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More Flowers in Spring

April 26th, 2007

We’ve had gentle rain the past couple days- it has been nice for the plants and flowers.  The leaves are slowly coming on the trees.  I did put up the hummingbird feeders- and lo and behold, within five minutes the first little hummingbird was there!  I didn’t know they would back this early.  We also have the Barn Swallow’s back… they are one of my favorite birds.  Except that the nest is right in front of the garage, and when the young hatch the adults swoop and zoom at you when you walk around the driveway.  But they are fun to watch and have been coming for many years.   I’ve been able to grade the driveway and re-distribute the gravel without clouds of dust everywhere.  The flowers are really coming along everywhere now- here’s a couple I found yesterday.

An early Iris in bloom- the light lavender color is beautiful.

 A beautiful Iris in bloom in April

I found another wildflower near the woods-  this is called Spiderwort, genus Tradescantia.

A wildflower called Spiderwort

Many Things

March 7th, 2007

Ah, the  many things we do.  From waking to helping a child get ready for school, the dishes, the animals, the cleaning, the organizing, the planning, the outdoor work, the kids again…  so often it seems it’s a cycle that never ends!    What do you do to keep your focus, and stay “in the game”? 

Sometimes I’m not so sure, yet if I’m tired or restless, or simply not focused…. I just begin.  One of the quotes I like is by Rev. Robert Schuller that says, “Beginning is half done!”  I think that’s true…  once we simply begin and start in with something, pretty soon we are moving ahead.  We may move on to other things, or notice something needs attention that we had not thought of previously.   Somehow the application of our energy and focus allows us to do what needs done, even if just a little at a time.  Nothing really magical, but it works! 

Purple Dutch Tulips

I think I suffer from too large an awareness of what “needs done” however… and sometimes that can seem overwhelming.  So again, I just start in with something and usually find that the little pieces of a project can organize themselves along the way, as long as I’m participating in the process.  And with progress, however small, we find success.  I wonder if it is only humans who have thoughts that speak of self-indulgence… lamenting our weaknesses, praising our strengths and success.  The dogs, cats, birds, fish… even the plants and flowers just… are.  They live, grow, explore and express the individuality of their “being” within the environment in which they exist, not asking for much beyond the basics of life.  But what a gift they are!  

I did see the Phoebe has arrived with the coming of Spring.  I chased a few geese from the pond this morning as the countless birds called to the rising sun.  I get to visit with a few kindergartner’s this morning and facilitate reading.  That is a humbling experience by the way, to see a young child struggling to learn to read, trying hard to do something they know so little about.   But once they begin, they find joy in the small victories of each word and sentence.  Maybe I should remember that… :)  Here’s some more “hydroponic tulips” to begin the day.

Hydroponic Tulips… Winter and Spring

January 12th, 2007

It may be January, but I’m already thinking of Spring.  Found a neat “hydroponic tulip jar” at a local big-box store… just what we needed to brighten up the room.  The Poinsettia (interesting plant!) will show its colors for many months, but becomes more of a remembrance of earlier holiday spirit .  The Tulips also bring memories… living in the northwest with palettes of color among homes and the earth; Seen from the air the fields are beautifully painted with bright colors through the efforts of tulip farmers.  The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a wonderous sight (and recommended for a spring trip!).  The festival this year occurs for the entire month of April with “bloom dates according to mother nature.” A little later in the month is better if I remember correctly. The Tulips in the jar are getting ready to bloom- yes, forced to bring an early Spring to the household… but welcomed nonetheless.  What a great idea for hydroponic tulips… just add water every couple days and they grow like crazy.  Tried planting over 50 tulip bulbs outside a few years ago at another place… couldn’t wait for them to bloom. Each morning however, I walked around to see little holes where the bulbs used to be!  “Who is stealing my tulip bulbs,” I thought. Seems that rabbits love to dig up and eat the little suckers.  Now we enjoy the daffodils since they apparently don’t taste very good!  Guess they don’t have as many rabbits in the northwest.

The winter has been warmer this year, yet the firewood is stacked for the warmth the woodstove provides on colder days and nights.  How comforting to have the wood split and ready to warm the house!  Someone is probably thinking… “Yes, warmer winters… global warming… and you’re burning firewood!”  Ah well… a warm fire reaches deep within the soul… bringing some kind of innate satisfaction and comfort.  And I can feel good about the “EPA certified” woodstove with “non-catalytic reburning technology.”  Huh?  All I know is that there’s a roaring fire in the dang thing and you can hardly see any smoke coming out the chimney!  Apparently it reburns most of the pollutants and if that’s helping the environment, well I’m glad.  I think it’s more tangible to appreciate that we don’t have smoke pouring in and around the house so much! Of course then there’s the old stove in the barn, yet to be fired up, the tractor, the assorted small engines… evolution and technology are meeting, yet slowly.  But a little tinge of woodsmoke triggers something within as well, and when working outside lets one know there’s a warm place to come back to.  Mom remembers the saying “Wood warms you twice!” referring to the cutting/stacking and burning.  Well this year I took down an old 80′ Red Oak, and lost count of how many times it warmed me! but that’s another story… :)

Tulips, Poinsettia and Firewood

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