Tag Archives: Seasons

Starting Small

According to the calendar — spring begins next week. Reminder: we had snow on Sunday.

Mother Nature appears to be up to her usual March dance: a little rain, a cold wind, sunshine, and a touch of snow — all smashed together within a day or two.

These days also contain a few constants. And hints of hope.

Early spring bulbs push up into the air. Even their blossoms tough out the wind and clumps of wet snow. And the trees are waking up from winter rest.

A few days ago I went to visit the neighborhood apple tree. (If there are others, I don’t know their location.) And on a gray morning this is what I found.

Buds are becoming prominent saying:

The blossoms are coming. The leaves are coming. Be patient for fruit.



Keep Off the Ice!

Our city had a stretch of cold weather this winter — longer and harder than recent years. It was tempting to walk on a pond. And dangerous.

Warm days have visited since. Ice no longer clings to the shore of the still water. So the temptation for humans is less. And other creatures — well, geese are designed to swim so they should be fine.

The photo today is of another creature. One which I seldom think of in relation to ice and ponds and lakes and such. Yes, I know they are there. And when I do stop to think — I know they go deep, to where the water is liquid and food available.

Can you find them in this photo?

Goldfish under ice.

Fresh and Clean

A new year. Another 364 days of 2018 to do things right.

It’s so very nice to get a second, third, or whatever chance.

But the only way to not mess up is to do nothing — and sometimes that’s wrong too. So go ahead — take a stab at it.

Try a new thing.  Visit a new place. Make a new friend.

2018 is as close to a blank slate as it will ever be.

Make your Mark!

Browsing Reindeer

My knowledge of real reindeer is slim. The whitetail deer which populates much of the American Midwest and Northeast — that is more familiar.

And whitetail deer are browsers. They love to nibble on bushes and trees. Perhaps they can stay more alert for enemies than when grazing on grasses.

My decorative deer appears to enjoy boxwood. No problem. It’s after hunting season in this area and he’s safe. And still. This year I was allowed to add a festive ribbon to his chest.

Non-flying variety of deer.

Winter Inspiration

The artist named it Adirondack. Note the snowshoes.

It conjures the sort of pictures common on Christmas cards. One of the few places in recent years where the snow is even, clean, and roads passable on December 25.

Have you ever tried snowshoes? Do you live where it’s even a possibility?

For a sweet little romance where the heroine straps them on and goes walking among evergreens — try Starr Tree Farm. It’s available in print or ebook as a single.

It’s also available with five other winter romances in the ebook anthology Snowbound Snuggles.


Whooooo Designed This?

A wreath on the front door welcomes guests. And at this time of year more doors than usual wear them.

Some are simple — a swirl of pine boughs. Or perhaps holly.

Others get rather elaborate.

On my most recent visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, they had a display – available via silent auction – of some beautiful door decor. They were too large for my door and the bids were too high for my wallet, but a person can enjoy for free.

These white owls wisely welcome you to the holiday season.

Holiday Fruit

Fruit trees in the Upper Midwest, where I grew up, bloom in the spring and have fruit ready for harvest from mid-summer to fall. Depending on the sort of tree.

Winter fruit — well — that was from the store. Unless it was from a jar an adult preserved during the local harvest.

And at the holidays we often bought special fruit. Big, shiny apples shipped from another state. Or oranges — they fit so well in the toe of a Christmas stocking.

A few years our house received a box of very special fruit. A relative living in California would send my grandmother a box of “tree ripened” citrus. They were extra large and extra sweet.

Mmmmm. This sight brings back memories.

Carefully collected

Autumn. Fall. Harvest. A time to gather together the bounty of the earth and store it for the bleak winter to come.

Growing up on a farm, this was one of the busiest times of the year. The oats were threshed (later combined), a final crop of hay gathered, and then the corn. These days there’s a soybean harvest also. Long, busy days full of dust and noise and satisfaction.

The final vegetables from the garden were picked. Or dug. Some ended up preserved in jars. Some, like potatoes or squash, in a wooden box to story in a cool, dry, dark place. Onions were  pulled, the long tops braided together and hung on a nail in a cool, dry place.

It’s different when living in the city. Items we considered useful but messy are used for decoration. Cornstalks at the grocery store? One straw bale set out where the weather could attack from all sides?

An elegant, colorful, seasonal display.

Sunny Day Work

Growing up on a farm had advantages. (Also disadvantages, but we’ll save those for another time.)

We raised dairy cows. Cattle have a large appetite. And since Wisconsin has a season called WINTER, much of the year hay was included in their diet. Raking was one of the jobs I was frequently given during haying season. (Beginning in late June and continuing to two, sometimes three cuttings.)

My father, or sometimes an older brother, would mow the alfalfa (or clover) and it would dry as it laid in the field for one, two, or three days. They I would be assigned to rake it. It one of these:

This was a job for sunny days. I’d drive the tractor and putt along the field from one end to the other, the rake swishing the hay into a long, loose windrow ready for the baler. A large straw hat, long sleeves, and long pants protected me from the hazard of sunburn. Bumping over gopher holes made me thankful for a padded seat. But it was fun! Time to think. Sing. Daydream about the future.

Did you have a favorite chore or job while growing up?

Ready for Dipping

St. Louis has a weather reputation which it shares with large portions of the American Midwest.

Four seasons. Some years it feels like five or six. They’ve been known to crowd three into a single day. An allotment of three (maybe four) perfect weather days per year.

It’s currently summer. Early sunrise. Late sunset. Hot and sunny in daylight. Warm and humid in the dark. Residents learn to cope. Fans. Air conditioning. Shade. Water.

The quiet time between sunrise and opening.