Outside for Spring


[ Cherry blossoms ]

April 20 – Here I am at the computer ready to write a few words about my work for today. Just came in from taking three laundry loads of clothes off the line. Dale always reminds me that we really do own a dryer which sits idly in the basement most of the year, not having anything to work on. As I have said before, I do not enjoy being inside when the weather calls me for outdoor activities!

That idea didn’t come to me just recently. Quite the opposite. All my years as a kid, the outdoors called, “C’mon, Chris! You aren’t forced to stay inside, especially on a day like this!” And that particular kind of day came for a number of months each year. During April, the rainy month, I stayed in much more than in the following months until November through February which called me to go sled riding or enjoying some other winter fun, like building forts and having snowball fights with my brothers.

As the years went by, I enjoyed introducing David and Biz to the fun times the winter provided. So they too grew up wanting to be outside as often as possible. Camping gave us a chance to enjoy nature all day long. Being away from home, we encountered so many interesting flowers, trees, creeks, bunnies, and chipmunks that our days were filled to the brim with happenings we still talk about when we get together.


[ May apples ]

On a recent walk through the pastures, we checked out the daffodils which are just about ready to die away until next year. I have a hard time breaking off the ones that have bloomed and now look unhappy. We were reminded again of the loss of Biz and Pete as we cleaned up the special rows of daffodils.

Along the just-about-a-mile trails we were pleased to find that May apples and service berry are ready for another year of blooming, trying to stand up to the strong northwesterly winds.

I wondered how service berry got its name, and found that some say the flowers started to bloom when the roads in the Appalachian Mountains were becoming passable in the spring. Thus the preachers who traveled around in a certain area would soon be coming, and church services would begin and continue until the snows came again.

The ground was thawed out enough by then that funeral services could be held for those who died in the winter. Some say that’s where the other name of the tree, “sar-vis,” came from. The regular “sarvis” could begin.


[ Vibernum ]

Regular violets, hensbit, dandelions, speedwell, star violet, vibernum, bright yellow mustard, and grape hyacinth are all enjoyed and appreciated. It was so good to see the dainty cherry blossoms, promising a good harvest later on, but if the weathermen are right this time, those blooms may be frozen before long. Other wild fruit trees and gooseberries are also turning green and getting ready for another summer’s growth.


[ New bamboo sprouts ]

The bamboo patches are finally losing their brownish color and putting on the green. Juniper trees are looking much more alive than they did during the winter. The willows down at the edge of the water have sprouted their beautiful light green color, and dance in the wind as their reflection is seen in the pond.

Yep, looks like spring is certainly here at last! – CHRIS






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