30 April 2011


things grow so quickly here once the ground and the air warm. here in the garden is new growth of peony, poking vivid-pink through the soil. yesterday, it was still submerged and nowhere in sight.

29 April 2011

early morn

early morning dew on the chives. i love the peace of this time of day, that i can be outside still in pajamas with coffee, especially on a glorious morning like this one. 

28 April 2011


a young mother has been missing in our state for a few days now. they found her toddler, alone but safe in a car but they could not locate the mother - until yesterday, when they found her, dead. i didn't know her. she didn't live here. i have no personal ties to this. yet this woman, her family, and her child have been on my mind and in my prayers for days. and now, with this outcome, i just feel so sad.

i know bloggers who curtail their normal daily commentary in light of world tragedy like hurricane katrina, the earthquake in haiti, the tsunami in japan, the ordeal of the chilean miners. i admire their stance. events like this shock and stun me, shake me to the core, and make me feel so despondent and helpless. yet i can find no suitable words to write to express the grief and heartache i feel for the people involved, especially the children. so i react to the horrific news by looking even harder for the beautiful or interesting things around me, to present in the blog as respite from the tragedy, if only for myself and not just for you, all the while keenly aware of how very blessed i am to have the life i have.

this post rolls around in my head every time there is sad news featured in the media. i hope if such news comes again, you'll look at my flowers and clouds and stars and understand how truly devastated i really feel. 

27 April 2011

this is it!

just four days ago on this very spot, i stood in two inches of snow, wearing boots that i had to retrieve from the back of the closet. and now here i stand, in bare toes and sandals, listening to the sounds of peepers and a hermit thrush. i've waited a long time for this moment!

24 April 2011

easter balloon 2011

it arrived later than other years, and via a florist this time, but my traditional easter balloon was again a focal point of the family celebration. many thanks to whoever does this for me year after year after year. 

23 April 2011

last call

sometimes, all you can do is laugh at the weather...
especially when you know its effects will be gone by morning.

21 April 2011


other than a christmas one, i've never had a cactus flower. until now! another surprise!

19 April 2011


don't you think every child should have an umbrella for spring rain? i bought this one for the little girl and had been waiting for the perfect time to bring it to her. sunday it rained, so that was the day. after a few minutes of practicing umbrella techniques and etiquette, the little girl walked alongside me regally, holding the umbrella close and peering out through the plastic bubble and up at the rain. she kept smiling up at me through the colored dots and i think i was every bit as excited as she was. as luck would have it, these past days have been showery with more to come in the remainder of the week. now that she's fashionably attired for it, i sure hope the little girl's having fun in this rainy weather!

17 April 2011

weekend flower sightings

a shopping trip today took me away from my neighborhood and out to lower, dryer elevations. my heart fairly sang when i saw these diminutive flowers outside a gift shop, not even crocus or daffodil, which i might have expected, but glory-of-the-snow and a sweet miniature iris.
and these amazing little hens and chickens have changed my mind about this common plant. i love the tiny pink stems on those baby plants and the two complimentary shades of spring green. i mean to find some i can call my own!

12 April 2011

april 12 of 12: surprise!

in my mind, april's 12 of 12 was going to be about spring delights - those things that you notice that make you really know that a new season of growth is here. but the day began with a non-spring surprise that was a shock nonetheless - and i guess that set the tone for the rest of april 12th. 

you know those unnamed soapy little plugs that gunk up the opening on liquid soap dispensers? i deal with one almost every morning and usually force it out with a few vigorous pumps. the "plugs" land anywhere and everywhere: i've found them on the wall, the door, the mirror. this morning's plug flies to some unknown spot that i don't find until i take a big gulp of coffee. still groggy, it is my first, and probably most startling, surprise of the day... 

as i walk to my car, i spot them beyond the driveway in the meadow - a clump of daffodils that i planted perhaps 20 years ago. these bulbs were one of my first plantings and i always forget that they're here, so far from all the gardens. so forgetful am i that every year, i'm surprised all over again when i first notice them. 

i round a curve on my way to work and gasp as i pass a field that i photographed a few weeks ago. today, after a day of heavy rain, it's flooded! it's so big an area, it could pass for a small lake!

before lunch i go outside, to the large area out back, where i've not been for almost two weeks. i'm surprised to see the snow is all gone, save for this small patch. snow was knee deep here just a month ago.

i walk the perimeter and am surprised to see this sight. it's a huge gaping hole at the base of a tree, big enough for a small person to climb into. how could i have not noticed this before? it makes me think this must be a new development in the life of this tree. but how did it happen? who did that?

on my way home, i pass the same flooded field and laugh out loud at what i see - two pair of canada geese, floating in the water. here's one pair, oblivious to the camera.

spring usually means high water around here, with rains and warm temperature melting snows in the hills and mountains farther north and sending it downhill through swollen rivers and streams. two weeks ago, this river was a jam of ice. now, it moves so quickly and the water level is so high, i didn't want to get too close to the edge.

home again, and the rains of yesterday have melted enough of the snow that i decide to take my first tour of the yard for the season. hyacinth is starting to bloom smack in the middle of last year's compost pile, grown from two bulbs from last easter's celebration. i always thought that spring/easter plants were forced, made to bloom before they normally would, and that they were no good after that. apparently that is not the case for this hearty hyacinth!

even thought there's still snow in the woods and the yard, daffodils along the edge are starting to poke through last year's matted leaves. i look for ferns and am surprised to find none. i need to go back in my writing to see if they bloom now or after daffodils have gone by.

look - the snow in the yard is still deep enough to leave footprints. 

on my way to a meeting, i pass this bank lit by evening sunlight. it's the first wide expanse of green i've seen this spring!

the night ends with a most disturbing surprise. made with "found" materials, this is a model of a high voltage transmission tower that may be built just down the road on our property. what's in place now (and to my mind, is pretty tall) is the smallish wooden representation on the right. and that little blue person at the tower's base represents me - feeling really surprised and very foolish that i never really understood until now how massive these towers can be. 

thanks for waiting for this. as in the past months, the hard part of this is the writing. i don't know how anyone can get this done all in the space of one day.  perhaps may will be easier...

10 April 2011

open wide and say "ahhhh"

today is a day i look forward to, and then relish, every spring. it's the first day to open up windows and doors and allow fresh air to flow through the place, forcing out the stale, musty air of that's been shut in tight for far too long. it's 60° outside as i take this picture through the open screen door. birds are singing, trees are budding, and the spring air smells so refreshingly wonderful - outside and in!

09 April 2011


pots of pansies outside my local florist's shop. outside! i had to fight the urge to buy them all! instead, i walked away with three bunches of daffodils for the kitchen table. as much as i love putting pansies in window boxes, i need to wait a bit. i still can't get to them through the snow! but soon i hope! very soon!!

07 April 2011

back to work

here's one of the solar lights at the edge of the garden, just now beginning to emerge from months and months under the snow. even though only the top is exposed, apparently the solar panels have already started working again. tonight, there was a faint surreal glow of yellow-blue under the snow. it only lasted about an hour before it faded. but it's a start.

06 April 2011

snow by any other name

somewhere i read that indigenous people in far northern climates have many different words for snow,  depending on what the flakes look like, how and when the snow falls, whether it's wet or dry. i was disappointed to learn this information is untrue, just an urban legend. but snow like this afternoon's deserves a name other than ordinary snow. the enormous fat flakes float sooo slooowly and silently, melting on contact and amounting to nothing more than a sudden sharp gasp as you step out into the wonder of it. it was breathtaking - just like standing inside a child's snow globe.

05 April 2011


a quick walk through the mist, just to the edge of the woods and back, revealed these lovely green shoots, daffodil and hyacinth, poking through last fall's leaves and pine needles.

very exciting to see such vivid green where there had been mottled brown, grey, and white for so long. 

04 April 2011

snow art

more spring snow this morning, heavy wet stuff that clung to everything, including piling up on the top of the monkey bars outside my window at work. when snow quickly changed to rain, as it does in spring here, accumulated snow started to slide off spots in big soggy messes. but look what it did here. from a scientific standpoint, i can't even figure out how this could happen. but it ran the entire length of both parallel bars - and surely was interesting to look at during lunch at the window!

03 April 2011

shades of gold

out the window this morning, flocks of goldfinch. oh, they've been there at the feeder for months, drab greyish-yellow against the winter white. but today they are at last beginning to turn gold, as these finches are in the brightness of summer.

01 April 2011

welcome april

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
edna st. vincent millay was born in maine. she should have known better than to write lines as misleading as these. flowers indeed. by the end of this all-day snowstorm, that babbling idiot may well be me.