Tuesday, April 24, 2018


The weather finally holds in the 50 and 60's F and I spend backbreaking hours planting new perennials that I have purchased (Sunday mornings no one is in church these days.  They are all at the plant place!) And I am carefully dividing old perennials from years past hoping I do not kill the plant.  And I am bending and weeding circles of tiny green weeds that took the place of perennials that died over the winter. The yellow sassafras in the woods is blooming but I see only the tiniest of bees coming for nectar.

The big bumblers crash headfirst like Kamakazee pilots and upon landing shaking the cherry blossoms free of their pollen and drinking deeply of sweet nectar after the long winter's nap.

I saw the first Zebra Swallowtail last week and was amazed since it was so early, but because we have planted a number of small wild Paw Paw trees which is their primary source for laying eggs I am happy they are here.

I next will take in the bird feeders and wash them in bleach and store them until fall.  The Blue Birds are nesting in the birdhouse attached to the cheap little arbor in the front yard, and we try not to frighten them as we work around those beds.

Yep, spring is here!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


The dogwoods have gone from bud to flower in just three days, so I decided I will go from photo to manipulation in just 7 hours!

Original with some sharpening and lighting work.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Ancient Ones

A visitor from an ancient world stopped by to say "Hi." the other day. He is usually very shy, but spring sometimes confuses those from the eons. We, in the modern world, are busy and hurrying and need reasons for everything we do including bothering to visit. Primeval ones that have survived this invented busyness created by mankind stop to impress and remind and even cajole.   Hylatomus pileatus is his name but I just call him Hy, because that is how we are.  He is like an ancient Yogi answering my questions with more questions. 

"Why are you here?"

"Why not?'

"Is there something I can do for you?"

"Is there something I can do for YOU?"

Eventually, I tire of this game and just observe.

For a minute I thought we were going to really get to know each other and that I was going to have to see if the pantry had any juicy black beetles or nice

chewy grubs, not the type of nutritional snacks that I often keep on hand.  But as luck would have it, he decided the stay must be brief.

Ever the elemental creature, he did not leave before reminding me to wash the windows above the sink in the kitchen.  We have THAT kind of relationship!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Digital Paint Brush Version

While waiting for a friend from Junior High School to come to dessert this evening, I am doing some 'painterly' versions of the Lenton Roses blooming under my sugar maple tree.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Fits and Starts and Decisions

...Or should that be Starts and Fits? 

That is the way spring has come 
She is like a transgender child 
Not sure which dance step 
To put forth on the soft wet earth 
The step of energetic athlete 
The step of floating ballerina 
The step of the timid morning Fox 
Looking to steal a furred babe

Spring is more muddled this year 
She swirls in cold weather 
Followed by angelic afternoon sunshine 
Followed by stinging, sleety rain 
The yellow trumpets in the corner 
Have lowered their heads in submission 
Buried in icy pellets on a few afternoons 

Then lift up in reverent joy 
To announce spring's arrival 
While the warm sun scratches their backs 

Are we to be hedonistic 
Or are we to be stalwart 
Even the Osprey has been both warrior 
And distracted traveler 
Both the Goose and the Mallard 
Have attempted to usurp the platform 
Today the Osprey seems to sit in ownership 
This morning the river is glassine
The naked trees are neither alive nor dead 
Standing like brown replicates 
The birds sing 
Then freeze in place 
As if surprised at their own pure voice
Today all is still 
Still waiting for spring

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Spring Real Estate Deals

Things are getting busy. Citrus trees have been moved to the outdoors and the Yellow Rump has discovered them and is helping remove the fungus flies that "blossomed" into crowds of tiny black dots all over my windows.

Not exactly a feast out here!

Over Christmas there was the gift of a bluebird house that attaches to a window---an experiment where I have taped some black construction paper on the inside---that the Blue Birds are now checking out in the daytime.  They chatter for hours on end.

"I tell you, Margaret, they are NOT leaving!"

They are confused by the other interested shoppers (reflections of themselves) and they are leaving calling cards all over my windowsills!!

The male is in his mating beauty.

I have come to the conclusion that house shopping is as difficult and stressful for birds as it is for people!