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.

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 …

Old Mill Bridge

… to flowering plants in the forest 2 weeks later …

Scarborough Bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario

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

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.


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.


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.

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.


  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):


  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.


      • 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… ; )


  3. 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!


  4. 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?


    • 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!


      • 😦 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.


  7. 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

      • 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

  8. 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

    • 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

  9. 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

    • 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

    • 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

  10. 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!😗


    • 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

    • 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

    • 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 🙂


      • 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):


  11. 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!


  12. 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 😉


    • 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

  13. 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!)


    • I’m embarrassed to say that although I’ve lived in Scarborough for over 20 years, I had never been to the Bluffs until a couple of years ago. Now I’m irresistibly attracted to them 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  14. 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

    • 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? 😉


  15. 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

    • 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

  16. 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

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