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Archive for the 'Seasons' Category

On A Spring Day

March 23rd, 2010

Goodness, Spring has arrived in Missouri in force this week!  It was doubtful for a while this past weekend, with much snow for our western friends.   But after a few days of rain, the sun has returned and with it the frogs, flowers and fullness of early spring itself. 

I saw a few crocus last week, and a couple of daffodils peeking out.  I swear they came out so quickly, and then Voila! all the other daffodils are  blooming at once.  Bear with me… I have to share them as the days go by.   After all, we waited all winter for them! :)

We even enjoyed a brief picnic dinner by the pond before the rain last week.  It felt so strange to be relaxing outside in a light shirt after the cold days of winter.   The yellow lab is always your buddy where food is concerned, and hope springs eternal!

The pond is warming up nicely too.  I’ve seen a few more minnows and fish rising.  Today we even saw the koi, but I’ll save that for another day. 

Of course the yellow lab decided to roll around in the grass while wandering near the pond… the same grassy area that had been burned by my inadvertent fire. He seemed to enjoy that smokey burnt aroma!    And he wasn’t quite so yellow after that… 

A quick retrieve in the pond cleaned things up nicely.   He brings so much energy and joy to my daily experience.    I’m working really hard to enjoy life half as much as my dog does!



Late Winter Warm Up

February 27th, 2010

The thaw has begun. At least here in Missouri… and although the nights have been in the 20’s, the daytime temperatures are warming up nicely. I’m so thankful for the handful of sunny days we’re having. Especially reading of the snow and storms some of you are seeing in the northeast. Hang in there! Spring is on the way!

The pond is thawing from a lengthy winter freeze.  The last time the water was fully open was late December or early January.

february-thaw

I wandered outside in the middle of the night a couple days ago (I prowl around at night…), and the moon was shining half full in the sky, contrasting with tons of stars.  It was cold, but so refreshing and beautiful, and I’m almost positive that I heard a few frogs calling!   Which is quite remarkable considering it was way below freezing.  But since the daytime temps had warmed up it may have brought a few out already.

The first really nice day we get will bring out tons of little Spring Peepers… and I always enjoy hearing them.  It just speaks of spring to me. Their calls reach their peak around the middle of March in our area.   I posted a short video here with spring peeper’s calling almost two years ago…

I’m ready, and it’s nearly time for onions, potatoes, peas and more.   Time to get the inside chores and projects finished up!



Visions of Spring

February 21st, 2010

A rainy day today with colder days and freezing nights on the schedule this week.  But yesterday?  Oh my goodness, it was a glorious 50+ degrees Farenheit yesterday!  I took full advantage of the intermittent sun and almost balmy temperatures by wearing a t-shirt around all day!  Okay, most of the day.  The cold came back in the afternoon and I put on a sweatshirt.

But with visions of spring in mind,  I took advantage of the temps and hooked up a hose to wash cars.  The boy helped and it was great… gave them a good clean up, and even washed and mopped out the garage that was so dirty from winter road grime.   Yeah, the cars will be dirty again in a day or two, but it felt good to clean them up all the same.  

As if to join me in my reverie, I saw several bluebirds darting around the trees playfully and singing to each other.  A cardinal sat high in an ash tree calling to mark his territory, and throughout the day I saw and heard a half-dozen groups of geese migrating. 

These were the white-fronted geese,  flying incredibly high with their flute-like whistling calls.  I haven’t seen them since October, but they were probably looking for open water.   I took this picture as they flew over the house and it came out with a neat halo around the sun.  

migrating-geese

I also managed to clean up the old truck with the messed up clutch.  I’m still fiddling with it trying to find a solution other than a $600 repair bill.  Bleeding the clutch on these old trucks is a painful affair.  The best recommendation I found includes using 3 people for the job.  But hey, I almost got it working.  Tightened up the system, added more fluid, checked out the mechanism, pumped it like heck… it seemed fine. 

It even worked well enough to carry the garbage cans up to the road.   Of course as I proceeded to turn around on the rural highway… clunk!  The clutch goes out right there on the road.   So I’m sitting in the road (fortunately on the correct side) with my clutch pedal on the floor, and the boy in the seat next to me saying, “I told you we shouldn’t take the truck!”   

Anyway I finally managed to jam it into reverse, and we headed backwards at a good clip down the quarter mile driveway, making a big rut in the soggy grass along the way, and eventually parking it near the house.  That’s a good place for a tow truck just in case I give up fiddling with it.  Arrggh! 

But it really was a beautiful day out there :)   And I managed to find those daffodils…  Just peeking out of the soil, not nearly as far along as last year.  No surprise with the cold and snow, but they’ll be here soon!

daffodils-coming-up 

And tulips!  I didn’t expect these to come back up.  They were planted a few seasons ago and are usually eaten by rabbits and other critters.  I don’t remember them last year, but hopefully they’ll flower too.

emerging-tulips

While I cleaned up outside the little Shiba slept on the hillside. We gave him treat and he promptly growled at me… thankless!

shiba-with-bone

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* By the way, I wanted to put a plug in about comments for those who use Blogger.   I love to peruse different blogs and make comments, but some of the Blogger comment settings only seem to allow Google or other “name-brand” or Open ID’s for registered users.   A lot of us don’t use an “Open ID” and really like to use the “Name and URL” option for leaving comments, so I recommend considering allowing “anyone to comment” as a setting if you can.   Sometimes folks will come by here and make a nice comment, and I’d like to say hello on your blog too! I think you’ll find you receive more comments from folks who are not using Google or other Open ID registration.  Just a thought; have a great week…



Winter Day’s End

February 10th, 2010

 

missouri-winter-sunset

I will never tire of sunsets, no matter the season, or the place.   I see the dawn and dusk of each day as constants that mark and celebrate our journeys through life.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

The landscape has been so very bright of late, with that good bit of snow that makes you feel winter has really come.  And soon enough I’ll be happy to say, “and gone!”.    Even a few snow days off from school has tempered the boy’s excitement.  Still we had a chance to frolick about yesterday and marvel at winter’s beauty. 

I see our little snowfall and can only wonder what waking up to two feet of new snow must be like for those of you back East.   Our rural schools are mostly closed, simply because there’s so many twisty country roads that the buses can’t get around to very well.   Personally I like living in a place where the plows can’t get to everywhere.   Keeps you on your toes just enough to not take things for granted, at least as much as we usually do. 

If I’m lucky (or motivated!), some wayward plowman will do something with our driveway. Stay warm out there.



Winter Mix of Shadow and Light

January 14th, 2010

winter-shadows

My goodness the days are flying by.  The snow on the pond was beautiful yesterday with the shadows of the trees. And there were many animal tracks near the pond’s edge, with a few tracks heading out across the ice. The mysteries of the night…

tracks-on-pond

Yesterday we enjoyed almost fifty degree weather finally, and the snow has almost finished melting. Gave me a chance to catch up on splitting wood, running a few engines and chasing the mice out of the barn.  These are the remaining oak and hickory rounds from trees cut up in summer.  They don’t look like it, but the wood should be fairly dry and will provide enough heat to get us through winter.  I didn’t expect to use so much so quickly this season.

wood-for-splitting

That subzero weather last week really did a number on a few things, not the least of which is my 16 year old truck. Seems the clutch fluid must have moisture in it because the clutch froze in place and I couldn’t drive it. Maybe ice on the cables… anyway I’ll top it off today and since we’ll see 40+ F degree weather again I’m hoping it works normally.   One morning we awoke to a beautiful scene of ice crystals on the trees and shrubs.  I love how the light shimmers through the branches.

morning-ice-crystals

I am worried about the bees however… I didn’t see them flying around yesterday which I would have expected. Usually after an extended cold period they will be out and about briefly with temperatures above 40 degrees F.   It wasn’t warm that long yesterday however, so maybe they’re still clustered up?   I won’t open the hive unless it’s warm for a few days in a row, and we’ve still got freezing night temps.  From now through March is the difficult time of year for the bees when they really depend on stored honey.  When it’s super cold they go through those stores faster… and you can’t really feed them until it warms up a little. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Driving home at dusk the other day, the sunlight glowed beneath the clouds.

winter-sunset

Our wintery landscape seems so far from the events taking place around the world, such as earthquakes and unrest.  Wish I could do more to help from so far away.  In a couple years when the boy is older I may be able to… for now our thoughts, prayers and donations can help in some way. 

Did you know you can use the American Red Cross’ TEXT2HELP program to donate from your cellphone here in the U.S.?   For specific Haiti-related donations, you can text HAITI to the number 90999 and it will donate $10 to the Red Cross to help with earthquake relief efforts.


Update: There’s many other organizations to help with Haiti disaster assistance, and other charitable efforts of course. Here’s a few more links to share:
The International Committee of the Red Cross
International Medical Corps
Catholic Relief Services
Save the Children
Direct Relief International
World Food Programme
World Vision
International Relief Teams
Yéle Haiti
Operation USA
CARE
World Concern
UNICEF USA
Mercy Corps
Operation Blessing International
Shelterbox
Americares
Operation USA
Doctors Without Borders
Medical Teams International
The Salvation Army
American Red Cross


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