Whew! The days have been racing by. Between the longer daylight hours, and the incredibly unusual weather (and flooding) that New England has experienced the past couple weeks, I've let this post slip.
IT"S TIME!!! GET YOUR FEEDERS OUT!
I checked this against last year's map and it looks like they are about 10 days early. If you are interested, compare them yourself for your area. I generally figure that they get to me around the first week in May. Last year I spotted one a week earlier.
Just in case you've forgotten the recipe for hummingbird nectar or are new to this and thinking that you'd like to set up a feeder, here goes:
Bring to a boil: (I do this in a glass measuring cup in the microwave)
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
NO fake coloring.
That's all there is to it. Easy, huh?
Speaking of birds.. Last Sunday, Chris and I headed to the beach with our dinner. Afterward, while C snoozed and read the paper, I took a second walk. A bit down the beach, I spotted a couple kids throwing rocks at a seagull and yelling for it to drop the starfish. I ran for my camera.
This is not the post I had planned for today. BUT.. when I saw this little video this morning, everything changed. It says so much to me about the way we think and our creative process.
Years ago, there was a show at MOMA in NYC called "Primitivism" in 20th Century Art. The video reminded me of it. The show compared primitive art with contemporary and in particular, displayed primitive art objects that were collected by contemporary masters. Interesting for most, mind blowing for me. If ever I had needed an affirmation of my belief in the collective consciousness, this was it.
Look at this, I’ve found proof. The seasons are changing again and
spring is on the way. It’ll take months,
longer than the groundhog predicted only a couple weeks ago in Punxsutawney. What can he know of our seasons so far to his
north? It is only the middle of February
and here in the Kingdom, the snow will still be hanging around the back of the barn
well into May. But the light is changing;
the days are somehow less grey. Against
the snow there is a brightening of color; last year’s new growth is
This is the only pussy I found today. One day of sun would be all they need to pop.
Last spring, I was miserably disappointed when I found the tall line of willows I’d planted along the dam munched down to nubs by the newcomer beaver. I'm usually pretty good at dealing with offenders. Not this one. He eluded my trap time after time, tripping the door with well placed whips from my lovely willows. This is the one that got away. But that is another story.
The willows are making a comeback. Weeds that they are, it won’t take long. I admit that I was curious to see what would happen to my pollarded plants. It was something that I was thinking of doing before the beaver beat me to it.
The shape of what remains is hardly orderly. If I were truly a gardener, a lover of order,
I’d prune them to a respectable form. I’m
intrigued, at least for now, by the wild shapes that have been left
With luck, there should be new willows popping up along the shore where the beaver left his tender snacks behind to root.
I'd thought to show you pictures of the January thaw. But, there weren't any walks for me the past week, and now it is February. I've had a terrific cold, perhaps enhanced by the H1N1 flu shot that I got at a free clinic. I was down for the count by 7:30 that evening. Coincidence, probably. None the less, walking in the cold and wind with aches and chills, didn't happen. The thaw continued without me. Almost. Most of the thaw is extra work; raking snow from the roof, chipping away heavier ice packs to free up the walks and drive and pushing away accumulating slush when it finally melts. One part, my favorite to be sure, is the formation of icicles. Big, shining, light refracting stalactites of frozen water. I know that icicles and stalactites are different in composition, but they are alike too. It is an interesting article. Early in the thaw, as I do every winter if the icicles are large enough, I filled my planters with frozen light catchers.
Saturday was a late-ish night for me. There was a small party near Boston and a bit more wine than usual. When I got home, I checked the phone for messages. Nothing. Good, it was still drizzling and my plans for Sunday / Monday were 'weather permitting'. I could sleep in. I thought. Around 6:45am the phone rang. Arrrghhh!!!!
me: Good Morning..
Ready?? Looks like a gorgeous day, we're on, aren't we?
me: Yes..I need to wake up and make coffee. Do I have an hour?
No, less than that. Besides, we're going for breakfast.
me: I still need coffee to get to breakfast. I'm up and rolling. See you as soon as I can get there. (there being the local airport)
Again, let me say, there is nothing like New England in the autumn. NOTHING. G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S!
I love seeing the colors from above. See the reds? That would be the lower, wetter areas that support the maples. The olive greens are the oaks and the greenest, the softwoods.
And, breakfast.. yummm... smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and egg on a panini. Oh my! We flew into the Stowe, MA airport, just for breakfast. I'll go there again, by land or by air. Really good.
If it hadn't been for that little morning respite, the weekend would have been endless. The rest of it was spent stripping my office and studio bare, in preparation for new paint and flooring. It'll be wonderful when it's over. The process.. not so much.
It took a few hours to get the computer, printer, router, and modem relocated for use this week. but, I'm up and running and the acorns have been weighed.
At the beginning of the summer, we promised ourselves that we would take Wednesday afternoons off and go somewhere. It didn't happen. Things got in the way. We were always too busy. But after last Sunday's jaunt to a nature preserve, which we thoroughly enjoyed, we decided to make sure to have this past Wednesday afternoon free. I was going to tell you about the picnic, the pork and sweet potato pie, and the chocolate cake, but there isn't room in one post. We ended up in a magic forest. It had to have been . Where else would you walk through a field of dragonflies..? Thousands of them, flying as a cloud around you, hitting each other with a clear clacking sound. I tried to hold the camera and get a short video. It's not much, and terribly blurry. Watch it, then close your eyes and imagine, dragonflies, or fairies.
The trail lead across the field. There we entered a forest of twisted trees, limbs reaching overhead and across the path to meet their neighbors on the other side. We passed through the wood, walking in a shadowy, sun spattered tunnel.
After nearly a mile, we came out of the wood. In front of us was a huge salt pond. Beyond it, the ocean.
There was an observation deck.
Across the pond, sat an osprey on it's nest. Atop a nearby tree, sat the mate. They were too far away to photograph with the camera I had.
Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge. Amazing place.
Here's a link to some amazing info on dragonflies. Everything that I've read about swarms indicates that although food, mating and migration may be the answer, no one is really sure. There was a lot of food around, and the time of year is perfect for migration.
Don't you love a little mystery?
I can't resist, Beth. I know that you are right when you tell me that everyone else is tired of winter pictures, of anything having to do with winter. I know people want to see flowers and pictures of green grass. Even in the Kingdom, there are signs of the changing seasons. You have to look closer, spring starts slowly. The temps drop into the single digits (and below) at night, but the days are heated by the growing strength of the sun. The ground underneath the snow isn't frozen. Four feet of snow is a good insulator, and now, the melt has begun from below. I can hear it. The streams are racing under their winter blanket. This is the best time of year for walking in the woods. I wear my smallest snow shoes, the layer cake of winter supports my weight. I stay on top, my point of view changed, like a child riding high on his parent's shoulders, watching the parade of the season passing by. I am a winter person. This is my time. The woods are pristine, bare bones. I can see through the trees to skylines that will soon enough disappear.
There is lace.
the other lace..
This post would have been pictures of the Diamond Fantasy herself, blocking. However, I ran out of my first skein as I was doing the I-cord bind of. There are 37 more stitches to go. I've set up a new skein on the swift. When I finish this post, I will begin to join the yarn together, using my favorite sewn Russian join. Then, working with the yarn still on the swift, I will finish. She is beautiful.