I went on a coooooold walk in the yard and took some baseline photos for my Approach and Arrival of Spring project!
The snow is so hard I barely leave any visible impression when I walk on top, and those old footprints I’m standing next to are about 8” deep. The depth of the snow varies a lot; there isn’t really one specific depth. It’s really neat walking on the surface without sinking in!
The snow around the larger rock formations on Succulent Hill has melted, but none of the plants have begun any signs of growth yet. (If you look closely in the second photo, you can see some hens-and-chicks (sempervivum), dormant. In the third photo, some dormant euphorbia are sticking out of the snow.
If you have ever lived somewhere rural, you’ll understand the fourth photo. :)
The fifth photo shows how badly the deer have eaten our arborvitae this year. The lower part always gets a little chewed on over this winter, but this is definitely the most amount of winter devouring since we’ve moved here! Notice how the snow in that area is melted, too. That’s from the deer stepping on it.
The rather ugly sixth photo is the how the phlox look this time of year, but it will be fun to compare to later in the season when they start to green up and flower!
Seventh photo: Maggie, my star magnolia, has tiny little fuzzy buds! They are really small, so it will be cool to keep an eye on them and watch them grow big! (I had to put my hand in the picture to get the camera to focus on the little buds, but it also serves to show how cooooold my hand looks!!!)
Last photo: I found a piece of deer fur on the ground. I love the thickness and slightly wavy texture, and variation in color along the length. Really interesting!
Civil twilight today = 6:12 PM.
Since I’m not usually around during March, I decided it would be fun to take the opportunity to observe and document the gradual approach of arrival of spring. The weather in Connecticut usually doesn’t start feeling spring-like until mid-April, but I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for subtle clues!
March 4: It’s about 27° out, with a layer of hard, frozen snow on the ground (I can walk on top without falling through). But the snow has melted enough so that the rocks in the woods are sticking out, and today I saw my first chipmunk out from hibernation (yaaaay!!!), along with our infrequent but always very welcome visitor, the Northern Flicker!
Too tired to move this afternoon (I kept waking up when it was still dark out this morning, for some reason), so I lay in my window seat for a while, gazing out at the birds and the sky and the trees. Then I noticed that my camera in max-zoom mode is almost the same as things look with my real eyes. These are all max-zoom photos of things I can see whilst reclined on my window seat.
Icy, crystally textures from my trail walk this afternoon.
Further back, for a little more perspective.
Looooong icicles on the ridge.
It’s a bit less cold today (mid-20s instead of mid-teens) so I went for a walk on our trail to check out all the giant icicles on the ridge. They are spectacular!
Views from lying in the hammock on Saturday with Dean. ♥ It was calm and sunny and warm—in the 60s. The trees are so bare now! Only the red oaks are clad. But it’s pretty, and you can see so much in all the new spaces between.
I had such a nice burying ground adventure today, in Ellington. It started off as an absolutely beautiful New Englandy fall day. A little chilly (50s), but I dressed for it, with two warm sweaters and my graveyard gloves. Lots of sun! Gorgeous blue sky with fluffy clouds! White tall-spired colonial church, yellow maples, atmospheric red barn, and lichen-y green stone walls! Just right.
Then the clouds started spreading and spreading, and swallowed up the sun, which ruined my lighting, but I didn’t really mind. I was just feeling so relaxed and alert and peaceful and good. I’ve been sort of sick recently, and my throat still hurts, but I felt really good this afternoon regardless. Not tired. Just, very present and balanced. Enjoying details. Enjoying music in the car. Enjoying the sky and the different kinds of rocks and all the quirky things I saw along the road driving to Ellington. Enjoying hanging out with Ebenezer Drake’s pleased vampires and Gershom Bartlett’s weird weird cute cute early sandstones and Ezra Stebbins, even though I mostly didn’t get to the Stebbins stones until I lost the sun. And it was good to be among Manning stones. And Lathrop, and Haskins, and the Upswept-Wing Carver. I was missing my northern friends, I think. Those shoreline burying grounds I went to with my parents when they were visiting had interesting stuff (which I still need to post about), but they aren’t where it’s at for me.
Yesterday autumn was saying: “I’ve waited long enough. Now it’s time to show my teeth!” Autumn’s teeth are made of wind.
I stayed inside.
Today, it showed me some mercy. Chilly yard walk, but calm and clear and glorious.
Tulip, the tulip poplar sapling, only has four leaves left.
The witch hazels are blooming like crazy! And some of their exploding seed pods are exploded. But they won’t do it front of me.
Our herb bed is full of leaves, but the herbs are still all very happy. No frost so far.
Everything in our feast tonight was amazing: crispy grilled purple cauliflower with olive oil and lots and lots of fresh herbs (English thyme, lemon thyme, striped sage, fennel leaf), crisp sweet corn ears from Draghi with butter and smoked black sea salt, and grilled sweet red Italian peppers (stuffed with olive oil, breadcrumbs, grated Romano cheese, and tofu chunks). The corn seemed like the best ever. Everything did, really; we both agreed it was perfection. I wonder if it will be our last grill session of the year? If so, it was a very worthy one.
I found this on my camera when I imported my other pictures. It’s from Saturday, and I love it.
Berries on the maple leaf viburnum that grow wild in the woods along the edges of our yard.
My leaf collection from the top of our trail Saturday. (Plus a chestnut oak acorn!)
Hanging on by a spider’s thread.
I stopped, arrested in my tracks, when I saw this leaf. The position, colors, textures and contrasts just seemed perfect.