May 20, 2018:

Hola!

Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...

Jan

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Celebrating Earth Day and the March for Science with Crow Offerings

Hola everyone!  Wow, how time flies.  I must catch up -- someday...  For now, the kitchen/dining room is more or less finished.  The cabinets still need to be painted out, the backsplash removed and replaced with the porcelain marble look subway tiles I purchased last year, the cabinet hardware replaced, and new countertops purchased.  And the woodwork needs to be painted - probably black.

Today is Earth Day, and also today all around the world are Marches for Science.  Science and respect for Mother Earth go hand in hand.  In my home state here in Wisconsin, fourteen (14!!!!) separate cities/towns are hosting Marches for Science and Earth Day combined.  Thousands of people have turned out in Wisconsin alone.  Wisconsin, I love you!

There is also a huge March for Science and Earth Day taking place today in Washington D.C.  I am glad to see people standing up for what they believe in and exercising their Constitutional First Amendment to peaceably assemble and exercise their freedom of expression.  No hate involved, only a love of our planet - and a deep love of knowledge along with the acknowledgement that without science, without the quest for knowledge and the application of what we call the
"scientific method" of reasoning things out and working out how to solve a problem, we would all still be living in caves, folks.

I DO put my money where my mouth is.  Along with monetary contributions to various environmental organizations and hours doing postings elsewhere highlighting the dangers of the proposed Trump budget that would totally cut funding, for instance, for NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that funds research into how to better predict weather patterns and such things as hurricanes and tornadoes, along with support development of new and improvements "weather" satellites, oceanography exploration, mapping and surveying, etc.) - and talking with people about the easy things we all can do to help make our world a cleaner, safer and more beautiful place for all of us and for our descendants (RE-USE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE, RE-IMAGINE), later this month I'll be working with a volunteer group to plant flowers along a stretch of boulevard in my city (as well as taking pride in keeping my property pristine and pretty year round).

We can ALL do things to help our Mother Earth, and support continued research and scientific discovery, too.  Many of  the bloggers I read and fans out there have gardens, for instance.  Every garden supports hundreds of thousands of little critters that we never even see, every single day of their existence.  Each and every one of them serves a purpose on our Mother Earth.  Of course, our lovely gardens also support all of the wildlife and birds that we do see and so enjoy.  These are in addition to the bountiful harvests that our veggy gardens can give us, the shade our wonderful trees can provide for us (as well as homes for our wildlife friends), and the undeniable beauty and fragrances of flowers, blossoms and blooms throughout the season.

My favorite times of day are after going to bed at night, with the window cracked open just a hair, and listening to the hootie owl when he arrives well before spring, singing his subtle song; He either sits in the ornamental cherry outside my bedroom window, or perches up on the rain gutter. I fall asleep to his HOOT, hoot hoot hoot, hoot - HOOT.  And in the very early mornings, especially this time of year, the birds begin their serenading in the pre-dawn, about 4 a.m.  The robins seem to be especially melodious this year.  I hear the through a half daze of sleep, revelling in the softness of my bed, the warmth of my coverings, the peace, the tranquility.  The OH SO RIGHTNESS of it all.

I've been meaning to post an updated photo of current contributions to beauty in the world deposited by my loving crow families in my bird bath over the years, several new ones since I moved into this version of Maison Newton in July 2014.  Geez, almost 3 years ago already, and I'm still unpacking boxes, LOL!  Take a look:


Collected through the years in the bird bath from grateful crows, who believe in paying back a favor with a pretty shiny thing (I've fed families of crows for years, along with about half the squirrel population in Milwaukee County), the following:  From the former Maison Newton of the big and much treed backyard, the "gold" bracelet with inset brown glass stones (one missing); the single die; the yellow doo-hickey, which I think is from an electrical something or other; and the rounded smooth white stone in the upper right hand corner.  From the current and much smaller backyard Maison Newton - a new haul:  The crystal bead - and where that came from I've no idea; two bottle caps (ahem) - crows like local brewery brands in Milwaukee (Miller Beer); the smaller quartz-flecked stone in the top row, center; and the piece de' resistance -- what I call the "Pyramid Quartz Crystal" stone, that has the shape of a deteriorated Egyptian pyramid from the Giza Plateau!  The Pyramid Quartz Crystal showed up about 2 weeks ago or so.  I figured it was a tribute from the crows for feeding them during the long bout of winter from December through the end of March.  They like to surprise me :)

the Pyramid Quartz Crystal is hefty, so it must have been one of the big Alpha Male Crows who delivered it to my birdbath.  I can hear them when they come, and I will always open up the patio door and throw out handfuls of peanuts in the shell (they LOVE peanuts!).  And every year since I've been here, the crow offerings have appeared in due time -- usually in the spring.  Like a Crow-Human ritual, perhaps.  Hmmm...

Celebrate today!  Enjoy our lovely Mother Planet and all of its glorious beauties offered to us so freely each and every day.  And remember that in order to protect it, in order to continue to grow and prosper and live safer, healthier lives in the 21st century and beyond, we need to keep learning, need to keep researching, need to keep studying, and need to keep asking those questions and searching for those answers.  We need - science.