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Mother Nature

It’s March Madness, and I don’t mean basketball

The weather has gone crazy, mad in fact. Like most of the rest of the country we are having an unprecedented heat wave here in Ohio. It is March and we have had over 80 degrees the past week and have set all types of records. Daffodils are blooming and the flowering cherry trees and other ornamental trees have burst into bloom overnight.

We have a weeping cherry tree next to our back porch and every year it greets me with its beautiful blooms on my birthday, April 8. Without fail it pops open and is a special birthday gift from Mother Nature to me on my special day. This year my gift came three weeks early. It is now in full bloom and it is only the third week in March.

My birthday tree blooming three weeks early.

 

Last March when I wrote about our weather and welcoming spring I said things like– the snows begin to recede…tender shoots of crocus and daffodils pushing through newly thawed soil…the air is brisk with a hint of warmth….

This year after an extremely mild winter it seems we have gone straight into summer. Today it was 85 degrees which is about 30 degrees above a normal March. This is June weather, not what we normally have in March. So what do you do on a day such as this? You grab a friend, have lunch on a patio, and spend a leisurely afternoon in an art and antique shop—then, grab a camera.

Mother Nature may have gone crazy during this mad, mad March but she sure is beautiful. Unfortunately, the pictures below can’t accurately portray the beauty of the world today.

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Autumn in Ohio

Fall is here and the farmers are busy bringing in the harvest before winter grabs us in his icy hands. Mother Nature has taken out her paint box and transformed the green leaves of summer into an autumn rainbow of golds, reds, and oranges.

The cold, penetrating rains of fall have hit the Midwest and robbed the trees of most of their leaves. Like O. Henry’s The Last Leaf, I have often been tempted at this time of year to paint a single leaf on the wall opposite my window to give me hope during the long winter ahead. The warm days are quickly disappearing and the cold nights are lingering on way too long. Soon the world will be plunged into more darkness than daylight.

The world is now full of pumpkins and apples and crisp fall days accompanied by the background music of swishing through the fallen leaves. The time is short so while we can let us pause and enjoy nature’s last encore.

 

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NOTE—for those not familiar with O. Henry’s The Last Leaf you can read it online at http://www.online-literature.com/donne/1303/

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

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If the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” is true, then we should have an abundance of flowers for the month of May. That is, if it ever stops raining long enough for the sun to encourage the flowers to break away from their buds.

Bright red and yellow tulips are in bloom atop a blanket of phlox in brilliant shades of pink. The fruit trees provide a backdrop of soft pinks and whites floating above a sea of emerald green grass. The ducks and geese at the pond have completed their spring mating dance and the males gather daily in their version of the waiting room while the females are hidden behind trees and shrubs waiting for the young ducklings to hatch. Tree branches are transformed into nurseries as the eggs, carefully laid in the nests, begin to hatch. A bird even made a nest in a wreath on my door. The species is yet unknown as the mother flies away too quickly for me to catch a glimpse of her when the door opens.

Life is once again busy at the pond. I watched a muskrat gather grass and dive into his hole with a bouquet of green gripped firmly in his teeth. A water snake glides upstream during a rain storm to parts unknown and parts I don’t wish to know. The heron stands at attention at the mouth of the pond hoping to be the first to spy a fish tumbling in from the spillway. New fountains greet visitors with wide arms spraying in a circle replacing the tired old fountains. We discovered the muskrat enjoys snacking on the electrical cords.

It is spring and life is renewed. It would be wonderful if the rain stopped long enough for us to enjoy Mother Nature’s spring fresh palette.

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NOTE–to see some breath-taking views of nature please click on the below link. Earl English is a local award winning photographer who makes the rounds of the craft shows in the summer. He creates magic with his camera and computer. If there is a way to improve on Mother Nature, Earl has found it.

http://ehenglishphotos.com/-/ehenglishphotos/default.asp

MY CALENDAR COLORING BOOK: MARCH IS SPRING GREEN

March signals the beginning of spring. The snows begin to recede revealing bright green patches of grass and tender shoots of crocus and daffodils pushing through the newly thawed soil. The air is brisk with a hint of warmth from the sun peeking through the clouds.

At last nature begins to waken from her long winter’s nap. Bright yellow forsythia sways in the breeze providing a welcome splash of color against the barren landscape. Mother Nature adorns herself in mostly green and yellow this month which is also the Girl Scout colors reminding people to stock up on their cookies. The birds are busy pairing together and making nests for the new generation which will come soon. Red winged blackbirds, robins, and cardinals are most visible as they dart among the bushes revealing flashes of red. The ducks and geese at the pond are wandering in pairs as they travel about the pond and surrounding bushes looking for the perfect spot to deposit their eggs.

Spring in Columbus can be a wild month with temperatures varying 30 to 40 degrees in a matter of hours; but I will take that any time over gale force winds and three-foot snows. It is always so good to see the ground after being covered with snow for weeks at a time. We have finally crossed that magical line between winter and spring. Here comes the sun!