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Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Did you used to devour Highlights magazine at the doctor’s office when you were a kid? Still do? Me, too. One of my favorite things was always finding hidden objects and finding the differences between two pictures. Today, I offer the opportunity to enjoy the second challenge … find what’s different. Here’s the first photo taken earlier today:

And here is the second photo, taken a few years ago:

Okay, take away all the baking stuff. And the poinsettia. And the Poland Spring bottle. What’s different?

I’ll tell you. In the top photo, the toaster is wrapped in a plastic bag, whereas below, it’s au naturel. In the top photo there is a glass jar with a very snug lid holding cat food, and below there is a lovely tin canister with cats on it. Why the change? Ants. Yes, it is ant season — those little black ones which, one at a time, are pretty cute, but when having a party in Jazzy’s dry food bowl? Not so cute. For now, her dry food is upstairs, but when I see them on the toaster? All bets are off.

I am a clean person, especially in the kitchen, but now? I am obsessively clean. I do not like having to keep my toaster in a plastic bag. But I also do not like killing creatures of any size. And even though I sadly say `Sorry’ each time I snuff out one of their little lives, and even though I spray vinegar in certain areas and in certain patterns to make them stay away, have edged the kitchen with white light, they still find a way in. I am now resorting to additional – and more lethal – methods.

Still, it bothers me to kill them. I save every little being I can and take it outside – under a plastic deli container and on a piece of cardboard – out they go. I live in an 1890’s house, and although it was newly plumbed, wired, sheet rocked, etc. it was not given a new floor downstairs. The worn floor boards are an open invitation – literally – for insects to come in. Whenever I might move, I’m sure the new people will be mystified by so many oddly placed pieces of duct tape. There’s a reason for that, people, trust me. Leave them there.

My biggest save was a wolf spider that appeared in my downstairs bathroom – she was huge. I asked her to please not move (yes, I do talk to them), while I got a bigger deli container. She stayed right there while I put it over her and carefully slid the cardboard underneath. I went outside and headed for the river. She was not happy and jumping inside. I don’t know if my telling her it would be OK in a minute helped or not, but I was doing my best. Over the grass, over the old tracks, down an incline and there was a huge pile of leaves and twigs. I figured that would give her a head start. I tilted the cardboard towards the leaves and gently lifted the container. As I’d hoped, she ran forward, and in a millisecond, had camouflaged herself perfectly. I took a deep breath, came home, and went searching for that opening with my roll of duct tape. (Please note, for those of you who are squeamish, that I have spared you a photo of a wolf spider. (For those interested, check here.)

Would I could do that for the ants. I tell them, `if you want to live, stay outside.’ Maybe some listen. But for the rest? Sorry. Really, I am.

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Guilty

FrenchieCrocusOne of the tough things about having a blog is that you really do want to keep up with it, and yet sometimes it’s just not on the top of one’s possibility list. Unfortunately, this infuses me with a certain amount of guilt. Things are running through my head constantly that I want to write about – it’s never for lack of subject material – it’s for the luxury of time to write it well and to provide images that you’ll enjoy seeing.

So consider this a teensy tide-me-over and more will be coming soon.

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Poppies2

“This is the season when growth in the garden, which has been gradual, now accelerates. Maybe today you’ll realize that remaining tight in the bud
is more painful than blossoming.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

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SpringBlooming2

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

– Thomas Merton

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No one would argue – at least not up this neck of the woods – that this has been a long, long winter. So when I went walking on a recent sunshiny day, I went searching for signs of life – Spring life! And here’s a small sampling of what I found.

Spring-WildCrocus2

One of two brave little wild crocus poking its head up
among the dead grass and leaves.

Spring-DaffodilsWaiting2

 Bunches of daffodils were just waiting for a little more sunlight, a little more warmth. While I didn’t find any in bloom yet, there were truly “crowds of daffodils” everywhere, in people’s yards, by the river, in the midst of wilder areas I passed, ready to grace us with their golden trumpets.

Spring-Snowdrops2

Hiding and shy within the shade of an old abandoned garage, these snowdrops just pushed aside the dead leaves — I may be small, but I am mighty!

Spring-Crocus2

Here and there in yards that would soon have busy people raking and clearing and mulching were occasional small bunches of crocus in bloom.

Spring-LoneCrocus2

“Never stop pedaling to power your dreams.”  ~Terri Guillemets

You pedal, little crocus. You pedal!

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GrapeHyacinthSnow2

 

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

~Hal Borland

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Crocus2

First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus —
Crocus.

~Lilja Rogers

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Despite it being March, we in the Northeast have experienced record high temperatures while other parts of the U.S. have experienced severe weather conditions never seen in their areas before.

Locally, that translated to the blossoming of flowers, trees and shrubs that would not have normally been seen for at least another month. The photos here were actually taken a week ago – I’m just getting around to posting them – and by now – March 27, it’s likely the magnolia flowers have fallen to the ground and the tree is budding. But the sunny daffodils continue to send new flowers and the myrtle is here to stay. (Well, here until the deer may wander down that particular street.)

Despite rising to a chilly 32˚, we’re warmed by sunshine and a clouded, rich blue sky. By afternoon, we all want to go out and play. It’s finally Spring!

 

“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

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How often have you been in the presence of a small magical moment and wished you had your camera? It doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking … sometimes just a brief few seconds in which the light was brilliant and soon would pass?

As I enjoyed the luxury of journaling this morning, the sun had risen and was angling its light on the small pool of light blue marbles in the plate on my coffee table. As Spring approaches, I put away fall and winter candles and decor, and had just recently encircled a vanilla pillar candle with a small pool of blue in which this little bluebird could wade. The sharp sunlight was just dancing off these simple blue gems, and both they and the textured glass plate beneath were sparkling.

There was only a small window of time to catch this light before the sun rose further. I couldn’t help but smile broadly at this scintillating vignette … photographing it was just a reminder of how happy we can be when we are truly in the moment. It still never fails to amaze me.

Check back soon and I’ll show you who I captured in this warm, morning light.

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Who can wait? After 2 solid months of not seeing the ground in my part of the state, every soul eagerly awaited the slow greening of the Earth. Despite the fact that we were greeted this morning with a light blanket of snow – not so unusual for March in New Jersey – I’ve been noticing the telltale signs of Spring each day.

One of my favorite indications of Spring is the noticeable pairing off of Canada geese … mating season has begun. While seemingly indiscriminate flocks abound all winter, they now pair off with their bonded mates, and can be seen everywhere in couples. For whatever reason large numbers of geese no longer migrate South for the winter, and have become a “nuisance” animal to some, I still love watching the faithful pairs and their protectiveness towards each other.

I notice other signs of Spring as I drive, such as the cut stalks of last summer’s corn now sheared to the ground, which will soon be ready for tilling. I passed a local farmer in his orchard, pruning his sleeping peach and apple trees. I noticed small clusters of snowdrops peeking through the ground as I walked to town the other day. Perhaps most encouraging, just the lightest veil of green wisping about some of the trees … telling me that soon the world will be lush and verdant. All this is amidst the ever-growing morning song of birds returning from their winter havens.

And, as always, it seems mere moments from the first greening that the world will be in full bloom.

This morning, however, the Earth tried on her lacy white gown just one more time before tucking it away, soon to embrace her own lovely, green rebirth.

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