Sunday, March 28, 2010


Last weekend it looked like this...

The starlings had brought the grackles to the coontina Saturday morning and there was lots of muttering about the lack of service. Then it kept snowing...

On Sunday, Violet had had enough. I however, was strangely captivated by this last snowfall on the first day of spring.

Brian called and confessed that he had said out loud to someone that he wished there was one last snowfall. He took full responsibility. I couldn't be mad because some years I'm guilty of doing the same thing.

The snow didn't last long though because on Sunday the temperature was in the 50s and it started melting fast. Soon you could see the formerly snow covered crocuses reappear with their little stretched necks poking their heads above the melting snow. They were probably thinking- "What the heck happened there?"

Those crocuses are tough girls though and can survive just about anything.

In two days the snow was almost gone and more of those crocus girls appeared.

Eight-ten inches of snow and just a couple days later...this!

Some of them with the color of sunshine.

Then it was back to the usual gloomy days full of precipitation. But now that the daffodils are starting to put on their show, it is finally, finally definitely spring. The sun might be busy in other parts of the world but at least the sun-colored flowers of spring are located here.

There was another transition of sorts this past week. This permanently scuffed up cat shows up at the coontina twice a day... mostly for pets, not food. I've always wondered what his story was because he's always recovering from fights and certainly looks and acts like a stray but every now and then he will wear a collar...but never the same one. He'll wear a collar for a couple days and then it's gone and then several weeks later, a new collar. Who is putting them on? ....And who is taking them off? Anyway, he showed up in yet another new collar this week and this time with a nametag attached to it. Now I know he belongs to someone and is not a stray. The name of this cat just makes me laugh though because I would never ever have matched that name with this cat.

Ladies and gentleman (Russ, that's you), you have now been introduced to...


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Last days of winter...

And the first day of spring...

Seriously. Snow. A lot of it.....and it's still coming down.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where's that sun?

Because I really miss seeing my shadow.

The gloom. The long continuing, uninterrupted feeling of oppressiveness and gloom. That feeling of waiting and waiting for something, and then figuring out that what you're building up all that anxiety for is just for the appearance of light. Will that sun ever come back? That's all I think about these days. The sun.

It is gloomy outdoors and twice as gloomy inside and it just seems like nothing but the sun can bump me out of this inertia. Except for maybe knitting.

Thank Gawd for knitting. It sure can get me through a lot of restless moods. One of my favorite things to knit are kittybeds for Violet.

One is blue...

...the first one I ever made and it's way too tall.

But it can be rolled down.

And smashed, if necessary.

I made this red one for a charity auction. While I was photographing it, I tried keeping it out of Violet's sight so she wouldn't jump in it and claim it as hers....

But she jumped in it and claimed it. Hers.

She then gave it a few kicks to really claim it and so once it got to the charity auction, I had to bid on it, win the bid, pay for it and then bring it right back home.

I knit this one during the Winter Olympics (which is why it is photographed outdoors in the snow).

An orange one...

And one that is just all girly and garish for no reason. Oh, she has a lot of these things.

If you look in the bottom of that last one, that circle in the middle almost looks like a sun in the center of a solar system. Doesn't it? At least it does to me because the only thing in my head these past few weeks has been sun, sun, sun.

Well, even though it's not a real sun, those kittybeds are warm and to Violet, that's kind of the same thing.

Yeah. I'm desperate for some sun. I sure do hope it comes out tomorrow but if it doesn't, at least there is the promise of something blooming that is sunny and bright...

If the squirrels don't get to them first. :-/

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It's spring!!!!

And it smells like poop, the kind that comes from horses. When 27 horses live directly south of you....that first good spring thaw.....let's just say my sniffer could not stop scrunching up. But at least I found some daffodils coming up on that land of mine in Kansas...

And right next to them on a rock............raccoon scat. Good grief. What a theme for the day.

And of course there is this one..... and the evidence of what she had stopped and done over the past winter months...

Ohhhhhh Aussie.

But I still love you. Let's just hold our noses and go land stomping...and remember to walk carefully.

One of us can jump in the creek and see if things are flowing in the direction they're supposed to go. This is something Aussie always checks when I'm with her.

Like how I always have to check out tree bark (like the bark on this sycamore)...

and lichens....

...beautiful, beautiful lichens...

...and interesting and sometimes beautiful fungus (I think this one is called turkey tail)...

...and what's in bud (this might be a lilac).

Aussie and I do a lot of checking of things when I'm out there. It's definitely a routine we have down now.

She keeps me moving because I do tend to linger too long in some spots and mess up the pace...I think she thinks the more times we go somewhere and then stop, the more opportunities for treats. I think she's right about that.

We walked back to the creek, crossed it, and sat down to share a blueberry muffin.

The sky may have been overcast and oppressive and the air stinky but the temperature was in the 60s. That part of the day was a big surprise and very, very nice. And spending time with my friend Aussie is always fun. But another thing about spring that I don't like and had completely forgotten about made its appearance..........the first tick. Errrrgh. Hateful, nasty things. After finding one marching up my arm, we finished the muffin, I got in the car, Aussie led the way to the street and then I drove home with urgency (I would have gone over the speed limit but Kansas cops are vigilant and mean). Luckily I didn't find any ticks on me when I got home but after finding one tick I always imagine its still on me days later. I just despise the things. But I guess not enough to keep me from stomping on that land again next week with Aussie. :-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Forcing spring to happen

Last week? More ice. More zero degree nights.

The week before that, it was not as cold so I drove out to that land in Kansas. Snow had fallen again. Always that same one inch.

The creek was partially frozen...

...and the water under the ice was moving fast, so fast you could hear it from the top of the hill.

There were lots and lots of tracks in the new snow. It looked like Aussie was joined by a friend.

I think this intersection could use a traffic signal or some four-way stop signs.

A lot of the tracks seemed to criss-cross each other and it looked like nobody was following anyone. Everybody kept their nose out of everyone else's business.

It was a very quiet day except for the sound of an owl in the distance hoo hoo hoo-ing. I was surprised to see it silently fly to a tree nearby to give me a good staredown. Yikes. Time to go home, it was getting dark and I found the owl scrutiny a little unnerving.

I had cut some forsythia branches earlier to bring home and hopefully force into bloom. The buds were very tiny but what the heck, I am desperate for a sign of spring. If I couldn't get them to bloom this time, I could always try again with some fresh branches later.

Nothing happened for a couple weeks and I knew I had probably cut the forsythia stems too soon but when I was about to throw the whole brown stem bouquet out, I looked at the very top of it and saw this...


Even when you force spring to happen, it still surprises you with its unexpected appearance. :-)