Friday, March 30, 2012

3.30.2012

Spring Beauties

On this chilly spring day we went to visit our friends and their baby goats.  We brought the goats outside of the barn—into the light for photos.  Although the babies didn't want to be out in snow for very long, we managed to get a few pictures of the kids holding kids.  Spending time with the little creatures reminded me of when I was young and desperately wanted a goat.  After coming across a goat for sale advertisement I convinced my parents to drive to a farm and visit the adorable kid named "Joseph."  We didn't live on a farm ourselves or have any suitable animal outbuildings, but I came up with a big plan for turing half of our garage into a pen and raising the goat myself (not realizing, of course, what life would be like with a full-grown buck).  Fortunately, my parent's wisdom prevailed, and we did not come home with a goat that day.

Eve & Sally

But just look at these irresistible kids!  Eve and Shawn handled their babies with great confidence.  

Shawn & Travis

Watching them gave Amabel and Ellen the courage to hold the kids (with a little help!).  My girls didn't ask to bring one home. . . but maybe in a few years?

Amie & Sally

And here is Shawn and Eve's baby brother, Abner—all smiles after his nap.  Such shining eyes!

Baby A

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break

Waiting for the Train

Park Entrance

Tulips

Bean One

Bean Two

Bean Three

Park

Two Cousins

Three Cousins

Butterfly House

Butterfly House Two

Brothers

With Gommy & Boppa

Walking Back

Window Seat

Fishy

Highlights from our adventure to the Windy City: train rides, the shiny bean, spring flowers and blooming trees, cousin love, butterflies, family time, a window seat with a view, and a cheerful little goldfish.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3.22.2012

Weed or Sweet Woodruff?

In the garden after sunset.  Wondering if this is a weed or Sweet Woodruff?  

I'm planning to be away from the computer for the next week or so (coming into the home stretch of my writing hibernation).  Thank you, friends, for sharing these weeks of photos with me as we've made the transition from winter into spring.  We had our windows wide open last night, and I can honestly say that this season has never felt so full of promise!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3.21.2012

Summer in March

Summer in March!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3.20.2012

Tiny Flowers

I do not remember a first day of Northern Michigan spring ever so warm as it is today (84 degrees!?).  We went to the beach.  We worked in the garden.  We watered the garlic and baby chives and fed the lavender with compost.  Green surprises are coming up everywhere.  Spring, we welcome you!  

Garlic

Red Buds

Baby Chives

Saturday, March 17, 2012

3.17.2012

Pussy Willows: Close

Pussy Willows are one of my favorite spring gifts.  Last April we found them in the city and since then I've learned to keep my eye out for them in unexpected places.  

Pussy Willows

Last night on a bike ride, I caught sight of the fuzzy buds illuminated by evening light along a trail.  Because of the winter storm two weeks ago there were many broken limbs along our route.  I gathered a bunch and Ellen, riding behind Jeffrey in the bike seat, took good care of her "little kitties" on the way home.

This afternoon, I brought them upstairs to catch the evening light again - coming in through our window this time.  I love how photography has increased my awareness of the light.  I notice it now in ways I never did before I started using a camera.  I notice how it changes throughout the day . . . and the seasons.  I notice how the same object can look so different according to the quality of light around it.

Spring brings the return of the light.  And the Pussy Willows.  This is my favorite season.

Pussy Willows in the Evening Light

Thursday, March 15, 2012

3.15.2012

Tiny Eggs

Before bed tonight we opened our windows and listened to the first spring peepers.  It was like a little orchestra down in the swamps behind our house!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3.14.2012

Chocolate Ice Cream

70 degrees, chocolate ice cream outside, and a mud bath?  Yes, please!

Mud Bath

3.13.2012

Letter

Inspired by the recent issue of Alphabet Glue, there has been a lot of letter writing around here.

Mailboxes

Sunday, March 11, 2012

3.11.2012

Muddy

Amabel said this afternoon, "Yesterday it was winter and today it is spring!"

Dance for Joy

3.10.2012

Milkweed

This is a milkweed flower, blooming on July 8th last year - a photograph taken the first evening we spent exploring around our new home.  That summer season of verdant growth seems so far away at this moment, as I look outside at the barren branches and feel the frozen earth underneath my feet.  Today we sit inside and sketch out our plans for gardens; we prepare a journal for the coming months; we walk around outside, envisioning where all our carefully selected seeds will be planted.

And yet, let us not forget the unexpected beauties that will grow up amongst everything we plan and place.  And let us not forget how sometimes these "volunteers," as my Dad used to call them when I was young, are the best gifts of all.  This is the balance I seek as a gardener and a mother: to cultivate the flowers we hold in our hearts as well as their wild sisters and brothers - the flowers we have no names for, the flowers we have not imagined just yet.

Friday, March 9, 2012

3.9.2012

Feet
When you meet, and hold love
in your arms, regardless of all,
the unknown will dance away from you
toward the horizon of light.
Our names will flutter 
on these hills like little fires.

Our Children, Coming of Age by Wendell Berry

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3.8.2012

Seeds

I am upstairs, filling out a chart with seed information.  I look out the window behind me and think about how this little patch of earth will be transformed over the next six months.

Garden: Early March

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3.7.2012

Taproot

A perfect way to spend the morning.  The written word in my hands.  I realize the irony of taking a picture of this print-only magazine to paste online.  And yet, it looks back at me now, reminding me of what is important and how I want to move through the rest of my day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

3.6.2012

Chillin' by the Sign  
Ski Poles

Jeffrey and I skied through the orchard yesterday afternoon, pulling the girls behinds us in sleds.  Ellen sang to herself the whole time.  Then, wanting the girls to use their own legs, I suggested a walk down to the mail box.  Ellen trudged down the hill but couldn't make her short little snow-suit-covered body climb back up through two feet of snow.  I carried her on my back, and to keep us all moving, I told a story all the way home.  

Not so Sure about all this snow. . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

3.5.2012

White

30 inches of snow in one night.  40 hours without electricity.  Thankful for our neighbors, fire wood, and warmth.

Friday, March 2, 2012

3.2.2012

Little Lady

I am so very grateful for a dear friend who, with a life so full of mothering and caring and nourishing, takes time to pursue her own art, share her work and her insights, and call me up on a Thursday afternoon while she is making stew just to ask "what are you working on?" 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3.1.2012

Sage


Carrots

Celeric

Chicken Broth

Chicken Soup Veggies

Be it ever so humble, I love to make soup.  Especially with a little help from my girls.