It feels so good to be back home, and walking barefoot around the garden looking at how much everything grew while we were gone. It’s amazing how quickly things change in the garden this time of year, and we’ve been pointing out to each other all the new flowers in bloom. Before I share about our trip, I wanted to come here to let you locals know that we will be at the Wildflower & Music Festival this weekend at Mount Pisgah Arboretum. The festival is a fundraiser for the arboretum, supporting their work in habitat restoration and environmental education. It’s a sweet, local festival we enjoy and a fun way to celebrate spring!
We’ve been traveling the last few days, but before I write more about that, I wanted to share this lilac picture. If there is one flower that makes me stop in my tracks (no matter how much of a hurry I was in when I was passing) it would be the lilac flower. Lilacs pull me in every time, and I must slow down long enough to enjoy their scent because I know how fleeting it is.
I told you that you’d be seeing more pictures of flowers here…
Our family has been absolutely amazed by how many blossoms have been on our apple trees this year. (I love the way the sweet little buds start out pink and then turn white as the petals open.) I thought last year was a record year for that, but this year seems in another realm entirely. Even our young, small trees have been completely covered in white. (Amazing, really, with all the damage the moles have been doing around their roots.)
We’re all hoping for a good apple year. I know it’s a bit early, but I’m already thinking about applesauce. At one point our pantry shelves were filled with canned applesauce and then we had more homemade applesauce in the freezer (that never got canned, but stuck there instead) and I thought we would have plenty to last us for a good, long while. But we ate up every last jar this winter… and lately I’ve been buying applesauce at the store and it just hasn’t compared. I’ve got a little while to wait, though, until applesauce-making-time. For now I’ll enjoy those lovely blossoms every time I step out the door, while they’re still here…
You’ll be seeing lots of flower pictures here. I’m so happy to see flowers blooming that it’s all I want to photograph right now. We have a few of these wood hyacinths blooming in the front yard. I have to practically lay down on my belly to take pictures of them each year. My family is used to me doing things like that, to get just the right angle with just the right light. These flowers look like little bells for fairies, don’t they? I think that every time I look at them. I’ll leave you with a quote from Bracken today, that he asked me to include: “Every time a flower blooms, a fairy gets born.”
Happy first of May!
I wanted to share some moth friends that we had the pleasure of spending time with recently. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know how much our boy loves insects of all kinds. Nearby friends let us know whenever they find a cool insect for him to see, (and if a moth is ever spotted in a spiderweb he is sure to save it.) We hold them and study them as long as they let us, and then watch them fly away. When we find injured moths, they stay with us longer, and we often have moth friends staying with us.
The second moth pictured is a ceanothus silkmoth (hyalophora euryalus.) We’ve been finding lots of them nearby lately. They are large, and beautiful. We all admired the antennae and Jeff pointed out that they look like feathers. That moth in the first picture? I haven’t been able to identify it yet. Any of you know what kind it is? We were all so amazed at the design on it’s wings- it looks like an animal’s face. (One vote was fox, one cat.) What kind of face do you think it looks like?
We’ve been having such beautiful weather here. Some places wait for the snow to melt when winter is over, but in western Oregon -after a long winter of rain- we wait for the sun to return. It’s amazing how much sunshine and flowers have been feeding my spirit. I want to soak it all up to the fullest- smell every flower, watch every bee. I’m so happy it’s spring! (Today was so hot outside, it felt like we skipped straight ahead to summer.) I have lots of indoor activities keeping me busy this week, and haven’t been able to spend quite as much time outside as I would like to, but I savor every chance I get to be out in it. Our family has been eating breakfast outside some mornings, and enjoying snacks out there too. We point out each new flower blooming, and remind each other it’s time for another drink break to have some cold tea. We all agree that’s best done out in the grass with bare feet.
There’s been a whole lot of rain, rain, rain here. (And nothing but rain in the forecast. It’s looking very green and lush outside.) I didn’t mind having a very rainy weekend because I had so many indoor projects to work on. Yesterday I spent the day texturing the walls in Bracken’s room to get it ready to paint. I kept going until I ran out of the stuff to texture it with. We’ll get more tomorrow when the hardware store is open again, but for today I gave my body a kindness by giving it a day off from that texturing business. (I’ve got blisters on my hands and sore muscles, my body has surely been appreciating a day off before I’m back at it.)
Today we were cozy in pajamas, and the boy and I sat side by side while we listened to audiobooks together. I tied buttons on cards for orders and he drew pictures. We played games too. Jeff got some work done in his shop at a more relaxed pace than a weekday, and squeezed in a nap. Firewood was brought in, laundry was folded, meals were made, and dishes were washed. Jeff and I certainly got plenty of things done, but it felt like a slower and quieter day than our usual schedule of work, homeschool, errands, and activities. It felt so good to have a lazy day, in fact it was the laziest one we’ve had in as long as I can remember. We ended it with a movie, and now it’s time to start winding things down for bedtime.
It made me realize how much we need the more mellow days from time to time to balance out all the busy ones. I feel much more refreshed and ready to start my week after a bit of downtime. I hope you got some downtime over the weekend too, friends, or at least have some to look forward to in the near future!
Every single time I see a trillium flower blooming in the woods, I feel like I am witnessing pure magic. Year after year, that feeling never wears off. No matter how many times I admire them, no matter how many times I photograph them, no matter how many times I smell them… I’m in awe all over again. (I’m so grateful to our friend who told me to smell the trillium flowers, for many years I had no idea how amazing they smell.) This last week when I brought my camera along in the woods surrounding our house, to capture them before they faded away, the afternoon light was pouring in and with the petals all aglow they looked angelic somehow. Yes, those springtime beauties with the white petals are pure magic…
I wanted to come here more this week, but we’re in the process of moving everything over from my old computer to my new computer (yay!) and I’m still in limbo. This is one of the only photos I’ve uploaded on my new computer that I had to share (of Bracken, net in hand, searching for newts and pointing out everything he saw to me.) I remember last spring one of his favorite things to do was to catch newts in the pond, and the excitement of that has not worn off this year (and I don’t see it wearing off any time soon.) He also spotted the first frog of the year and I heard it singing last night. Things are waking up around our yard, and we’re all happy about that.
I look forward to connecting with you here next week. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend friends!
That tree I mentioned that fell over in our yard recently? It was a flowering plum tree, and one of the first things to bloom here each year, a sign of spring just around the corner. We always looked forward to seeing that tree all covered in those beautiful pink blossoms. Even after the tree fell this year, the tiny buds opened and the tree flowered for us one last time, as it laid over on it’s side. Jeff cut a bunch of the flowering branches, and filled a vase with them to bring inside, a final tribute to the tree.
That type of tree is planted for the flowers, not the fruit, but Jeff and Bracken did eat some small plums off of it one year. I know you long time readers have seen pictures of the flowering plum tree many times before. The tree hadn’t been healthy for a few years, and I know that made it easier for all of us when we saw it had come down. We thanked the tree for all the beauty it gave for so long, and then we savored looking at the little pink flowers in the vase in the kitchen until the last of the petals fell.
We have a little cherry tree I think we’ll be planting in that spot…