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Presidential Requirements

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Please, please, please ... can we have some fresh meat in 2016? 

041314 Presidential Requirements

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Shaler's Schwartz runs the two fastest times in WPIAL history

Written by Mike White on .

It's only the second week of April. It makes you wonder what Brianna Schwartz will be running a month from now at the WPIAL track championships.

Brianna SchwartzSchwartz is a junior at Shaler Area High School who already had established herself as one of the best distance runners in WPIAL history. She had yet to run in a big invitational this spring, until last night at the Butler Invitational. All she did was run the fastest times in WPIAL history in two events.

Schwartz ran the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 10.15 seconds. It bettered the mark of 2:10.31, set by North Allegheny's Kelly Langhans in 2007. 

Schwartz also ran the 1,600 in 4:45.43. She already had owned the best 1,600 time in WPIAL history of 4:47.07. She ran that mark in last year's WPIAL championships, bettering the long-standing WPIAL best of 4:51.07, set by Carole Zajac in 1990.

Schwartz had already run the second-best 800 time in WPIAL history last year with a time of 2:10.38.

Schwartz's 800 time at the Butler Invitational is the eighth-best in the country this season. Her 1,600 time would be the second-best in the country, but she already ran a 4:42.58 in the indoor season, which is the second-best in the country this year (indoor or outdoors).

Schwartz has already won WPIAL championships in track and cross country. Last year, she also became the first sophomore to win a PIAA title in the Class AAA 1,600.

Her next big meet will be the Baldwin Invitational the first Friday in May.

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Flyers at Penguins - 04-12-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

-On account of a faulty alarm clock, our pregame comments will be brief today.

-The Penguins will not dress Chris Kunitz or Brooks Orpik today. It sounds like the Penguins are giving them some rest. Both players could benefit from a game off before the playoffs.

-Some pregame sights. The barn:

-The ice:

-Jean Pronovost:

-This Warren Young jersey has clearly seen better days:

-Alex Goligoski:

-Colby Armstrong:

-Martin Straka:

-Evgeni Malkin Team Russia:

-Tom Barrasso:

-Matthew Barnaby:

-Fans entering the barn:

-There are a few Flyers fans on hand. Claude Giroux:

-Chris Pronger and Daniel Briere:

-Eric Lindros:

-T-shirt of the Day:

-A few former Penguins/Flyers. Kevin Stevens:

-John LeClair:

-Paul Coffey:

-Jersey of the Day: Rick Tocchet:

-Warmups:

During warmups, the Penguins' lines and defensive pairings were:

Lee Stempniak - Sidney Crosby - Beau Bennett
Brian Gibbons - Jussi Jokinen - 18 James Neal
Brian Gibbons - Brandon Sutter - Tanner Glass
Taylor Pyatt - Craig Adams - Harry Zolnierczyk

Note: It looks like Pyatt is a scratch. Engelland is in.

Robert Bortuzzo - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Rob Scuderi
Matt Niskanen - Olli Maatta

-The Penguins' startes are Tanner Glass, Jayson Megna, Brandon Sutter, Kris Letang, Rob Scuderi and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Simon Despres, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik and Taylor Pyatt.

-The Flyers' starters are Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek, Braydon Coburn, Andrew MacDonald and Steve Mason.

-Their scratches are Steve Downie, Nicklas Grossman, Zac Rinaldo and Kimmo Timonen.

-Jeff Jimerson does his job:

FIRST PERIOD

19:01: Bortuzzo chops a slapper from the right point. Matt Read blocks it.

18:00: Jussi Jokinen. Twenty-goal scorer. Neal chucks up the left wing with the puck. As Gibbons drives to the net with Luke Schenn in tow, Neal deals a pass to the high slot. Jokinen has some space and lifts a wrister by the glove hand of Mason. What a simple but effective play. Neal and Gibbons get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.

16:40: Beau Bennett swipes a wrister from the right half wall. Mason fights it off. MacDonald plays the rebound behind the cage and is thumped to the ice by Bennett for his troubles.

15:56: Read drives a one-timer from above the left circle wide on the near side.

14:02: A backhander in tight by Adam Hall is steered away by Fleury.

12:43: Sutter races the puck up the right wand snaps off a wrister low. Mason kicks it out.

11:16: Gibbons gives Jay Rosehill a solid bump into the boards between the penalty boxes.

10:20: Sutter is on the ice with Adams and Zolnierczyk.

9:10: McGinn chips a puck in from the left point of the Penguins' zone and is dumped hard by Niskanen into the boards.

8:41: Engelland is back on with Adams and Zolnierczyk.

7:45: Hall controls a puck in the right wing corner and tries to center it. Bortuzzo lays won his his big frame to break up the pass.

7:15: Niskanen swipes a one-timer from the right point. Mason kicks it out.

6:30: Letang is skating with Niskanen.

5:44: Martin thumps Wayne Simmonds into the right half wall of the Penguins' zone.

5:01: Off a rush by Voracek up the right wing, the Flyer move the puck around the attacking zone with precision passing. That results in Mark Streit rips a wrister from the right circle off the near post.

3:17: Neal loses his cool. Battling for a puck off a neutral zone faceoff, he slashes Read. That's two minutes. Sutter, Adams, Martin and Bortuzzo take the ice.

2:51: The Flyers cash in immediately. Taking a pass on the right wing, he dances by a weak poke check attempt by Adams and a kneeling Martin to rip a wrister behind Fleury. Death, taxes and Jakub Voracek scoring a power play goal against the Penguins. Giroux and Streit each get assists. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.

2:07: MacDonald chops a slapper form the right point which is blocked.

1:38: A slapper by Niskanen is blocked by Voracek.

0:42: A wrister by Megna is rejected by Mason.

0:30: Off a faceoff in the Flyers' right wing corner, Sean Couturier appears to trip up Sutter. No call.

0:00: End of period. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That was a difficult period to get a hold on as neither team has it's full lineup. Both squards are missing some regulars for the sake of rest.

-Crosby doesn't appear to be having a sharp day. He's made a few curious decisions with the puck.

-We can't say he's made a significant impact in this this game thus far, but Engelland seems like a much better option on the fourth line than Pyatt.

-So far so good for Kris Letang. He seems comfortable with Rob Scuderi.

-The Penguins have a 7-6 lead in shots on net.

-The Flyers have a 14-12 lead in attempted shots.

-Hall leads the game with two shots.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-MacDonald leads the game with 8:06 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 7:11.

-The Flyers have a 12-20 lead in faceoffs (60 percent).

-Couturier is 5 for 7 (71 percent).

-Adams is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-No one had more than one blocked shot.

SECOND PERIOD

19:32: The Penguins will get an early power play on fresh ice as Streit held up Jokinen battling for a puck. That's two minutes for interference. Jokinen, Neal, Crosby, Niskanen and Martin take the ice.

18:10: Off some fancy passing down the slot, Crosby rips a wrister from the right circle which Mason kicks out.

17:36: HUGE save. Letang chucks a wrister from the right point. It sneaks through traffic and is fought off by Mason. Bennett tries to jam in the rebound with a backhander from the left of the crease. Mason stretches out to hold it out with his right skate. Wow.

17:32: The Streit minor is killed. The Penguins had two really nice chances but little else with that power play.

16:41: McGinn chops a slapper from the right point wide to the far side.

14:27: Another power play for the Penguins. The Flyers are called for delay of game after Mason froze a puck behind the net. Officials wanted him to move the puck but he refused. Hartnell will serve the minor. Crosby, Neal Jokinen, Martin and Niskanen take the ice.

14:01: The hole gets deeper for the Flyers as Hall is called for hooking Jokinen the left circle.The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for 1:34. Crosby, Neal, Kunitz, Niskanen and Martin take the ice.

13:50: Off a cross-crease pass by Jokinen, Neal snap off a wrister from below the right circle. Mason fights it off by reaching back with his stick. Another big save.

12:40: Neal loads up and cranks a big one-timer from the right circle and falls down. Mason denies.

12:29: Off a cross-ice pass by Crosby, Jokinen lifts a wrister from the left circle off the side of the net.

12:01: Play returns to even-strength. The Penguins missed a big opportunity there.

11:30: Bennett tried to jam in a backhanded wraparound from the right side of the cage.

9:15: Crosby is skating with Megna and Sutter.

8:23: Neal and Jokinen each have chance in right but can't beat Mason.

7:56: A wrister by Hal Gill in the slot is blocked.

5:33: The Flyers take a lead on only their seventh shot of the game. Gill move a puck from the right point to Giroux on the right half wall. Giroux whacks a knuckles through traffic. It hits off a skate or stick and trickles behind Fleury. There was a great screen by Hartnell but Fleury needs to make that save. Voracek is given credit for the goal. Hartnell and Giroux get assists. Flyers 2-1.

4:48: Brayden tees up a slapper form the right point. Fleury fights it off. Martin clears the rebound.

3:33: Crosby races up the right wing with the puck and lifts a wrister on net. Mason fights it up but allows an iffy rebound. As he reacts to the puck, Megna drives to the net and shoves MacDonald into Mason. mason is shaken up and play is halted. Megna gets a minor for goaltender interference. Mason takes several moments to gather himself but remains in the game. Glass, Letang, Adams and Scuderi take the ice.

3:20: A one-timer by Giroux from the right half wall is blocked.

3:16: Voracek chops a one-timer from the slot. Fleury fights it off.

1:56: After Stempniak forces a turnover, Niskanen chucks a puck down ice to kill some time.

1:33: Megna's minor is killed. The Flyers did little with that chance outside of an opening spurt.

0:58: Crosby gives a power bomb to Gill in the Penguins' right circle.

0:41: The Penguins will get a late power play as Raffl is called for hooking Neal. Neal, Crosby, Jokinen, Niskanen and Martin take the ice.

0:31: A one-timer by Martin from center point is wide of the cage.

0:04: Short-handed, Read chops a one0timer from the right circle wide of the cage.

0:00: End of period. Flyers 2, Penguins 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Special teams have been the big story of this game thus far. The Penguins' special teams are failing them. They've allowed on power play goal and have been blanked on all of their power plays to this point.

-Steve Mason has had a tremendous game. He stole a few goals in the second period.

-The Penguins have done a pretty good job in terms of puck possession. They have limited the Flyers chances with the puck. The only thing is the Flyers have been able to cash in their limited chances.

-The Penguins have a 22-10 lead in shots on net.

-The Penguins have a 39-27 lead in attempted shots.

-Crosby and Neal each lead the game with four shots.

-Voracek leads the Flyers with three shots.

-Coburn leads the game with 17:36 of ice time.

-Crosby leads the Penguins with 17:20.

-The Flyers have a 20-17 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).

-Couturier is 10 for 15 (67 percent).

-Crosby is 7 for 13 (54 percent).

-Corburn leads the game with four blocked shots.

-Scuderi and Adams each lead the Penguins with two blocked shots.

-Kunitz graces the cover of Icetime:

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Penguins will have 1:20 of power-play time on fresh ice. Crosby, Neal, Jokinen, Martin and Niskanen take the ice. Ray Emery is in net. Mason was shaken up after MacDonald and Megna ran him over.

18:40: The Raffl minor is killed. Nothing doing there for the Penguins.

17:49: Voracek rips a wrister from the right point. It gets deflected. Fleury smothers it to freeze play. Attednance is announced as 18,673. It is the team's 326th consecutive sellout and ties the mark for largest crowd at Consol Energy Center.

16:11:  Martin pushes a puck deep on the right wing and lifts a wrister which Emery fight soff.

16:01: A one-timer by Neal from the right half wall is eaten up by Emery.

15:43: Raffle aces a puck p the right wing and chips it down ice. Just as he releases the puck, Bortuzzo blasts him with a big shoulder check. Raffl's was "de-skated" on the hit. Oof.

15:12: Raffl gives Bortuzzo a sold hit from the side at the Flyer's right point.

14:48: Off a feed by Crosby, Letang jabs a wrister from the slot which is blocked.

14:00: Scuderi chops a slapper from the center point. Simmonds ties to goad Crosby into a penalty. Crosby just laushs ans skates away.

13:11: Sutter lifts a wrister from the right circle wide to the far side.

11:41: Two wrister by neal off the right wing are denied by Emery.

10:32: After Letang loses the puck int eh right circle after being tackled by Hartnell, Sutter jumps on the puck and lifts a wrister from the right circle. Emery stops it. Hartnell and Letang exchange punches. A few more bodies join the battle. Officials step in to break up the first notable skirmish of the day. Letang and Hartnel each get roughing minors. As officials sort everything out, Glass and Simmonds have a long chat at the benches. Neal Crosby, Niskanen and Maatta take the ice.

9:01: Scuderi chucks a wrister on net from the left point. Emery snags it. Glass and Simmonds keep chirping one another from the benches.

7:33: A "Phill-EEE XXXX's" chant starts up.

6:24: Megna mashes Gill into the boards at the Flyers' right point.

6:19: A wrister by McGinn is snagged by Fleury.

6:08: Crosby steals a puck from Coburn swats a wrister from the left half wall on net. Emery smothers it.

5:07: James Neal to the rescue. After Letang digs a  loose puck on the left half wall, Crosby picks it up and veers to the slot with but lies on a poke check by Coburn. he is still ab le to backhand a pass t Neal in the right circle. Neal is able to chucks it through Emery's gear and into the cage. That's a leaky goal. Crosby and Letang get assists. Letang has had a hand in two third period goals in his first two games back int he lineup. The "Hey Song" is played. Flyers 2, Penguins 2.

4:48: Simmonds pounds a slapper from the right half wall. Fleury eats it up.

4:15: A one-timer by Niskanen from the right poitn whistles wide to the far side.

3:55: "GO-HOME FLY-ERS!" chants begin.

1:46: Adams battles Gill for a puck in the neutral zone. Adams pokes the puck away as Gill lifts his stick to play it. His stick catches Adams in the face. Adams goes down. No call.

1:15: The Flyers regain the lead late. After a neutral zone turnover by Gibbons, Voracek deals a pass from the left half wall to the slot. Giroux is able to re-direct it behind Fleury to take a one-goal lead. Voracek and Hartnell get assists. Flyers 3-2.

0:36: The Penguins refuse to lose this game. With Fleury pulled for an extra attacker, Crosby deals a pass from behind the net to Niskanen at the left point. Niskanen chops  shot wide of the cage. Neal controls it behind the cage an shuffle to the crease off the right point. It bounces out where Letang is able to jab it behind Letang. Neal and Niskanen take the ice. The "Hey Song" is played. Flyers 3, Penguins 3.

0:05: Stempniak hustles up the left wing and rips a wrister which is blocked.

0:00: End of period. As the horn sounds, Glass and Voracek get mixed up. That quickly develops into a massive five-on-five brawl. in front of the Flyers' bench. Officials take several moments to break it up. Glass and Voracek each get roughing minors Flyers 3, Penguins 3.

THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Penguins have a 35-20 lead in shots on net.

OVERTIME

5:00: With Glass and Voracek serving minors, the period will begin with two minutes of three on three play.

4:31: Neal swerves around the left wing and chucks a wrister towards the crease. Emery smothers it.

3:28: Crosby tees up a slapper from the right circle wide on the near side.

2:50: The Flyers take the game. Streit skates into the offensive zone. From the right circle, he slides a pretty simple backhander into the crease. Fleury ends up re-directing the puck with his own stick through his own five hole and into the cage. Ouch. What an awful goal to allow. The Flyers will take it. MacDonald gets the only assist. End of game. Flyers 4, Penguins 3.

POSTGAME

-For as wild and wacky as of a typical Penguins-Flyers game this was, Flyers coach Craig Berube explained what the biggest difference in a simple, succinct manner. He simply said, "Won us the hockey game, our goalies." In contrast, the Penguins' goaltender lost them this game.

-Regardless of the circumstances, any goaltender on any team is going to be under the microscope. Marc-Andre Fleury play is always going to under scrutiny. But when he gives up leaky goals with the playoffs looming against the rival Flyers, he gives his critics every justification to question his place as the team's No. 1 goaltender.

-The overtime goal was a perfect example of it. In all fairness, it hit off the stick of Kris Letang then took an odd hop towards Fleury. That said, Fleury still knocked the puck into his own net with the game on the line. Yes, the game didn't mean anything to the Penguins with their seeding in the playoffs secure. But it was a bad moment for a goaltender who has arguably the most important postseason in his career about to begin. With Jeff Zatkoff expected to start tomorrow, Fleury will enter the postseason coming off a poor game against the nemesis Flyers.

-Fleury has been pretty sharp the past few weeks. Today, he was not.

-Were a few of the goals the Flyers scored a bit tricky? Sure. But Ray Emery came into the game facing a dangerous power play at the start of the third. Did he allow a few iffy goals, sure, but he came into a bad situation and emerged with a win.

-Berube had quite a few other things to say in his postgame scrum which were... interesting.

-After saying goaltender Steve Mason was removed from the game for precautionary reasons due to an "upper-body" injury he suffered when Jayson Megna shoved Andrew MacDonald into the him, Berube said, "Does it bother me? Yeah but what can I do about it. Yeah it bothers me. I don’t see our guys doing that.”

-After the game, Dan Bylsma made a comment about a confrontation between Kris Letang and Scott Hartnell. Bylsma said, "[Letang] kind of had the play there and the puck on his skate to try to score a goal. It fell off his stick and the whistle and everything ensued after that. Yeah it does, a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke."

-Berube as asked about Bylsma's comment and said, "Then he shouldn't play," Berube said. "He shouldn't be out there playing, bottom line. It's a stupid comment."

-A team spokesperson told the Canadian Press, that Bylsma's comment was made in jest.

-Imagine if these two teams were to meet in the postseason? As it is, the win will ensure the Flyers will face the Rangers in the first round while the Penguins will face either the Blue Jackets or Red Wings.

-Special teams once again let the Penguins down in this game. They went 0 for 4. Part of that was with a long two-man advantage for over a minute and a half. Additionally, they allowed the Flyers to score one power-play goal on two chances today. The Penguins just can't figure out the Flyers on special teams.

-The ending of this game was just bizarre. Which is to say it was typical Penguins-Flyers. There were three goals in the final six minutes of regulation and a fluky overtime goal. In between all of that, there was a near line brawl. Afterwards, the coaches were sniping at each other through the media.

-Letang continued to look solid but hardly perfect in his return. He had 23:42 of ice time on 28 shifts, four shots on net, a goal and an assist and one blocked shot.

-Furthermore, he continued to look fairly comfortable with Rob Scuderi as his defensive partner. Them finding some chemistry is highly important.

-The fourth line of Deryk Engelland, Craig Adams and Harry Zolnierczyk was ... meh. It didn't have a huge impact on the game but they looked more competent than other versions of this line this season.

-We feel Engelland has more to offer as a forward on that line than Taylor Pyatt if those are the choice. Presumably, Pyatt is in there to offer some physicality. He has failed to that for the most part in his time with the Penguin. While he's not as big as Pyatt, Engelland is a far more physical player. And he has seven goals, some of which came as a forward.

-The third line may have taken a step back with Megna instead of Gibbons. 

-Sidney Crosby did not have a particularly sharp day. His decisions with the puck seemed to be a bit off.

-The Penguins led in shots on net, 36-21.

-The Penguins led in attempted shots, 70-39.

-Neal led the game with nine shots.

-Jakub Voracek led the Flyers with seven shots.

-The Flyers led in faceoffs, 34-29 (54 percent).

-Claude Giroux was 14 for 24 (58 percent).

-Crosby was 14 for 23 (61 percent).

-Braydon Coburn led the game with four blocked shots.

-Scuderi and Jokinen each led the Penguins with two blocked shots.

-Jussi Jokinen reached the 20-goal mark for the second time in his career.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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About the Flyers - 04-12-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Flyers.

When and where: 3 p.m. EDT. Consol Energy Center.

TV: NBC.

Record: 41-30-9, 91 points. The Flyers are in third place in the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division.

Leading Scorer: Claude Giroux, 82 points (27 goals, 55 assists).

Last Game: 4-2 road loss to the Lightning, Thursday. Ray Emery made 26 saves for the Flyers.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-3 road win, March 16. Wayne Simmonds had two goals and an assist for the Flyers.

Flyers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Simmonds. He has six points in four games against the Penguins this season.

Ex-Penguins on the Flyers: Adam Hall, RW; Hal Gill, D; Joe Mullen, assistant coach; Kjell Samuelsson, player development.

Ex-Flyers on the Penguins: Harry Zolnierczyk, LW.

Useless Flyers Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Flyers right winger Matt Read (21 goals) has the fifth-most goals by an undrafted player in the NHL this season. Only Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz (35), Rangers right winger Martin St. Louis (30), Lightning center Tyler Johnson (24) and Capitals right winger Joel Ward (24) have more.

Best Flyers Video We Could Find: Former Flyers captain/center Dave Poulin scoring a nifty short-handed breakaway goal against the Flames in 1984-85:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (39-18-4, 2.35 GAA, .917 SV%) for the Penguins. Steve Mason (33-18-7, 2.51 GAA, .917 SV%) for the Flyers.

Injuries: For the Penguins, centers Marcel Goc (left foot/ankle), Evgeni Malkin (foot) and Joe Vitale ("upper body") are out. Right wingers Chris Conner (foot), Pascal Dupuis (knee) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Flyers, defenseman Chris Pronger (head) is on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not hold a morning skate today. Consider this a guess based on yesterday's practice:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 19 Beau Bennett
49 Brian Gibbons - 36 Jussi Jokinen - 18 James Neal
15 Tanner Glass - 16 Brandon Sutter - 22 Lee Stempniak
17 Taylor Pyatt - 27 Craig Adams - 59 Jayson Megna

44 Brook Orpik - 7 Paul Martin
2 Matt Niskanen - 3 Olli Maatta
58 Kris Letang - 4 Rob Scuderi

-The Flyers did not hold a morning skate or a practice yesterday. Their primary lines and defensive pairings against the Lightning Thursday were:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek
12 Michael Raffl - 10 Brayden Schenn - 17 Wayne Simmonds
24 Matt Read - 14 Sean Couturier - 9 Steve Downie
15 Tye McGinn - 40 Vincent Lecavalier - 18 Adam Hall

 44 Kimmo Timonen - 5 Braydon Coburn
47 Andrew MacDonald - 32 Mark Streit
26 Erik Gustafsson - 22 Luke Schenn

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Flyers, this happened:

-Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has appeared in 399 career games.

-Adams has 99 career assists.

-Flyers center Zac Rinaldo is suspended.

-Our live blog begins at approximately 2 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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My favorite daffodils

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog daffodils favs frontThese tough daffodils have returned year after year. Photo by Doug Oster

They aren't the prettiest daffodils in the garden, but they are the most dependable and one of the earliest and that's why they are my favorite (one of my favorites actually).

They were inherited when I moved in 15 years ago and are planted in the perfect spot, along a little strip of dirt between the front sidewalk and the house.

Most plants would hate it there, but these daffodils get sun and water in spring and not much of either in summer. Most spring bulbs need to dry out during their dormant period and that's why they love this spot.

It's a good lesson when looking ahead to fall for bulb planting season. This is the time we can see where these bulbs are happiest and plant them in similar places.

Since this patch is so close to the house, it's one of the earliest to bloom. What's amazing is the bud very early, but never freeze out regardless of the weather.

Daffodil season if definitely my favorite as it signals the end of any chance of winter returning. I can't wait for the late bloomers and doubles to unfurl their flowers.

 

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