Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mother Nature is Messing with my Head

It was below freezing last night; I am starting to get a twitch every time I hear the heating system kick on. I want open windows and warm breezes!

The rain prevented me from photographing the spring blossoms yesterday, and I am hoping that last night's freeze has not caused those blooms to turn to icy mush so I can catch that short seasonal moment in time.

Flowers are such a perfect icon of spring; so beautiful, so bright, and here for such a short time. They are the living expression of hope, and of the power and possibility to life. The amazing thing is that even if the freeze did take the blooms that are already here, the rain will bring more to replace the ones lost by the cruelty of the cold. It is the only magic that is real; the tangible representation of what is around us if we could only stop a moment and really look around, and at each other, and see the extraordinary potential of the living energy that surrounds us.

So I wander with a towel around my neck, a camera in my hands, and dew-soaked shoes. I laugh to myself that all I need now is a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Universe could be mine. Never leave home without your towel; it will keep you dry while getting belly-down, nose-to-stamen with your chosen quarry. I must look quite the sight.

I am capturing for all time something that should not last. I wonder if this is somehow cheating, this holding onto something that is precious not just because of its beauty, but also because of its ephemeral nature. Ah, Saturday morning flower philosophy. I sip my coffee, enjoy the warm, dry socks that have replaced the cold and damp shoes and pull myself back from deep thoughts and back into the here and now. The puppy wants to play, and I must oblige her...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Spring Day in Roanoke

I love visiting Downtown Roanoke and wandering through the Farmer's Market. There is always something interesting going on, there are all sorts of vegetables and fruits for sale, and lots of Artisans selling their crafts. The architecture is fun to photograph, and the people are some of the most friendly I have ever found. The shops are varied and interesting, and there is almost every cuisine I can think of all within walking distance. It just does not get any better than that!

I had some Pad Thai at a new restaurant, grabbed some coffee at Mill Mountain Coffee Shop, picked up a loaf of bread from On The Rise, peeked at some clothes at Le De Da, ogled the Chocolate counter at Chocolate Paper, and snagged some veggies from the Market.

I watched Mr. Saunders make birdhouses from natural & recycled materials, and enjoyed people-watching while using the free wifi.

Sadly, I did not have a chance to go to the Taubman Museum of Art. I think that calls for another visit very soon, don't you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So Close to Spring...

The Dogs are ready for spring. I can tell they are getting the itch to roam the woods and fields, and so am I! The peepers were not singing last weekend, but the daffodils were poking green spires through the leaves of the forest floor, so I deem that enough of a sign that nature is waking up and it will not be long until we are enjoying grilling on the porch and planting all around Dog Days. I am so thankful for the small signs, as I am still traumatized from the powerful winter that roared through the entire Mid-Atlantic.

Barb and Mia recently spent a few days with us and helped out on the first forest permaculture planting. Three thousand seeds later, I really owed them a nice dinner at Oddfella's Cantina in Floyd. We were lucky to enjoy live music and a great meal; I love to go to a local eatery that has so many things on the menu that I want to eat that it is really hard to choose just one thing. I find myself trying to convince everyone else at the table to order the other menu items I want so I can sneak bites...

The deer have destroyed every bit of shrubbery we have; they know they are much faster than the dogs, so no longer even bother to feign fear or muster a decent run. I used to like the hooved ruminants, but just having a love of vegetables in common is no longer enough to keep me from resenting their locust-like qualities. I may change my policy of live and let live if they push it much further. I can deal with the loss of the ewes, nandina, holly and such, but if they put one pointy toe near my tomatoes, they will truly incur my wrath. I do have my limits!

The wood stove will soon (hopefully) get cleaned out for the last time; I have to admit I will miss being able to lay by it and snuggle with the dogs. There is no better kind of warm than the one that a wood stove makes, except maybe for the warm that you feel when there is a puppy next to you. They are so sweet when they sleep; the rest of the time they can make you a little crazy, but while sleeping, there is nothing more precious.

The last sign that spring is near; my garage smells faintly of onions. Bags of red, white and yellow onion sets are in there waiting to be planted in the next couple of weeks as soon as the ground can be properly tilled. They are in their cool, dry place until the field is dry enough to get the tiller through without bogging down. I will do my best not to try too early, but with my usual patience of a Muppet on crack, someone may be rescuing me from myself and the tiller from the mud.