This afternoon. Tender new moss growth is so green. I lay on the big lichen-y boulder for a while, looking up into the trees and talking to a chickadee.

Moss. So much moss. And lichen. Textures and patterns and colors, covering rocks, climbing trees, wrapping around sticks. Up at the ridge: dripping, and foam, and sodden moss, and dead leaves faded pale, collaged together in zillions of overlapped shapes, layered thick, quiet, soft, flat.

I can barely think or move; I’m bordering-on-lightheaded with that deep, satisfying exhaustion of being in nature and doing until you can’t anymore, then sitting still, centered, feeling it all sinking in. It’s a little chilly, a little breezy, steely gray and almost-rainy, but it was good.

I walked around the whole yard and climbed the whole trail and hack-pruned the big hydrangea and hack-pruned the butterfly bushes and dragged it all away. They are monsters, those butterfly bushes. It was a battle. I hack them to stubs every year and then they shoot out five feet of new growth over the course of one summer, and smell like wine and swarm with butterflies.

So many things are showing Signs now. Not pretty signs, yet, but just tiny bits of green appearing where a week or two ago it looked dead and brown. The perennials, the grass, little eager flowering weeds. They are subtle bits of green, and you have to look. But some of the Succulent Hill action is visible from my window, now! Little lumps of color sticking out of the weathered mulch. I looked up close at the individual plants with binoculars before I went out, because I am silly that way. They are glistening with captured raindrops, although the binoculars don’t show that detail.

And the moss. Moss, moss, moss. Is this wet, drippy, soggy time the moss’ favorite part of the year? I wish I could identify the mosses and lichens, but I can’t. I don’t know their names, or even how many types there are. So many. But I can still admire them. I probably need food now but I don’t know if I can move anything but my fingers. I know this isn’t coherent but neither is my brain.

Sounds on my freezing-cold walk on our trail this sunny afternoon: dripping, wind chimes, doves cooing, dove wings fluttering, birds twittering, grackles’ squeaky-swing voices, leaves rustling. My fingers felt like they were going to drop off, and my eyes were watering like mad from the wind. I think it’s about 29°. The snow on the patio is still frozen so hard that I can stand on top without sinking in. But the moss seems so happy, and when I looked closely in the succulent bed, there were tiny tiny signs of new growth everywhere!

:-)  After it fell on the ground because the hanging part on top had disintegrated too much, I worked a little hole into the bottom of this felted wool bird house last year, and stuck it on the top of a little broken-off tree.  Now it’s slid down to the bottom, with some new matching nature-made holes nearby!  (Notice that one of the missing wool leaves is on top of the log.)

:-) After it fell on the ground because the hanging part on top had disintegrated too much, I worked a little hole into the bottom of this felted wool bird house last year, and stuck it on the top of a little broken-off tree. Now it’s slid down to the bottom, with some new matching nature-made holes nearby! (Notice that one of the missing wool leaves is on top of the log.)

Here’s how the melt looks, as of today. I kind of don’t want the snow to go, though, because then it’ll be all brown.  But tiny bits of color will start appearing soon?

Here’s how the melt looks, as of today. I kind of don’t want the snow to go, though, because then it’ll be all brown. But tiny bits of color will start appearing soon?

The melting ice formation on the ridge is all white and weird and crystal-y textured, with lots of free-standing stalagmite-y bits. Here’s how it looked a month ago.

Icy melting snow texture, up by the ridge.

Icy melting snow texture, up by the ridge.

The moss loves the moistness of all the melting snow and ice.

The moss loves the moistness of all the melting snow and ice.

More photos from my tromp outside this afternoon:  lots of DRIPS up on the mossy glacial ridge!  I love how this granite schist has all those little red pieces of garnet in it.

More photos from my tromp outside this afternoon: lots of DRIPS up on the mossy glacial ridge! I love how this granite schist has all those little red pieces of garnet in it.

I went on a big tromp outside to update my approach of spring observations!  This weekend, nature is working on MELTING.  Some of the snow is still hard enough to walk on top of, but most of it has the granular texture of shave ice, and there are lots of patches of bare earth in front of the house, on Succulent Hill, over big rocks, and around the bases of trees.  I love that trees give off enough heat to melt snow. ♥

More photos soon!

I went on a big tromp outside to update my approach of spring observations! This weekend, nature is working on MELTING. Some of the snow is still hard enough to walk on top of, but most of it has the granular texture of shave ice, and there are lots of patches of bare earth in front of the house, on Succulent Hill, over big rocks, and around the bases of trees. I love that trees give off enough heat to melt snow. ♥

More photos soon!

Ice on our ridge today. It’s sooo thick!  Later I drove over the Connecticut River on the way to East Windsor and it looked amazing—all frozen and jaggedy and dangerous looking! I’ve got to check it out up close.

Ice on our ridge today. It’s sooo thick! Later I drove over the Connecticut River on the way to East Windsor and it looked amazing—all frozen and jaggedy and dangerous looking! I’ve got to check it out up close.

Out for a walk in the cold, and back in again. Bracing!

Icy, crystally textures from my trail walk this afternoon.

Further back, for a little more perspective.

Looooong icicles on the ridge.

Looooong icicles on the ridge.