropping in my yard are seeds from weeds :/

      Liked by 1 person

  23. But isn’t it glorious to have spring coming at last! Thor two ducks must have been very exhausted to let you work nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Your gardening efforts sound just like mine….I’m afraid it’s all down to luck around here and this year, we were also surprised to see tulips pop up where once there were none? How strange. (Must also mention that Marissa was not the only one who noticed the mystery of the missing letters……but I enjoy that you never had a plan to do them in the first place! LOL. Always leave them wanting more, Joanne!)

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  25. ms6282 says:

    It’s been pretty wild over here this week. Winter has returned with a vengeance – snow, sleet and hail – mid week just ready for the Bank Holiday weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  26. mickscogs says:

    Thanks for that pic of the Scarborough hills overlooking Lake Ontario. I had no idea what this landscape would look like. Now I have a bit of an idea.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Sue Slaght says:

    Wishing you calmer days ahead Joanne. I love those ducks. We so appreciate you fitting us in while in the midst of that wild schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I think tulips are hard to grow, Joanne. You must have a green thumb. 🙂 I like your duck visitors though I imagine they make a mess. May is almost over – wishing you no more snow in Toronto!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. RuthsArc says:

    Thanks for sharing your month, Joanne. UK has had late April snow too, I understand. How cute to have duck visitors to your pool. I’d just accept the tulips and plant more, they are one of my favourites, but good luck with your peonies:)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. So, did you finish your A to Z challenge? I don’t remember seeing X, Y or Z. Anyway, that’s pretty funny about the tulips. Maybe they’re ghost tulips. Bet you never thought of that, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      shhhh – you’re not supposed to notice that x, y, and z are missing. I actually never planned to do the last 3 letters. Thanks for showing up every day of this journey. I really appreciated it!! Blogging every day is brutal!

      We actually laugh now when the tulips pop up again. If they want to grow that badly, who are we to say no? 😉

      Like

  31. Oh my, that sounds crazy! Weird weather, long term guests, zombie tulips, and a family reunion. Yikes! Deep breaths.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Mama Cormier says:

    When we moved into our house 38 years ago we inherited a beautiful bed of tulips. They’ve come back every year. There are fewer of them but the ones that pop up are as just as beautiful. Over the years I’ve planted hundreds of bulbs but the squirrels keep digging them up and eating them. The only thing that grows, besides the original bed of tulips, are daffodils and even those don’t always produce flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      You hit it right on the head. I also have planted dozens and dozens of tulips in a different spot … and not one of them ever grew. The squirrels are voracious.
      … but this small handful of tulips just can’t be beaten down. We just smile now when they pop out again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Tippy Gnu says:

    Beautiful tulips. I sure wish we had “wild” tulips out here in this desert. As I recall from having once lived in upstate New York, the scenery changes very dramatically during the month of May in the hyperboreal latitudes where you reside.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Your schedule sounds as crazy as mine. Hang in there, I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I love, just love your garden art, that’s so up my alley.

    Liked by 2 people

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