Today I had a wee bit of Naturing during my volunteer day.
My California Flannelbush shrub/tree is hanging in there. New leaves still going strong. The little baby lupines I carefully weeded around are still doing well! And, I now know for certain that the large, sprawling tree the California Scrub-Jays are often on is a California Buckeye, thanks to all its new leaf clusters!
It was obvious the sun’s position was different from my last visit. The whole north side was in afternoon sun. Nutso! My impression of the place is primarily in shade. Spring is going to feel so strange here!
After getting my assignment (the last spot I worked on two weeks ago), I took a look around to see how things were holding up. The first thing that caught my eye was a Yellow-faced Bumblebee that was cruising over all the foliage, surveying the offerings. Following it led me to spotting a Cabbage White butterfly flitting over all the Garden Nasturtium at the top. First time seeing a butterfly here, yay!
As for my weed work last time, not too shabby! Yes, many Dotted Knotweed had re-appeared, but it was in SUCH a better state this time. And, no returns of the nightshade or nasturtium or hemlock that I had previously pulled.
After pulling weeds for a while, I uncovered a group of tiny mushrooms I’ve never seen before. They might not welcome being exposed, but what can you do. NO IDEA what they are. Stalked Hairy Fairy Cup? I am not making that up. I’ll trust Alan on iNat to sort it out.
Near the end of my time, Natalie (the volunteer lead/program manager) came over to gift me a pair of socks as a token of appreciation for volunteering. Aw! I never expected to receive anything, though I would’ve happily taken a free t-shirt or something. It’s nice to get a little something when you volunteer. So, this was super cool. Talking about how nice it was to volunteer with her and another much longer tenured volunteer (who also received socks), Natalie said, “It’s like I get to garden with friends.” And, yeah. It’s starting to feel like that. With my Food Bank deliveries, it’s like I get to deliver to my neighbors. And, so it must be for regular volunteer gigs. It’s a good feeling. I wish I could volunteer fulltime.
At the end of the day, I got to take a look around and observe. Those roses nearby, remnants from the original Victorian-era gardens, are getting ready to burst. Arroyo Lupine has opened up in one spot. Some Scarlet Pimpernel is posing prettily against the rock wall. A potato bug of sorts (well, that’s what we called them when I was a kid) was suspended and likely no longer alive along a rock wall crevice. And, California Bee Plant was in bloom.
The whole place is prepping for SPRING. I am led to believe the place will be quite a sight to see when true Spring is here. I’m tempted to invite interested folks for a tour. Lemme know if you’re interested. I’d be happy to show the place off.