Blossoms and Sprouts

This week I was able to take some pictures of the beautiful trees and shrubs that are currently in flower in our neighborhood.

Pear tree
Pear tree

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Plum Tree
Plum Tree

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Flowering Quince

 

Flowering Quince

We also made it out to our shared garden patch.  The peas are up!  We added some support fence around the outside.  We also planted some beets, carrots, onions, and cabbage.  The children enjoyed playing in the sand by the creek while we were there.

Peas have sprouted
Peas have sprouted

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At home, still no sign of the potatoes, but the beets have made their appearance.  I tucked in some broccoli and a few extra cabbage plants today.  I also planted two celery plants we grew from the stalks of purchased celery.  I am interested to see how they do.  The strawberries and mint are showing signs of growth.

We have had sunny, warm 75 degree F weather this week.  The Redbud is in full bloom now.  The Dogwoods are just beginning to bud.  Next week, they are calling for a cold day again, so I guess we will have our “Dogwood winter.”

Redbud trees
Redbud trees

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Spring in the Mountains

With the long and snowy winter we had this year, I guess I had forgotten the stages of spring that we have here in the mountains.  When we have several sunny and warm days in a row, a return to cool weather takes one by surprise.  They say first we must have “Redbud Winter”, followed by “Dogwood Winter”, and finally “Blackberry Winter”.  There may be a few other “winters” in there, but those are the ones I have heard named.  Right now the trees are beginning to bud out.  On our daily walks, I have spied the bright yellow of forsythia and the orangey-pink of flowering quince.  The pear, plum, and magnolia trees are blooming alongside the fluorescent green of the willows.  The daffodils and hyacinths are filling the air with fragrance.  The redbuds are showing signs of soon bursting forth in their bright pink hues.  The redbuds are my favorite spring blossoms.  Someday I would love to paint the pinks and greens of early spring against the otherwise bare purple-brown mountains.

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I have been watching for sprouting vegetables.  This week the spinach and lettuce are just barely peeking up through the ground, and today I saw some tips of onions.  No sign of potatoes or beets yet, and we have not been out to our plot to check on the peas. 

Saturday we attended a lovely little festival in town.  In celebration of mountain arts and culture, we had some of the best soup beans I have ever tasted with cornbread.  I tasted some homemade blackberry and muscadine jams.  I had to be reminded what muscadine is.  It is similar to grape.  In the restored theater, we heard a Navajo flute player and an African-American singer of spirituals.  At the library, the children enjoyed playing with marbles, tiddly-winks, pick-up-sticks, and yo-yos.  The craft store hosted a cake-walk, and our daughter won some orange creamsicle fudge.  There were craft vendors and demonstrators of cornhusk dolls, wood carving, scroll-saw art, crocheting, broom making, and bowl carving.  I think the reason I enjoyed this particular festival was the fact that there were no commercial vendors, no carnival, just a nice hometown atmosphere.  I was very excited to find out that the local college is planning to start a farmer’s and art market in June.

Thank the Lord for a beautiful and relaxing week-end.  I am grateful for the gift of Sunday, a day of worship and rest, that prepares us to begin a new week of work and school.