Monday, February 27, 2017

Crocus Alert!

Crocus Alert!

It is still winter but the crocuses know what is coming and they want to be first to celebrate. They pop out in lovely bloom sometimes pushing through a dusting of snow, though this week has been a weather surprise, for them I suspect as well as for us. We have been having 70 degree days in February!

I wrote about a similar uptick in temperature in 2012. The weather seems to be changing and not just seasonally. There is evidence of a rise in temperature in many directions; sea levels are rising, glaciers are retreating, extreme weather events are happening more frequently. There have always been shifts in temperature but this seems to be man-influenced. The atmospheric carbon dioxide is the highest it has ever been, keeping in the earth’s heat.

It’s hard to deny the evidence though some people do try to. I think it’s better to work with science than to deny it. Our planet is such a beautiful place, I hope we can respect it and protect it. Soon many flowers will bloom and remind us of the seasons ahead. Right now, however, it’s the crocuses’ job to alert us to Earth’s offerings and encourage us to value what wonders we have.

Lots of crocus info on planting and care:

Climate change evidence:

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tea Time!

Tea Time!

Winter is a funny month in the northeast. This weekend I was bundled up against the near freezing temperatures each time I went out, my scarf wrapped around me and my gloves constant companions. Today I am wearing my spring jacket, unbuttoned, and enjoying the sunny day. There are advantages to all seasons, each offering its own personality.

Sunday was that kind of day. After doing chores in the morning, we lit a fire in the den in the afternoon and settled in for our version of British tea. The logs in the fireplace were aged and burned nicely. We primed them with kindling from the branches that fall from the various trees in our backyard throughout the year using the older, seasoned wood.

When the fire was burning nicely, I set out two mugs of steaming water for our tea. We prefer green but black tea with a tad of milk is delicious, too. We enjoyed chocolate cake with chocolate icing as we sat by the fire, feeling its embracing warmth outside as we relished the pleasing snack inside. After our tea we settled back, my husband with his book and me with the jigsaw puzzle I was doing, and savored the rest of the afternoon.

There will be no fire on this warm day but the memory lasts. And as the seasons change and I experience each in its own way, I hope to bring moments like this with me, to treasure nature’s differences.

Tips for building a safe fire:

For an easy step-by-step for a beginner: