Monday, February 15, 2016

Garden Bloom Day February 2016

Today is February 15 which means it is the monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  On the 15th of each month garden bloggers from all around the world post links to photos of what is blooming in their garden on May Dreams Gardens.  According to the USDA, my garden is in zone 6a, but my area is notorious for micro-climates ranging from zone 3 to 6a.  As I look out my door with camera in hand, it doesn't look like there is much to photograph.  I see slushy melting snow covering the ground and leafless deciduous trees.

My garden on February 15, 2016

As I learned last month, a closer inspection often reveals much more than what I see from a distance.

Alder tree trunks covered with lichens
The tree trunks in my garden are covered in numerous species of lichens.

Lichen on maple tree trunks
The maple trees had patches of crustose lichens that resembled splotches of gray paint.

Foliose lichens
 Branches of evergreens were covered in a variety of foliose lichen species.

cup-shaped lichen

Some with little cups.

Colorful lichen
And others with interesting colors and shapes.

Fructicose and foliose lichens
Some branches had both fructicose (in chartreuse) and foliose types.

Usnea lichen species
There were also numerous clumps of what is probably some species of usnea lichen that looks like hair.

Fungus growing on a stump

This beautiful fungus also caught my eye.  They look a bit like sea scallop shells.

Alder catkins
I also returned to the alder catkins I photographed last month to see how they had progressed.

Witch hazel blossom
Last, but not least, I found one of the small witch hazels I purchased at the end of the summer, is starting to bloom.  Hooray, my first flower of 2016!  Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to see the other gardens this month.


  1. Wonderful photos, all! It does look like the alder catkins have teeny tiny blossoms on them. I look forward to seeing more of the witch hazel as it unfolds. I hope you are able to give us a shot or two. I could almost smell the snow and cold and hear the drip, drip of thawing under the ice somewhere.

    1. You described it perfectly and much more poetically than I did!

  2. You scooped me! My next post will be "It's a Rotten World" on fungi.
    Check out my post from several weeks ago called "Liken' A Lichen."
    I cut up a fruticose lichen and put the pieces under the microscope.

    1. I don't have a microscope, so I'm looking forward to seeing that.

  3. Your winters are a bit like our late summers: you have to look a bit harder to find flowers for Bloom Day! The lichen and fungal spores are fascinating.

  4. I'm just learning about how to identify lichens and fungus, but they are so beautiful and interesting.

  5. I'm just learning about how to identify lichens and fungus, but they are so beautiful and interesting.