Two pictures, both taken on the same morning in Peacham, Vermont.
I woke up this morning and started to cough. The deep, hacking cough that screams “bronchial tubes” and “pneumonia.” But it didn’t seem as bad as yesterday, which might mean that this is going to be just a regular cold and not something more serious.
It’s a little early in our year — this particular year — for the awakening of fresh young growing things. Unless you count the ants and the mice, both of which were doing simply grandly in our backyard and walls. We have called the killers of things we don’t want living in our house and this morning was the first time I saw any ants. He warned me it takes about two weeks to get them all, so I grabbed them up and disposed of them.
There were only three.
I disdained to check the condition of the basement. The death of small rodents in not a happy occasion for me. I do not hate mice and I am not afraid of them, but they make a horrible mess of the house. They live in the walls and after a while, your whole house smells of mouse turds. A few mice, trying to get in from the ice of winter I can live with, but an entire house full of families and generations of mice? I don’t think so.
If you were a mouse, being smarter than “other mice” decided to buy a DNA package to find out to whom in your deep, dark past you might be related? The number of generations is exponential, my dear Watson. Mice dating back to the very first sort-of mammals scurrying around the feet of the giant lizards who ruled the earth.
I don’t think our databases could handle the volume — and unless they all had unique names, how would you know? An entirely different, yet somehow mind-blowing thought.
What would the name of your great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother’s mouse name be and how could you identify her among the furry-faced zillions of other mice? It is a mind-boggling concept, so I’ll move on.
To say that spring in New England and all points north is unstable is an understatement … and the climate changes our government is ignoring is definitely a part of the problem. To be fair, the weather in this part of this continent is generally unpredictable. Around here, it’s more about the level of unpredictability and this year has been crazy.
Instead of flowers, we have gotten snow and wind and rain and very cold temperatures. We had a few days when the crocus came up — and here they are:
Otherwise, we do have green shoots for the hopefully soon-to-bloom daffodils. Please view last year’s groups and try to relate:
This really is spring in New England. We get lots of winter and then we get “it’s not exactly winter, but it sure isn’t spring, either.” One morning, the sun comes up. Sometime between breakfast and lunch, the leaves on the trees open and by mid-afternoon, it’s hot, humid and buggy — which is what we humorously call summer.
Welcome black flies and flying jaws. Welcome mosquitoes who can bite you through your denim jacket. It’s time to itch, wheeze … and if you can, get yourself to one of our wonderful beaches. I wish our seasons were a bit more orderly and perhaps — predictable.
For this week’s photo challenge, explore the vibrant, hopeful colors of your favorite sunrise or sunset.
Other than from the direction, you can’t tell if the sun is coming up or setting. I’ve done all the checking I can and in fact, the light is the same. It depends on the season of the year, but the coloring is identical otherwise.
And yet we are fascinated by the coming and going of the sun. Even when I was a child, I used to stand outside and watch the sky, sometimes for a full hour from late afternoon until final darkness, watching the delicate changes in the sky and the clouds and the way the light filtered through the trees.
I have not yet lost my wonder.
This week, share an image of your happy place, a secret spot you love, or a faraway location you return to again and again.
I’m a really happy traveler. When I finally actually travel — more and more rarely as I get older — I always love wherever I am. Whether it’s a tourist trap in Pennsylvania or a fairy circle in Sligo, the Church of the Manger in Bethlehem or one of our local dams and rivers, it’s a favorite place. I love cities and the country.
I prefer living in the country, but I loved living in Jerusalem, adored the weeks I spent in London and wished we could have spent more time in Dublin and tons more in San Francisco.
I loved Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan. And before you tell me that Brooklyn and Manhattan are really one city — in theory they are, but they are sufficiently different to not be the same to me. Since I’m the writer here, I get to say.
Yesterday, for a few hours, I even loved Chestnut Hill.
Every place is – in its own way – different and interesting. Even the gritty and grimy places have their own charms.
If I had one favorite place and absolutely had to choose, it would be the mountains and I am not that choosy about which mountain range. I love when I am up above the world. The sky seems closer and the air weighs less.
Nothing look more other-worldly to me than the desert. Even when I am there, it all seems unreal to me.
From the huge blue dome of the sky, to the rocky ground and the strange trees and cactus, it is another world.
Up in the mountains of Vermont, it is quiet in the morning. Not silent, usually. There are always birds and somewhere in the distance, the sound of farm machinery. But it is about as silent as our world gets in these times.
It’s another bright early morning.