This year, spring came like a dainty fairy from a children’s storybook. In my own story, I am like a plodding Mrs. McGregor raking leaves and twigs, pruning, tidying beds, cleaning bird houses, filling the birdbath and feeders. Meanwhile, the tiny sprite stirs wrens to sing, tufted titmice to flutter in the bath. bluebirds to dash about the yard and golden finch to chatter in excitement at the feeder.
There is soft warming air to breathe and I take joy in finding tiny gifts of spring: violets, mosses, greening grass and the ever lovely daffodils.
Yesterday was lovely. The ground is still frozen under the inch or so of muddiness, so I needed to walk slowly while I tidied up on my walk. All the better to see.
Then last night, March began tossing every branch of tree and bush; shaking off winter, stirring buds, and no doubt howling “Spring!”, into the very roots.
I feel it too and rush about dusting and clearing away, yearning to throw open the doors. Soon.
Two pots; the first to show green will be opening in the next day or so. This one had another stalk which will open in a few days. An abundance of richness was forming slowly, so slowly this year.
I don’t know if you love houseplants; I’m really not the best caretaker, but on long wintery days I love sitting in the dining room with living green while the earth outside still hides its treasure.
While the temperatures outside have been moderating, the snow and ice accumulation this winter was such that the reservoir has been frozen over. I could not resist the drive early last week.
I’m sure we all hope that winter is truly over and the first day of spring will bring in a long and lovely new season. These last days we have had rain and fog and now wind howls about drying the surface of things. Tomorrow, the ground should be firm enough that I can look for the Lenten roses. I optimistically freed them from their thick overcoat of oak leaves the beginning of February at the suggestion of the garden columnist. I have hoped that the blanket of snow has kept them safe. Are you hunting for signs of spring too?
This is my friend Rhoda, the rhododendron. Rhoda lives outside my bedroom window and is the perfect weather reporter. When a look up at the sky tells me little, Rhoda can be depended upon to report rain, sleet, snow and especially frigid conditions.
The day this photo was taken it was not too cold as the leaves are open to catch the snow. Today they are open and drip with icicles so although it is below freezing, it is not much below. As the temperatures drop farther and farther, the leaves will curl back, sides to middle, till they look like tight little green cigars and the whole plant structure is visible.
Rhoda has been known to give hospitality to nesting birds. The Mockingbird is especially fond of this location. And of course she blooms beautifully each spring. Here she is in the top left corner.
Spring! Coming soon!
My computer is currently being held hostage for ransom but I am working to be able to upload new photos through hubby’s which will include Rhoda’s weather transformations.
“Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.”
Colossians 4:2 Mess.
We were blessed to visit in Williamsburg again. One of my favorite places is the Botanical Garden there. Like most everywhere else, it was and had been very cold. The afternoon that we visited was brilliant. Bird chatter from high above or feeders or deep within shrubbery was constant and timid squirrels clung high.
I was surprised to find that there had been late Iris bloom, sadly hit by the bitterness. But new buds seemed untouched. There were, in fact, many brilliant things to see in this small place.
Beautybush, Winterberry, Wax Myrtle (?); Roses, gorgeous leaves, Flowering cabbage; Iris, Tansy, Bald cypress
I really missed the names of many of these as the colonies are large. But the first is Hops and directly below is Queen Anne’s lace. In the center, trailing pinkish petals, Echinacea and next to it, Northern sea oats. I could hardly take it all in, the variety of subtle was intriguing as I walked round and through the many pathways. Then all to soon, it was time to leave.
I wish everyone a joyous Thanksgiving! May your tables be full of the bounty of family, friends and provisions. Look well, stay alert!
I found these lovely words by Will Carleton, American poet:
Sweet and smiling are thy ways, Beauteous, golden, Autumn days!
Bright jewel colors still linger.
There are mysteries this year of purple leaves and fallen oak leaves, blooms with berries and brilliance in tree tops.
Sunsets glorious with clouds end days.
I was given a pot of lovely calla lilies in the spring. When they finished blooming, I moved the foliage to a large pot outdoors and then remembered rhizomes I had saved from last year so I added them to the pot. It was rather late for them but they sent up leaves and two blooms. Usually, I am attentive to remove the faded blooms but these were forgotten, the pot drying and the older foliage withering away.
It was a sad sight and I decided to move the pot away from our sitting area when a flash of color caught my eye. It is these tiny sightings that lead to amazing discoveries.
Seeds! Seeds forming in the faded bloom! I had no idea of this. I am learning about these seed kernels and waiting for them to ripen, turning yellow or orange. Each kernel will have 2-5 seeds. This one cone could yield 50 seeds!
I’m so glad now that I “neglected” these plants so that their amazing fruitfulness can be displayed.