The Promise of Spring – at Last!

Nanking CHerry starting to bloom

Nanking Cherry starting to bloom

March 24 – Yes, I know it is an old saying but really “Spring has sprung!” As we walk around the pasture trails we see evidences of that statement all around us. So many kinds of flowers are either already blooming, like the golden yellow daffodils or forsythia bushes, or are just poking their heads up from the dirt into the world around them.

The reddish maroon peony buds are a couple inches tall now, the purple magnolia bush has a few flowers on it, and the hens’ bits with their pretty purplish flowers are welcome (now, maybe, but not later when I have to hoe them out from the asparagus and blackberries). The hyacinths that will soon be wearing their beautiful red or pink dresses, the healthy-looking surprise lilies on the other side of the creek, a myriad of white apricot blossoms, and the Cornelian cherries showing off their host of blooms.

Starlings on the lawn

Starlings on the lawn

Big flocks of starlings and red-winged blackbirds come to feed on the back lawn or at the bird feeder, taking over from the cardinals and blue jays. Two huge crows have been visiting the lawn back by the asparagus from time to time. Cat still enjoys her treasured place in the corner of the feeder and even had a little junco pay her a visit a few days ago. Which was most surprised? I don’t know, but Cat didn’t bother the bird, nor did the junco stay long enough to visit with her.

King Squirrel, with his beautiful reddish tail, acts as if he surely is the boss, snatching sunflower seeds from right under the beaks of the birds! Dale put a big chunk of herbed Brie cheese out by the feeder, but there have been no daytime takers. Nightly eaters are probably racoons or possums. Sure is not very appetizing to us!

Last week I had an interesting note from our niece Linda back in Pennsylvania. She had read one of the stories I wrote about the old days back there when I was a child, and then read a similar story about winter in the local newspaper. Nice of Linda to send it to me, and I was really surprised to find that author Rita’s remembrances were so much like mine. Linda also mentioned that her grandson Jamie will graduate from Collegiate Academy this year. That brought back memories, too, because that academy came into being after Academy High School was closed–Academy High, from which all seven of us kids (and a number of grandkids) graduated many years ago.

Boss Squirrel strikes a pose

King Squirrel strikes a pose

Yesterday afternoon after we had worked outside, we sat out on the porch reading. What a joy to read a good magazine or book, with nothing pressing that just had to be done! Then, after supper which included a mixture of tofu and vegetables, cabbage salad (one of Dale’s favorites), a pudding made from our own homegrown cherries and blackberries, and sparkling apple juice, we enjoyed more games of Rummikub. Later, before going off to bed, we noticed that the thermometer still read 60 degrees! – CHRIS

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