Days of unpleasant weather were followed by several last week when the weather couldn't seem to make up its mind.
'Raw" and "chilly" were fitting descriptive words.
On Sunday we had sunshine and skies so blue it almost hurt to gaze upon them with our
After lunch I put on my stout shoes and had a good outdoor walk-about.
I am delighted to find signs of life on this rosebush.
It is the one I transplanted from the corner near the south porch last spring.
It was so slow to break dormancy last year that I feared it had winter-killed.
Now, in its new spot by the timber retaining wall near the workshop, so soon after cold and snow, it has sent out new leaves.
A clump of yarrow must have been reviving under the snow.
I don't know if this is one I raised from seed or ordered from a nursery catalog.
Nepeta, moved from my former garden.
Charlie-Cat, strolling with me, has discovered the patch of freshly emerged catnip.
Some of these iris came from our interim property--the Bedfrod stone house which we renovated and sold. Other iris were divided from some at our daughter's home. They were all thrust rather hastily into a rough plot of ground partway down the lane.
Weeds flourished around them in the very hot wet summer of 2015.
I hope I can find the gumption to clear the worst of the weeds and put down a barrier of mulch.
Dandelions are opening their bright blooms in the pasture and along the verge of the lane.
Willis followed me along the lane, but detoured back toward the house while I went out along the road.
Wild daffodils near the mailbox at the end of the lane.
I brought in a handful of them last week, picked while a spatter of rain fell.
I brought them, cool and sweet, to put in a vase on the kitchen table.
I was able to enjoy them for two days before Mima-cat discovered them and began to pull them, one by one, from the vase.
I picked a fresh bunch today.
Walking in our field--where Jimmy has done some earth-moving to discourage this bit of Spruce Pine Creek from invading the corn ground.
I didn't notice minnows in this small clear pond--perhaps they are down in the gravelly bottom where it is warmer.
Looking east [maybe south east?] up the valley.
The farm at the end of the road belongs to our Amish neighbors.
The nearer buildings are empty, having absentee 'English' owners who bought the Amish property a year before we acquired ours.
Jim climbed out one of the upstairs hallway windows to remove this paper wasp nest that was tucked under the eaves.
The wasps [or are they hornets?] were something of a menace last summer as they could squeeze between the window frame and the screens and invade the bedrooms.
I think Jim spray-bombed the nest at some point, but decided to remove it in case it should attract new occupants.
The base of the nest.
The papery pockets which I assume held developing wasps.
By the time I returned from my walk all these fragile fragments had been swept off by the wind.
Looking into the top of a sycamore near the creek.
Early last week a good friend in Vermont who is sorting vintage family photos contacted me to ask if I might do some research on the background of her late mother-in-law.
Some folks do crosswords, some labor over jigsaw puzzles--I enjoy the stimulation of digging for family roots.
I spent quite a few hours at my desk while the weather sulked and raged outside--deciphering faded handwriting on census forms, birth and death certificates, paging through the listings of interments in rural cemeteries of upstate New York.
I pondered, scrawled names and dates in a yellow notebook, explored google maps.
I squinted at the digitized columns of newspapers which first saw the light in the late 1800's.
As I followed family members into the 20th century I took time to glance at advertisements, to read the news notes from the little hamlets where my own folks had lived on the other side of the mountain.
There are the "Yes!' moments when relationships are made clear, the delight when a midnight 'hunch' pays off.
There is also the frustration when the expected information on a marriage isn't part of the online record--when a birth certificate hasn't been completed to give a mother's maiden name.
When I work on a genealogy project, modest as my resources are, I feel that I have become a small part of those now distant lives and situations.
These long-dead individuals parade through my over-active brain at 2 A.M.
I become obsessed with learning their details.
I had to put the project aside on Friday and turn to other things.
I hope sometime this week to organize my findings into a 'worksheet' which I can share with my friends. We never find all the information we would like to have.
Today I finished the small baby quilt which has been a work in progress for several weeks.
I must remember to take a photo before I fold it into a gift bag.
It is after 11 P.M. now.
I have heaved chunks of wood into the fire, rescued the vase of daffodils from Mima-cat who was intending to make salad of them.
It is quiet tonight; no lashing wind such as roared through the treetops last night.
The thermometer outside the kitchen window stands at 36 F.
I have turned the calendar page to March, only half an hour ahead of reality.
Time to trudge up the stairs to bed---hopefully-- to sleep.