We have more wintry weather headed our way this week, but spring is just around the corner. 28 days away to be exact. Even if I’d not calculated the time until spring, I would know based on nature’s signs.
Our hellebores are in full bloom. Soon, tiny crocus will line the sidewalk leading to our porch. Tulips have begun peeking through the dried leaves in our beds. I’ve noticed a few sunny dandelions blooming in brittle grass.
But the busy robins? They are surely a harbinger of spring.
I watch them scurry around pulling worms from the earth. I hear them singing their joyful tunes. And once again I know winter is nearly over.
Annabelle Saw Her Shadow
You know how the groundhog sees his shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter? Well, here’s a little known bit of folklore (little known because I just made it up)…
If a schnauzer sees her shadow on Valentine’s Day, spring is just around the corner.
And Annabelle saw her shadow.
So there you have it.
Picking Up Trash
I’ve thought about doing this for some time and last week finally began—when we go on our morning dog-walk, I carry a plastic bag and pick up bits of trash I come across in the neighborhood.
I skip the coldest days when I can barely breathe. And I don’t pick up trash on rainy mornings. But already, the amount of trash I’ve collected is ridiculous.
Plastic bottles, candy wrappers, mailers and paper scraps, masks, glass bottles, plastic lids, styrofoam, etc. One thing I’ve noticed—lawn services that kill weeds (and beneficial insects) are some of the worst offenders. They leave behind calling cards that over time litter sidewalks and curbs.
There’s sad irony there.
Maybe already I’ve saved one piece of plastic from joining the staggering 5.25 Trillion piece garbage patch floating in our oceans?
Can you imagine how much trash I will pick up by the end of the year?
Can you imagine how much trash we could all pick up?
Cauliflower Fried Rice
In my continuing efforts to eat from our freezer (and to eat healthier), I tried a Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe from Damn Delicious. And it was damn delicious!
Bonus: I used my wok which I rarely do.
My only modifications to the original recipe: I used a bag of frozen riced cauliflower rather than a head a fresh cauliflower, and I omitted the green onions because I didn’t have any and was too lazy to go down to the grocery store.
The ultimate test: John thought he was eating rice-rice instead of cauliflower rice.
I will definitely make this again!
Great Backyard Bird Count
Reminder: The Great Backyard Bird Count is happening now (Feb 18-21). We participated last winter, and it’s fun to be part of this world-wide science project.
I’m always astounded at the variety and number of birds I see at our feeders, especially when I watch for a period of time without doing something else.
Sometimes we need a little urging to get outside and enjoy nature, especially this time of year. Sometimes being a small part of the greater good provides a necessary reminder that we are only a tiny part of nature. The Great Backyard Bird Count provides that prod, provides that reminder, provides a wintertime soul-lift.
Things Momma Says:
(Re: Olympics, but relevant on many levels)
If you aren’t gonna follow the rules, you shouldn’t be playing the game!
The countdown to spring is officially on; I’m tracking the days on my kitchen chalkboard. (28 as of this morning.)
The 30 day mark is magic to me. I can do anything for 30 days. In 30 days, habits are made, projects are started and even completed, seeds germinate and sprout, birds migrate, trees green up, heavy coats are shed, seasons change.
Between now and spring, I plan to keep up what I started at the first of the year—try new recipes, eat from the pantry/freezer, do more nature writing, walk and pick up trash, continue writing a weekly Sunday Letter (with an occasional post mid-week), and greet each day’s sunrise with a willing heart.
Here’s a truth bomb… Counting down 30 days to something, anything, quickly adds up to an entire lifetime.
photo cred: Robin, Jay Meeus, Unsplash; Bluebirds, John Boerner, my hubby