Thursday, March 16, 2023

Early Risers

She moved among us for a while, that tease of spring forward into the arms of warmth.  She’s such a flirt.  Then poof!  She took flight, and frosty air surrounds her flock of early risers frozen in time, bending and twisting, warped in frozen air.  Winter has little compassion as he watches them fighting to not give up, waiting for her return. 
As I survey my frosty domain, the dandelions are perky, bathing in sunshine on the frozen earth, their faces unfazed.  Daffodil flowers bend downward , their cups beginning to shrivel, while the young dogwood flower’s bracts twist away from each other.  Celandine Poppy flowers are closed tight, while Columbine leaves wilt to grasp the cold ground. 
Dusk inches across the landscape with its ability to cover up the flaws of this wintry day, while the blackened trees stand out in the darkening sky as a reminder that earth will not let go of her grasp and allow one to fall in this wasteland of winter, at least not tonight.
As I sit here plagued with the complexities of how this narrative could end, the dog’s stare is fixed upon my being as he’s frozen to the floor in front of me waiting.  A cat’s loud complaints fill the air, louder and louder, until he’s staring through the open door.  Plopping himself down, as if in defiance, he’s grooming his derriere with no intention of ever stopping.
I must take flight before Miss Charlotte appears, as she’s the last straw, before my toes begin to look a bit more like kibble to nibble.  We all know spring is just around the corner on the calendar, but winter has a way of laughing at our calendar and whispering "you fools".  

May your weekend be as you wish, and may your wish be happiness.

- Most photos were taken before the deep freeze -

'My Beauty' species tulip
This tulip actually comes back year after year.

Wild Violet

Celadine Poppy

American Dogwood
Four leaves called bracts surrounding the flower buds in the center.
Early bracts are green, lightening to white as they mature.

Fothergilla Gardenii Shrub with buds and immature leaves.

Trooping Crumble Cap mushrooms

Dandelion amid Purple Dead Nettles

Miss Dandilion meets Mr. Dandy Lion.
She's not impressed.

Spice Bush flowers
Quite tiny flowers that can be missed if one is not looking.

Wild Violets

Virginia Bluebells


This one wasn't removed when pond was changed into a bog area.
Buried under two feet of topsoil, it grew to the surface the next year.
It's not as big as it used to be in the pond, but still amazing.

Little Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum)

Grass after a thunderstorm

Dsffodil nibbled on


American Redbud
Flowers usually bloom directly on the large branches,
but this year the large branches are bare.
I think the violent thunderstorm we had earlier stripped them off.  

- Austin and Charlotte -


We love our new bed!
>^. .^<

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

A demon rocking horse and other front-page stuff


Another birthday’s arrived. 

It’s difficult making this post interesting, so feel free to bail out at any time. 
There was a birthday party where my entire grade school class was invited, and no one showed up, not even the person no one seemed to like.  It was a birthday party without the party.  

There was a birthday with mom taking me to the local department store, to the children’s area, to a rack full of skirts, for my only present that had to be practical.  The skirt I adored was just above my ankles, but mom promised to take up the hem, so I chose it for my present.  It was like “when will she”, to “will she”, to "I'm 76 years old now and still waiting".

It's not all bad.  A choice of a giant stuffed teddy bear, or a painted rocking horse… how can it get any better than that?  Of course, this was the first birthday party of just me and my present.  The one before I began learning about disappointments.   The teddy bear was bigger than me, and would hog up my space, so I chose that white stallion to rockity rock off into the sunset.
I have no idea what time period this was… maybe before school days began.  Still an innocent, as they say, I was plagued with ideas of monsters lurking about in the dark… you know, normal.  A curtain doored closet, maybe four feet wide or maybe I’m being a bit too generous.  It was tiny and held a meager amount of clothing my sister and I wore.
The window by the closet looked out onto Mrs. Morris’s corner yard.  Mother didn't like her much.  Her son, Junior, was what the town folk called a juvenile delinquent.  Skip a year or two, and dad will build a six-foot tall wood fence to block out and pretend they no longer exist.
I remember little about my sister during this time frame, even though we shared the room.  She was four, maybe five years younger than me, just a baby.  She wasn’t in my world much.  The window looking out over the front yard and street, with the sheer curtains blowing in the breeze during the daytime, and a shade pulled down during bedtime was the window the devil owned.

On hot summer evenings, mom would open the lower half of the window with the shade only pulled down halfway, letting the moonlight fill the bedroom as it cycled through it phases.

It was full moon when my cherished rocking stallion gradually, as the night filled the room, became backlit with moonlight and changed into a demon hunched over on the floor watching me as I frightfully tried to sleep.
  That hoofed cherub on rockers was eventually banished to the corner, and my demon moved on over to next door.

and yes…
little leprechauns hiding under beds, ready to grab ones legs if they dare to get out of bed for a potty break, do exist.  I only saw him once, but once was enough to plague me with the potty break blues until I mustered up the courage one dark night to take a second look and discover he had moved on to better pickings.

The third memory is fond, even when filled with demons from hell.  At least they dispersed into thin air when confronted.

It’s rainy and harsh, windy days now.  We've had a few days of temperatures in the 7o’s F, then plunging into the 40’s and 50’s, then back up into the 70’s, then now back to the 40’s and 50’s.  I’m getting a little dizzy.

Even with the bad weather, as a whole this winter seems too short.  One can feel it in the air that warmth is waiting in the shadows to spring forth.  We have begun a bit of spring cleanup… me supervising and my husband listening poorly.    

Dished out a chunk of money to have a landscaping company prune our overgrown Grey Owl Juniper before it staked a claim on our neighbor's yard.  That monster is over twelve feet wide and still growing.  I’ve been building up a bug hotel of sorts with the stray fallen branches and stiff thick dead flower stems we cut down.  It’s not as spiffy as the Gardener’s World ones, but I don’t think the bugs will complain.

An Eastern Kingbird graced my garden this past week.  I spotted it by chance, and had to do a bit of research to identify it, since I’m not really a bird watcher by trade.  The Grackles and Starlings are appearing, which is another sign that spring is near. 

Mourning Doves… well, I look out my window and what seems like a few dozen are milling around on the ground eating whatever is edible, while a few are up in the feeder duking it out with the grackles and starlings.   That lonely cooing filling the morning air brings back Twilight Zone memories of an old, deserted mansion in the deep south surrounded by trees dripping in Spanish moss.

A killer in the shadows with a long handled hatchet is thinning out any population unfortunate enough to have car trouble that conveniently happens in the vicinity of that mighty place of evil.  The night of carnage is filled with the cooing of mourning doves... the messengers of death in this particular episode.  Gave me the heebie-jeebies about dove cooing, that has been forever burnt into my brain.

I’m out of here.  Have a pleasant March.  I always do; just as though it were my very first breath of lovely air.

"Hope" Peperomia
Above is how it came from the store.
Below... well, it fell apart when I tried to put it into it's new pot.

"Lemon Lime" Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
I discovered humidity isn't a room; it's the whole house,
so if a plant isn't happy, then bye bye.

Grouping will make them happier,
and this one appears happy with its microscopic flowers. 
One bloom each day going down the stem, from top to bottom.
Each bloom opens for less than a day, then dries up and falls off. 

It's growing new leaves.

Wild Violets

Virginia Bluebell buds getting ready to ride their stem 
to greater heights and open up. 

High winds blew them sideways a bit.

Fothergilla flower of a dwarf type.
Always few flowers on few stems.  It's time to plant something else.

Small-flowered Buttercup, Ranunculus abortivus
Flower is about 1/4th inch wide

I wonder when lunch is?

Oh, this is sooooo boring.

Is that the mailtruck?  
Cute Miss Sofie Dog across the street? 
The schoolbus dropping off kids?  
Lady walking dog down the street.  
Man walking dog up the street?
Amazon delivery guy?
I bark at them all.
I'm a good doggie. 

Dustin and Austin


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