Sunday, February 19, 2012

Only One Sunny Day

Friday dawned sunny and
I hurried to do several loads of laundry and pegged jeans and shirts and a huge quilt on the lines.
It was a day for opening windows to fresh air and for attacking the accumulation of ashy dust which is the down side of cozy wood fires.

Will accompanied me as I fed  horse, emptied litter boxes and prowled the dooryard for signs of spring.
Here he is walking along the edge of J.'s plastic-shrouded boat.
Willis had been splotting in the pool of rain water caught and held in the center of the tarp.

The pampered darlings had been inside for several days--too cold to have the sliding door open into the cat yard.  Teasel and Chester sniff at each other like wary strangers.

Teasel dabs through the wire fence--I didn't see anything moving on the concrete wall of the basement bulkhead.  Perhaps she was experimenting with a different texture after the smoothness of wood floors indoors and the cool damp grass of the cat yard.

These daffodils are really invincible. Since the relative warmth of January they alternately languished in cold windy days, nearly flattened last weekend by a sleety rain, then reviving with any hint of sun.

I found this tiny johnny-jump-up nestled in the weedy grass at the bottom of one of the flower strips.
Wild onion, invasive lamium, called hen-bit here--and a host of other evergreen weeds have thrived over the winter in the ground that I laboriously cleared in September.

Several of the roses are showing crimson leaf buds--I couldn't get as sharp a focus as I wanted.

More poppy seedlings have emerged, much too close together.
I'll likely attempt to move a few although my success in transplanting them last year was not impressive.
 Each bloom is fleeting, but a much anticipated joy.

One healthy clump of lupine, where there should be several.

I pulled back the heavy curtains over the sliding doors early on Saturday morning, having stayed quietly in bed while watching the grey of night turn to the soft colors of dawn.
We have seen this marmalade and white Tom lurking about the yard and barns.
Here he was, eyeing me from the curbing just outside the cat play yard while at my feet Charlie and tribe rumbled warning growls from their safe place behind the glass.
Sigh. Stray, feral cats have been a bane where ever we have lived.

Raising my eyes from the Marmalade Tom I saw several deer in the upper field.
I crept out in fleecy robe and slippers, but they heard me and fled toward the woods, blurs of tan and white.
Notice the lead deer vaulting over the fence.

The morning was chilly and the faint promise of sun was not fulfilled.
Still, the air had an unmistakable scent of freshness that comes in early spring.
Robins called from the maples and old apple trees near the garden.
Retreating to the house, I stood warming my hands on a mug of coffee and watched the bluebirds swirl about the wooden nest box at the far end of the dooryard, while goldfinches, chickadees and tufted titmice thronged the birdfeeders.
In spite of increasing chill as night drew in the 'peepers' were chanting their shrill mating chorus along the banks of the creek across the road.  We stood with neighbors on the porch to listen, encouraging each other at yet one more sign of winters' soon passing.

The only sun today was a faint wash of light slanting in the sliding doors just before sundown.
I didn't linger outside when I dealt with cat litter.
J. brought in extra wood for the evening with Willis standing watch at the shed door.

Like Willis, we have stayed close to the livingroom fire today.
I thought of starting a fire downstairs and sewing, but didn't get motivated past mere thinking.
A Maisie Dobbs mystery, mugs of tea, and the attentions of several cats who coveted my rocking chair claimed much of this quiet grey day.

Cardinals and finches shared the seeds which litter the ground under the feeders.
The sense of hunkering down and waiting out the foul weather has affected both humans and the birds and beasties who share our space, indoors and out.


  1. It was warm enough here to open windows the other day. It made such a difference! Have a good week.

  2. Wonderful description of your day. I can feel and smell it. Our weather is cold for us and don't we complain! We've even had some light rain.Willis and Willow have certainly made themselves at home. Scruffy is fixated on moving reflection from when the sun catches a watch or something. We put away the laser toy as he just thinks it's going to appear anywhere all the time. Now he has the squirrels to attract his attention. He even missed several naps to keep up with all their activity.

  3. Lovely. I do enjoy these glimpses into your life, so different to mine here in England.
    I smiled at the johnny-jump-up, what a great name. I was trying to see if it is what we call a viola?

  4. Even though we have our huge family of cats I still marval at the behaviour of other felines and adore all the photos ...we had a ginger visit us the other day who could have been a twin of your visitor.
    I wish you well for transplanting the poppies ...I too love them ... when their season arrives there are a lot of yellow in the ftelds near by.

  5. Hang on, spring will be there before too much longer. I can just imagine how antsy you all must be about now.

    Have a good week ~ FlowerLady

  6. Gosh! It's really starting to look like spring down your way.

  7. We have another cool spell here and there was a dusting of snow on the mynydd in the distance as I drove up the A40 today. But the frogs and the birds are convinced spring is in the offing, and I for one, can't wait. I so enjoyed walking around your property with you and wishing we had birds as colourful as the Cardinal in the garden here.

  8. We finally had our first real rain in forever, it is definitely starting to look like spring down here. Looking forward to seeing you plant your garden, you have so much more room than us.

  9. John; I crack open the bedroom windows or the sliding door in the dining area whenever weather allows--sometimes even when it doesn't--wanting that breath of fresh air.
    Chris; Willis has always demonstrated great aplomb--he is happy indoors or out, though I don't want him inside all night! Willow is quite affectionate, especially when I am in the kitchen. Her brother, Wilbur, still doesn't care for humans--he spends a lot of time under the bed!
    I think the visiting birds are fairly safe--only one cat induced casualty that I've witnessed since we began putting out feeders. The bird activity provides endless interest for the captive felines.
    Kath; That is indeed a viola tricolor--I meant to add the proper name. Two of the little plants have appeared in the second flower strip--way beyond the johnnies that I planted last year near the herb garden. Their colloquial name likely comes from the way the plants pop up where least expected.
    Angie; I wish I had the means to take care of more neglected/abandoned cats--though not to have them move in with us. Poor creatures--it isn't their fault that they become a nuisance.
    FL; I wonder how long we need to live in this zone 6 place before I understand the seasons and gardening requirements--we're still on a rather steep learning curve.
    Jane; We have the look of spring some days even though the temps aren't too encouraging lately.
    BB; Snow flakes swirled about over the weekend, never really piling up. Most of them melted soon after landing on the ground. I missed the cheerful red of the cardinals when we lived in Wyoming--the lady cardinals though less brilliant are also beautiful birds.
    Janet; I'm thinking spring should arrive for you in Georgia a bit ahead of Kentucky. We've had a goodly amount of rain since October after what was called a dry summer. Can't second guess the seasons!

  10. I cannot wait until there is a bit more life in my garden I love seeing things sprouting up and then thier sunny little faces appear.Your pics are always lovely.Love Jill xx

  11. from now on I shall call them Johnny jump up's :-)

  12. I felt I was walking through your farm with you in this lovely post. We seem to be deep in winter again here, although warmer temperatures are promised in the next few days.

  13. Jill; No matter how many springs we see, those first sprouts of growing things are magical.
    Kath; I like knowing the common names of plants--easier to remember sometimes than the Latin--although that intrigues me as well.
    DW; I think we could enjoy each other's walks in person--so nice that we can share our paths long distance!

  14. It's lovely finding little signs of Spring's approach isn't it? Sunday was a beautiful day here but cold. The Marmalade tom looks pretty well fed and healthy - is he really a feral cat? I'm a fan of the Maisie Dobbs books too, I'm waiting for the next one to come out in paperback.