Oh Spring, Where Art Thou?


Oh Spring, where art thou? It’s an oft repeated cry this February. I should be out weeding and planting and … and … and, but this morning all I can do is be delighted by the beautiful snow. There are years when it never snows. The pruned pear trees look lovely. The dogs are having fun. The rosemary is crushed, but it will rebound. There is no mistaking where the fence is. The bench by the pond has a soft cushion to sit on. The chickens are laying eggs. The witch hazel is still fragrant. It bends easily underneath the heavy snow and springs back at the slightest touch. And Takuma is chomping away at the dried lovage stems. How could I possibly be sad?


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Is It Love?


Is it love? Russell and Kumo-Hime 雲姫 spend a lot of time together. I’m not sure who has the thing for the other. She must like him, or she wouldn’t encourage him to hang around. It must be love.


At the end of winter, the bright yellow squash of late summer has turned to camouflage. I stopped to take a picture of pumpkin seeds and didn’t see the squash at first. The pumpkin has turned into a splattering of seeds. They are all that are left of a plump pumpkin which would have made a good pie. Why the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds haven’t absconded with all the seeds is a mystery.


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When Spring and Winter Dance


When spring and winter dance, towering clouds leap over the mountains, dragging curtains of snow through the tree tops. These dances are so ephemeral that if you are driving, you have to pull over to the side of the road to stop to enjoy them.


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Spread Your Wings


When Sven spreads his wings, his white feathers explode. Which is why he does it. Any hen who is anywhere will see him, even it is just out of the corner of her eye. Roosters are the drag queens of the chicken world. Anytime is showtime, any hen is an audience. There is only shame in not displaying your beauty.


Today’s sullen morning skies tugged with today’s blue afternoon skies. Each day now is a tug between winter and spring. Will it be winter today or spring?


The daylily and tulip shoots say it is spring. I’ll take their word for it.


The fuzzy camellia buds are a promise of better days to come. Why are they fuzzy? Do they need to stay warm? And today’s eggs, no two alike, from the one with the crinkled tip, to the tiny pullet egg, to Kuro-hime’s blue egg. May every one of your eggs be different.


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A Time of Firsts


It’s a time of firsts. Two nights ago we heard the frogs for the first time this year. From now until they tire of love-making in mid June, the night air will fill with the hum and crescendo with their love songs.

The first tulip leaves have popped out of the ground, and today, in the cool, misty spring air, the first daffodils are unfolding their beauty.


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I’ve Never Met a Rhubarb


The rhubarb are pushing out of the ground. Their wrinkled, leaf embryos look hot to the touch, but are as cold as the ground. Their new leaves and bulbs are so red, you think they would bleed if you cut into them. I’ve never met a rhubarb, a person with the name Rhubarb that is. I’ve met a Daisy, a Violet, a Daphne, even someone called Oak, but no one called Rhubarb, unless Barb counts.

Why is that? Rhubarbs have admirable qualities. They are among the first to stir in the spring, the first vegetable you can harvest in northern climates, and they produce well into summer. They are strong, sturdy, look magnificent when their expansive leaves unfurl. You could say someone is as trustworthy as a rhubarb, as faithful as one, as productive as one, as sweet as one, and on and on. So all you expectant parents out there, you have my permission to name your child, Rhubarb. And if you do, introduce me to them someday so I can say, “I’ve met a Rhubarb!”


Pink is a dominant color these days. The blushing flowers seem embarrassed to have opened too soon. It’s too cool yet for bees to come flirting, and so the blossoms hover delicately, waiting and waiting for love to come their way.


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Winter’s End


Blooming witch-hazel mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. These beguiling flowers remind me of colorful spiders. A few days after they open, their spicy fragrance makes you close your eyes and have pleasant dreams.

The “witch” in witch-hazel has nothing to do with the spell these flowers cast. It comes from the Old English “wice” which means that the plants are pliable.


The young chicks are ever so curious. I’m watching them eat. They are watching me, wondering what I am. Humans and dogs often tilt their heads when they are trying to figure out something. Chickens turn their head, first looking at you with one eye, and then the other.


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