Sunday, March 16, 2008
It's (Almost) Spring!
I have a weird relationship with Easter bunnies, and I'm hoping the one pictured, guarded by sugar-free Peeps, will make it to Easter. Thus far, two others have failed. Ahem. While I prefer dark chocolate to milk in general, this isn't the case for Easter rabbits. And as much as I like many brands of chocolates, for Easter rabbits, only Lindt will do. Num num num. In 2006, I thought, at 40, I was too mature for Easter rabbits and didn't get one. Of course a few days before Easter when I realized how foolish I had been, the Lindt rabbits were long since sold out. Much pouting ensued. In 2007, I shopped early and got a nice dark chocolate Lindt bunny. Only, for some reason, it didn't strike me at all as an Easter rabbit and I didn't end up eating it until December! This year's the charm, I'm sure!
The other Easter essential in my world is a Cadbury's caramel egg, but only when microwaved for 3-5 seconds--just long enough to warm and melt the caramel, but not damage the chocolate coating. It's a whole 'nother world from the room temperature version. Thanks, Shaun!
I finally got to round two of winter seed sowing, with help from my friend Carole. I sowed two more flats: Tom Thumb black velvet nasturtium, chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata), castor bean (so funky!), and kiss me over the garden gate (Polygonum orientale).
Winter Sowing Tip #1:
Check your flats for moisture! They should have condensation on the lids.
I also sowed some seeds in containers: La Bamba French marigold, red marigold (from a seed swap; I'll be surprised!), beefsteak and homestead tomatoes, some kind of basil (Packetus lostus), and Calendula Flashback mix.
Winter Sowing Tip #2:
Older milk jugs are hard to fit back together once they've been cut. A coworker had given me about a dozen milk jugs when I was thinking of teaching a hands-on winter sowing class (and I don't even recall why that didn't end up happening) over a year ago. I used those jugs today. They didn't look warped just sitting around, but after drilling holes and cutting, it was harder to tape the cut edges back together than on newer containers. Another reason not to be a packrat, yah!
Finally, I took a little walk through my garden, to see if anything looked alive. The buds of forsythias looked hopeful, as did some creeping thyme which is evergreen. (Well, some seems to be, and this one was. Others of the same kind don't look as green. Ah, micro climates!)
Some tiger lilies in a protected area near my house were bravely pushing leaves above ground, in and about last year's foliage and some duck feathers. Ducks descend by the dozens in my backyard, eating anything that spills from the bird feeders, including husks. Some of the males can be quite aggressive to other males, so there's often a commotion of wing beating and honking. Subsequently, I find duck feathers here and there. (No ducks were harmed in shooting this photo. I do admit to having The Birds-like angst about mobs of ducks, but neither of my cats will even attempt any posturing or empty threats to scare them off.)
And finally, out front, Fiona is showing me which branches of the dogwood will need pruning (crossing branches particularly irritate her). (In the interests of fairness, James wants me to report that he was on my bed sleeping when this photo was being taken.)