Category Archives: Spring

Welcome Spring!

“It is Easter morning.
Children who are still gentle as milk,
wake to its wonder.”
Caryll Houselander, “Souer Marie Emilie”, The Flowering Tree (1945),

It’s Spring!

 “Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.”
Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart (1938).

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Forsythia is …pure, undiluted, untouched joy.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Bring Me a Unicorn (1971).
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Flowers and plants are silent presences; they nourish every sense except the ear”.
May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep (1968).

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Have you ever looked into the heart of a flower? …I love their delicacy, their disarming innocence and their defiance of life itself”.
Princess Grace of Monaco with G. Robyns, My Book of Flowers (1980). 

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“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea (1955).

“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.”
Ellis Peters, The Summer of the Danes, (1991).

 

Spring is a time of reflection and hope for new beginnings (SMB).

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It’s Spring !
Welcoming sun’s warmth on bare arms;
tilting  faces up to tree branches ablaze with pink and white blooms;
bending to touch nature’s  yellow and red living lights on bushes,
gathering a bouquet of smiling faces pushed up amidst grass and rocks.
Witnessing a joyful display for the senses this Easter! (SMB).

Sue Marquis Bishop,2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Carpets From Winter to Spring

In spring, nature is like a thrifty housewife…taking up the white carpets and putting down the green ones.” Mary B. Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, 1896.

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ONLY A FEW SHORT WEEKS AGO,  we enjoyed a light carpeting of Southern snow as a snowstorm blanketed the North in huge drifts.  But…it only lasted two days in Charlotte, until it morphed into water and disappeared.

WHEN IT SNOWS IN THE SOUTH,  it only stops in for tea and a brief respite before melting and running away.

SIGNS OF SPRING are emerging here and there in Charlotte as February and March days turn warm, then cool, then windy.  Today, it is sunny and 80 degrees.

Dormant
buds bursting
open winter casings;

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Carolina
Jasmine’s display
beckoning us outside;

Blue
birds gathering
at the feeders:

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Pedaling
with the
wind in my face;
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Rosy
pink ground
cover kissing lawns;

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Forsythia
showing up
gray tree trunks:

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Reading
and dreaming
at Spring Park Pond.

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I’M READY FOR TOMATOES from the garden, flowers blooming in profusion, breezy days on the porch, walks in the sunshine, reading by Spring Park pond, cookouts, and yes… even Spring cleaning.

I AM GRATEFUL to be here, in this place, witnessing the emergence of Spring once again.

“Suddenly a mist of green on the trees, as quiet as thought.”
Dorothy M Richardson, Pilgrimage: The Trap, 1925.

Sue Marquis Bishop, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

What’s New for Spring Gardens?

SPRING PEEKS OUT from Winter doldrums.   It’s time to visit Spring Home and Garden Shows…to see what’s new and interesting for Spring 2016.

SPRING FLOWERS will soon be
Dressing yards and neighborhoods in  colorful finery,
Re-awakening senses to the world spread before us, and
Tugging on memories of playful Spring days with loved ones.

We see flowers everywhere on our visit to the Cabarrus County Home and Garden Show in North Carolina.

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Water features on display are varied and add soothing music to garden displays.

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Hummingbirds prefer a shallow water feature. This year’s show featured artistic hummingbird baths for the  colorful birds to dip their needle beaks into a garden art piece.

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Created-to-order wrought iron garden benches add sculptural beauty to any garden .

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The whimsical item plants smiles in the garden.

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And places to sit a spell and chat, or have an evening meal in artisan-crafted furniture, add comfort and style to outdoor garden rooms.

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OK.  Now, I really do have Spring Fever.  Cool Spring breezes, dining alfresco, flowering bulbs and budding trees, working in the rich earth.  What project do I want to tackle this year to brighten my garden?

Spring …bursts with all the relish of a sudden surprise.”
(Mrs. William Starr Dana, According to Seasons, 1894.

Sue Marquis Bishop, 2016

 

It’s Spring at Spring Park! Flo Builds a Rabbit Warren

AS I SAT IN THE SUNROOM reading yesterday, I witnessed an AMAZING scene.  I was in the right spot, at the right time, to see a busy rabbit prepare her Spring burrow.  What a privilege to watch!

THE RABBIT SELECTED A LOVELY SETTING for her den underneath a patch of purple groundcover in the backyard.  She worked diligently digging out a cavern with first her front legs.

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THEN SHE STRETCHED HER LONG, BUNNY LEGS straight out and dug some more and pulled the dirt away from the growing hole ballooning under the flower bed.

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I ADMIRED HER DEDICATION to her task.  I named her Flo.   She finally excavated a hole with an opening about the size of a softball.  (I regret I didn’t get a picture of the entrance before she closed it).

FLO PULLED GRASS AND CLOVER and carried it in her mouth to the rabbit warren…  I supposed she was making a soft bed for some baby rabbits she was expecting.

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WHEN SHE HAD CARRIED enough grass to suit her, she entered the rabbit cave, and began to pull the mulch surrounding the flowers over the opening, until it was completely covered, and she was no longer visible.

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I DIDN’T HAVE THE HEART to chase her away before she took up residence.  I guess I’ll need to fence my vegetable garden and protect the young flower shoots a little.   Maybe there will be enough for all of us.

SPRING IS EVERYWHERE NOW… bringing industry and enthusiasm for new beginnings.

BRIGHT PINK DRESSES cover the bases of our trees,  making an appearance just in time for Easter this year.

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SOFT PURPLE SPRAYS  tossed in the air by other trees.

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CAROLINA JASAMINE waves its branches in  the April wind…decked out in lemony yellow and whiffs of lovely.

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IRISES are popping open their showy beards in colorful array.

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THE MALLARDS ARE PAIRING for their seasonal selections of mates.  Annie stops by each evening with the two drakes she has accepted for this year.  They are always at her side … her mate and his wingman (wingdrake?)   They wait patiently while she eats her fill, and protect her when other drakes come too close   They stay about 15 minutes, begging for a corn  handout before flying back to the pond across the way.

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OBSERVING SO MUCH  industry outside, I am motivated to work on my own Spring “to do” list.  Let’s see, I have cleaned out the sock drawer…

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… and had the chaise lounge in the sunroom re-upholstered.  What’s next? (The chaise is my favorite place to read, make lists or just enjoy the flowers, birds, and other critters at play and work in the back yard.)

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Happy Spring!

Sue Marquis Bishop 2015

Sammy Squirrel, Shamrock Cookies and Brown Cows

IT’S  84 F DEGREES with scattered clouds and Carolina blue skies in Charlotte.  Buds are swelling on the trees.

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WE CELEBRATED St. Patrick’s Day by sitting on the patio with shamrock sugar cookies and a cold Brown Cow.

THERE ARE DIFFERENT RECIPES for a brown cow.  One calls for a chocolate liquour, milk,  whipped cream and chocolate syrup… a refreshing  drink really.

OUR BROWN COW is a drink we had as teenagers in Indiana.  The Black Cow of my adolescence was made with coca cola and ice cream.  The Brown Cow that I loved best contained root beer, vanilla ice cream, a dash of chocolate syrup and sometimes whipped cream on top. Hmmm!

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MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN FIGHTING what is likely a losing battle with Sammy squirrel trying to keep him out of the bird feeders.  We have a large wind chimes just outside the sunroom door. When we’re in the sunroom, we can see  the back yard with the various feeders.

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ONE FEEDER IS beside a tree.  The cardinals and woodpeckers love this feeder.   Sammy climbs up and jumps on the roof of the feeder. He then climbs down and and hides his body inside the feeder,  with his fluffy tail hanging out giving him away.  When my husband sees Sammy’s bushy tail hanging down from the feeder, he opens the door and rings the chimes.  The squirrel runs like the wind two or three yards away.

WE SET OUT oranges cut in half for the Baltimore Orioles and a suet, peanuts  and mealworms cake by the sunroom window hoping we would attract Bluebirds.

SAMMY must have smelled the peanuts in the mealworm cake hanging at the top of the tall pole with a big hook at the top.  It was too high for him to jump up and there was no tree nearby.  He was soon struggling to climb the shepard’s crook.  After sliding down many times, he finally figured out how to get on top.

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HE STOPPED AND STARED at me through the window, like he was thumbing his nose at me.

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I GOT THE IDEA to grease the pole to inhibit his climbing.  I greased it well with butter.  It didn’t take long for him to attempt the climb again, sliding down each time. SO FUNNY.   I wish I had a picture of him sliding down the pole holding on for dear life.   He left finally, deciding to forego the peanut treat – at least for today.  I have no doubt, he will be back.   Sammy is clearly the clever clown of the back yard.

Happy Spring!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Sue Marquis Bishop 2015

How to Celebrate Books this Week!

WAYS TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK:

1. READ A BOOK TO A CHILD. It may start interests that enrich his or her whole life.

2. SPEND AN HOUR in an independent bookstore – and buy a book or two to help ensure independent booksellers will be there for us in the future.

3. LEAVE A GOOD STORY in a public place for someone else to enjoy – leave a note with the book – “This book is to be read, enjoyed and passed on”.

4. BROWSE A LIBRARY SECTION you haven’t explored…new treasures are there to be discovered.
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5. VOLUNTEER TO READ A BOOK at the library or elementary school for Children’s StoryTime – it will stir memories of your own youth and take years off your day.

6. WRITE A BOOK REVIEW AND POST for a book you read and appreciated to direct new readers and to acknowledge the author.

7. TAKE A BOOK TO THE PARK OR THE PORCH for a restful afternoon outdoors. Goodbye Winter! Hello Spring !

8. JOIN A BOOK CLUB in your community or online if you would enjoy discussing books you read.

9. BUY A SPECIAL BOOK for a friend.

10. USE YOUR OWN WORDS…write a letter to an old friend you have missed and send U.S. mail…start a gratitude diary…draft a poem…start your family history…respond to a blog post.