magnolia.jpg Once again I was able to jet off to more exotic surroundings when I took a weekend trip to Nashville a week ago. On the drive from the airport to my friends’ house, I was immediately struck by how GREEN it is there. Colorado has been unseasonably warm the past six weeks, but things are still very brown. The only green we have by this time of year is the dark green of the conifers (oh, and the lighter green of the yuccas). Along the highway from the airport, Eastern redbud trees were plentiful and in full bloom. Just beautiful – like a dark pink sponge painting.

My great friend Maureen took me to Cheekwood Gardens, a fabulous public garden with lots of magnolias in bloom (in addition to bulbs, early wildflowers, hellebores, etc).

And everywhere we went in Tennessee, daffodils were just blooming wild all over the place! Looking great! With no one deadheading them!!

And on the birding front, I was thrilled to wake up to the sounds of cardinals every morning. I just love cardinals (see my earlier post for more on that). And we spent some time in a cabin in a somewhat remote area where I’d heard pileated woodpeckers could be seen. But we didn’t see any (I’m pretty sure I heard one). My friends also wanted me to see wild turkeys and made sure to drive by the field where they always see them on our way back home. No turkeys. Then once we arrived back into town, a wild turkey ran right across the road in front of us! And then…wait for it…a pileated woodpecker flew in and landed on a tree in someone’s front yard! I got a great view (thanks to Maureen’s husband Bill for doing a u-ey in the car and taking us back..he’s the one who saw it first). I had no time for a photo, but it was a great sighting.

Now I’m back in brown Colorado. We finally got some snow yesterday…not much, but we definitely had blizzard conditions! (More on that later.)

Here are some more pix from the trip: some naturalized daffodils (they really were everywhere like this), a cute little Spring Beauty wildflower, and, of course, my favorite exotic bird, a cardinal!

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