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Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Not everyone likes Canada Geese (they can be messy), but I love to hear them calling as they fly north to the river, pointing the way to spring.

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Photo by Charles Jackson on Unsplash

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It’s Monday and it’s Spring and (despite the fact that we are expecting snow tonight) what better time to direct you to this helpful video about asparagus? 

America’s Test Kitchen reviews the basics and useful methods of preparation, but also busts several asparagus myths wide open.

I know, I’m excited too!

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Photo by Art Rachen on Unsplash

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I saw my first flower buds yesterday, in a planter filled with lovely little purple crocus plants. We still have a tiny bit of snow in the yard and my mother reports snow down south, but even so it’s starting to feel like spring. 

It’s good timing, too. Today is Økodag, or Dancing Cow Day in Denmark, when the country’s 200,000 organic cows leave their winter barns and head out to greener pastures. This year is extra special as the event has been on hold for the past two years.

Danes revel in ‘dancing cow day’ for first time since Covid outbreak

“The cows are so happy to be outdoors, to feel the sun and the wind, that they dance,” she said. “Out in the field, a cow can also go for her favourite dishes – grass, clover, various herbs etc.”

Happy spring!

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Photo by Luke Thornton on Unsplash

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Does my yard look tidy? It does not. We left last year’s detritus over winter and it’s still there. A lot of our neighbors started raking and clipping and blowing and trashing leaves and other plant materials as soon as they could find the grass beneath the snow, but not us.

Instead, we have Mr and Mrs Cardinal out front, perching on the Joe Pye Weed stems as they hunt for lunch among the dried maple leaves. We have squirrels coming down into the back yard to gather up mouthfuls of pine needles for nest building. We have duos of doves, clusters of chickadees, and gaggles of goldfinches growing brighter by the day. We have, in short, life.

And while it may not always be pretty, it is beautiful.

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Photo by Michel Bosma on Unsplash

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Yesterday’s rain was doing a great job of washing away the last of the snow, and a little spark told me that spring might finally be here.

A few days ago I went for a walk through the neighborhood with Mr Man. A cool breeze but bright sun, and every other driveway was occupied by an optimist with summer tires. Mr Man shook his head. Too early, he said. He was right. 

We woke this morning to snow. Big, fat flakes coating the ground, the trees, the everything in a layer of white. It won’t last, but we still have a few more days before spring makes its true entrance.

Can’t wait.

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Our days are brighter, the nights are shorter, and Mr. Man’s orange tree is blooming. It smells divine.

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There is a secret world coming to life in my back yard, goldfinches, dandelions, chickadees, red maple, cardinals, crows, robins, roses, insects, earthworms, that unidentified bush the bees love, and yesterday, the first butterfly.

At once common and precious, my spring smells of freshly-turned soil and violets.

Violets get their scent from ionone. It’s an extremely sweet scent that many people describe as also being dry. “Powdery” is the word that’s usually used. Another word is “ethereal,” or “ephemeral.” After stimulating scent receptors, ionone binds to them and temporarily shuts them off completely. This substance cannot be smelled for more than a few moments at a time. After that, people go anosmic to it. Then, after a few breaths, the scent pops up again. 

— How Violets Steal Your Sense of Smell

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violets in grass
Photo by Darius Cotoi on Unsplash

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“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

― Leo Tolstoy

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If only it were that simple!
Photos by Gabriel Jimenez, Markus Spiske, Tobias Stonjeck

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I don’t know about you but I am more than ready for Spring.

Most of my family is south of the border, and they keep talking about things like 60℉ weather and unfrozen soil and flowers. Crazy talk! 

We still have a patch of snow out front but today might be the day it finally disappears. So as one last goodbye to winter, let’s visit the world’s largest ice carousel, in Lappajärvi, Finland.

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Crater lake Ice Carousel – world’s largest 310 meters / +1000 feet – YouTube

For all the nitty gritty details, check out this in-depth video:

Go for 30,000 tons of spinning ice, stay for the custom cutting rigs, mad scientist stuff, and awesome accents. It took days, and is an impressive testament to the lengths people will go to in order to escape the winter doldrums;)

Planning to try this next year? Safety first, of course, but here’s a how to.

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Now, onward!

Photo by Tiia Pakk on Pexels.com

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I usually try to stay fairly upbeat here but today I’m sad. 

The neighbors out back are taking down two big magnolia trees. Those trees always had the first flowers of Spring and I was looking forward to their pink and white petals. 

Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com

Nope. Instead, we’ll have a lovely view of the water tower a few blocks away.

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Now, I know that sometimes you just have to take down a tree. We had to do it ourselves, when the Emerald Ash Borer came through. These trees didn’t look sick, but you never know.

Still. 

My parents raised us on The Lorax, and childhood books stick with you. It’s hard to see big trees come down. 

I’d hoped the new cardinal families that moved in over the winter would set up house and stay. They still might, but it feels less likely today. And then there are the tree-dependent squirrels. 

Right now I’m looking out at the back yard and it no longer feels quite as cozy, quite as welcoming as it did. We still have our trees and some at the near neighbors, but stretching away to the south the sky opens up and what I see now is suburbia, in all its generic glory.

Sigh.

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All that said, it will be fine. I’ll indulge in a bit of virtual “hanami,” or “flower watching,” as cherry blossoms announce the first signs of Spring. I’ll think about ways to use the yard as a place for everything from trees to flowers to birds to squirrels to insects.

Himeji Castle is even more beautiful than when Mr. Man and I visited. 

And I think it’s time to pick up another bird feeder.

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