It's been a little over 3 weeks since I've stopped in here. That's never a terrible thing; it usually just means that I've been busy outside of the blogosphere. Still, I continue to aim to blog with more regularity.
In this short span of time the amazing has happened. Spring is upon us with a strange rapidity. This is being experienced in many parts of our country, as is reflected by many of my blogging friends posts and photos (it's where I get all my news, you know). ;)
Environmentally speaking, it concerns me somewhat - especially since the lack of snow has meant drought-like conditions in much of our state. However, presently, I would rather just chalk it up to an unusually warm winter, and enjoy the ease at which my family has been allowed to become reacclimated to four, beautiful seasons.
And so, in pictures, I'd like to give a little re-cap of some of our activities and allow you to witness - in almost the same amount of time it seems! - the thaw which has taken place all around us in these 3 short weeks.
Here is our yard on the last day of February - this year the 29th. It was a beautiful, fresh layer of snow, but quite thin.
Two weeks ago: A baby shower at our home for my sister. I knit these for her baby girl, expected mid-April. They have named her Hazel, and as their other daughter's papa often refers to her as "Peanut", they have come to call this little one, "Hazelnut." Hence, the woodsy theme of my gift. :)
Just after the shower, the temperature climbed and climbed and everyone came out to play. Eve and I decided to explore Harriet Island, nestled in the heart of downtown St. Paul on the great Mississippi river, and stone's throw away from our house. Okay... you'd have to have a pretty strong arm, but let's just say it's close by.
Notice the lack of snow and the predominance of gold and brown...
A few days later we explored another nearby park (I have been scouting out nearby running trails, since I am now liberated from the treadmill) and the girls made friends - or was it enemies? - with the local Canadian geese. The geese were particularly vocal and scolding. I'm guessing it had more to do with the fact that we neglected to bring any bread to throw to them than anything else. At that point there was still a thin layer of ice resting on the surface of the lake, but that is gone now.
Last weekend, we went to a nearby nature center for lessons in maple syruping! It was such a lovely day and we were fortunate enough to be able to see a bit of sap still being collected, though the season has been cut drastically short for farmers this year. Prices, already understandably high for maple syrup (a favorite of mine and one I'm willing to pay for), are sure to soar. Did you know that it takes 40 gallons of sap to boil down into 1 gallon of maple syrup?
And then this week it happened. All of the little plants have been waking up and painting the landscape with green! Magnolia blossoms are blooming on the trees at the library. Incedentally, their buds are incredible! They are as soft as pussy willows and I kept petting the darling things as I leaned in to inhale their fragrance!
New discoveries in our own yard are made every day, as perrenials begin to emerge. Tulip leaves have been spotted, the hydrangea bush is pushing out buds, and yay, yay, YAY!! - I spotted peonies growing on the side of the house!!!! They are my very favorite flower and I'm thrilled they are here! Expect many peony photos in the coming months!
Trees are budding too, of course and are filling in the landscape in new and interesting ways. Houses that I have easily gazed at from upstairs windows, I can see will be blocked from my view in the coming weeks. It's all so simple and yet magical.
Finally, inspired by nature's paintbrush, I rummaged around in the basement among the tower of boxes that remain until we are finally settled in our own home, and found - in a mercifully accessible place - the box of Easter decorations. I am dissapointed that I don't have access to all of my books, because I wanted to have some picture books out that reflect Christ's ressurrection - the true reason for the celebration -, but apparently, the box I had access to was primarily bunny in theme! Ah, well. It is what it is this year, and it cheers up our little dining room and built-in shelves. :)
I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying mild spring days and rejoicing in all that is new once again!