Spring for an Easter Garden

Celebrate Easter. Celebrate spring. Sometimes it seems as if there’s a tension between the two. Some people think of cute little lambs and chicks, jelly beans and hollow chocolate rabbits. Others prefer to concentrate on the resurrection.

Spring and Easter do not need to compete for our attention. Budding plants, baby animals—they should all remind us of the new life possible because Jesus died and rose again. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the renewal of life and the resurrection of Jesus happened at the same time of year. (Of course, those living in the southern hemisphere miss out on this connection.)

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Nature’s Easter Eggs

eggsWith many of us dying Easter eggs this week, I got curious about eggs that are naturally colored. We’ve raised chickens (Ameraucanas) that laid turquoise-to-olive eggs; our current flock of Black Sex-links lay in shades of tan. In fact, I usually have to buy white eggs at the store in order to achieve those pastel Easter hues.

But what about other kinds of birds? For instance, why do American Robins lay blue eggs, Burrowing Owls lay white eggs, while the American Golden Plover lays eggs that look like ovoid granite rocks, with big, black speckles on a white background? How and why do eggs come in so many colors?

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Another Easter Flower

pulsatilla-vulgaris_1972Can you name a plant that has short stems and showy purple flowers at this time of year? Now add eye-catching seed heads, and the fact that it’s native to Colorado (and other cold-winter areas in both North America and Europe). This cultivated wildflower is Pasque Flower (or), named after its Easter time bloom.

Appearance
Besides the lilac wildflowers, other purple shades are available in cultivated strains, from a deep purple-red to, rarely, white. Gray-green leaves appear after the flower buds, and may be more or less finely divided. They’re covered with silvery fuzz, giving a soft appearance that makes you want to pet them.

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