“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” ~ PB Shelley

photo(12)‘Tis a month before the month of May, and the spring comes slowly up this way. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing a spring pictorial post based on my strolls through the neighborhood.  Suddenly winter came screaming back like a lover scorned, taking the wind out of my sails and lashing it against my face with its cold rain.  As I wrapped my scarf around my neck against the renewed chill, I was feeling more than a little demoralized.

Today there’s still a chill in the air but the sun is out and it cheers me.  I heard from a friend photo(20)in the Blue Ridge that there are four inches of snow and it’s still snowing in the NC mountains.  I’ve decided it’s the perfect day to publish spring photos.  At the top of the page and to the right are shots of my Bradford pear tree.  The pear trees are among the first to blossom every year.  They are everywhere in my city and even though I don’t like the smell of the flowers, I love the sight of them.

photo(17)My daffys bloom even before the pear trees.  Every spring I welcome them with great joy.  I’ve seen them many times peeking defiantly through the snow in their golden glory.

It’s daffodil time, so the robins all cry, For the sun’s a big daffodil up in the sky… ~ Clinton Scollard

photo(6)I suppose the least appealing aspect of spring is the greening of my lawn weeds.  Some of you may remember that I don’t really have grass in my yard, I have mostly weeds.  Sometimes the weeds bloom.  If you look closely you may be able to see tiny yellow flowers.  This means, of course, that I will soon have to mow.  It also means that those obnoxious, pushy lawn company employees will start trying to get me to sign a contract allowing them to put all manner of chemicals on my space.  I’m not biting.

photo(10)Even rosemary is flowering in my herb garden.

As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship... ~ Sir Thomas More

Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses.  The plant is said to improve the memory.  The leaves are used to flavor various foodsWikipedia  Simon and Garfunkel sang about it.

photo(11)Easter comes early this spring.  I have my welcome banner out for the grandchildren (and their parents, of course) who will grace my home with their presence Sunday afternoon.  We always have a grand time eating, hunting for eggs, and bartering with a cousin or a sibling for one more of those yummy caramel eggs.  photo(18)

To all my friends who celebrate Easter, I wish you joy and love and peace.

To all my friends who don’t celebrate Easter, I wish you joy and love and peace.

Awake, thou wintry earth–                                 Fling off thy sadness!                                         Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth                          Your ancient gladness! ~ Thomas Blackburn

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Autumn.

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns. ~ George Eliot

Fall is officially here.  The calendar says so.  Here in the flat land of NC the signs are present; a few of them are.  The trees have not started to change yet but the humidity has dropped.  That’s a great relief.  We were expecting 86 degrees today.  That’s still pretty hot for me.  Ahhhh, but the nights are cool.  And early morning is cool enough for a walk around the neighborhood.  What a treat after walking the air-conditioned indoor track for the past two months.

I dug out the autumn flags this afternoon.  I like this one.  I like the idea of Ms. Squirrel storing acorns and nuts in her little home.  I hope she finds enough to make it through the winter.  The  squirrel in this picture reminds me of Miss Suzy the squirrel.  I wonder how many times I read Miss Suzy to my baby girls.

Oh I love to cook, I love to bake, I think I’ll make an acorn cake.

We loved the idea of Miss Suzy, cozy in her wee tree house, baking acorn cakes.  I have to admit, though, that I tasted acorns several times when I was a child.  They were horribly bitter.  Now that I’m older I can’t help thinking how appropriate it is for there to be some nuts that humans don’t like.  It’s nice to know that provision is made for the critters.

In addition to the flags, I also attached my leaf wreath to the front door in honor of this lovely new season.

I haven’t done any research but I often wonder which season is most often chosen as a favorite.  I think it’s spring but I don’t know that.  I like spring, too, but for me it can’t compare to fall.

I’ve thought a great deal about why autumn is so special for me.  When I was a school girl it meant I could go back to school.  I loved school.  And I suspect my love of going back also had to do with escaping a less-than-happy family life.

As a young mother hen I felt as if I were doing a better job of nesting my chickies in the fall.  After a summer of playing outdoors, riding bikes, skating, etc., I had them back under my wing.  That always felt good to me.  And since I loved going back to school, I assumed they did, too.  I think they did.

My ex-husband’s grandmother loved the fall as much as I do.  It was her favorite.  We had that in common; that and our great love for our D.        D  and I were married in October.  He was also fond of that time of year.  Well, he said he was.  I guess it’s true.  We went to the mountains for our honeymoon.  Peak weekend for leaf color.  Beautiful.  It’s hard to realize that it’s been thirty-five years since we tied that knot.  I guess I will always feel sad that the knot loosened and then frayed.  But it is so.

So…the days grow shorter.  The sky gets bluer.  Mums bloom.  Trees have a final spectacular show before beginning their long nap.  The air gets cleaner and crisper.  And I get happier, more relaxed, less stressed.

I’m happy to be nesting again now that I have Lulu.  Lulu’s content too.  I can tell by her calm purring as she lies next to me on the couch. Life is good.

Do you have a favorite season?