Friday, June 12, 2009


By Lonnie Cruse

This past January/February was brutal for our area. The ice storm left us without power for days, some residents even weeks. Many, many trees were damaged, and believe it or not, clean-up is still going on. Sigh.

But spring IS here and everyone is heaving a huge sigh of relief. Somehow spring seems even more lovely this year. The storm made us all appreciate it even more. We can be outside, enjoying the world once again.

I love walking in our neighborhood early in the morning. Last week I grabbed my camera and snapped pictures of things I see and enjoy on my morning walk. Keep in mind, this is not exactly your basic cookie-cutter subdivision.

Below: I love saying hello to my neighbors first thing in the morning. Most of them seem to be busy with breakfast, but the fella on the right turned to greet me. This is just a few houses away from ours.

The early filly gets the fodder? Sometimes these neighbors manage to sneak through the fence and come our way for a quick visit before the owner rounds them up again. Frankly, I prefer to visit them in their yard, which is about three doors down, er, up the hill.

Some of our neighbors have been here for a while, as you can see below. I love this old log cabin. I don't imagine living there was easy when it was brand new. But the builder would have been perfectly comfy during the power outage. This is near the end of the road we live on, about three quarters of a mile from my house, and it's empty now, but still standing despite age and our weather. Did I mention we sometimes have rough weather?

Hubby dug up these orange lilies for me along the side of the road several years ago (no, not on anyone else's property, I promise, but on the right-of-way where the county mows them down each spring.) The flowers have really spread, and I've noticed that orange lilies are far more abundant this spring on ALL of our county roads. Wonderful sight! If you look close, you will see a bench behind the lilies. The rocks to the right help keep weeds down.

Queen Anne's Lace has always been one of my favorite flowers. Unfortunately, if you pick them, you will quickly be covered in chiggers. Sigh. Note the blackberries just below the right side of the flower. This was taken either at our mailbox or at the edge of our property, in front of our house, which sits a few hundred yards off the road.

Check the upper right-hand corner of this picture and see the hummer coming in for a quick snack. And who said hummingbirds are shy? NOT! The Air Force could take lessons in dive-bombing. This is the edge of our front porch.

Of course, I try to raise tomatoes every year. So far I have lots of blooms and one thumb-sized 'mater. I can't wait. Note the marigolds at the left of the tomato plants. They keep the bugs and caterpillars from eating/destroying the tomato plants. Hubby refuses to plant marigolds by his tomatoes. And the bugs often attack HIS plants but not mine. Must be a guy thing, not using marigolds to keep bugs away?
These are the steps leading up to our back porch (where I spend a lot of time writing and enjoying the back yard.) Tip: tomato plants seem to do really well when planted near a brick wall. Maybe because of the heat the bricks gather during the day and put off after sun down? I dunno, but I know I've had the best success in this location.
I'm trying a new variety of tomato this year. It's the center plant, given to me by a fellow garden club member. I bought some tomatoes at a local fruit/veggie stand recently that were raised hydroponically (raised in water, if like me, you'd never heard of them.) They were excellent. But if you want a really good tomato (one that's as ugly as homemade mud pies but salty tasting) try Brandywines.

Sooo, how is your spring/summer going so far? Are you enjoying the weather? Smelling the roses? Reading more? Writing more? Planting anything?
This kind of weather is inspiring (because cold weather sends me straight into hibernation, and I'm cranky as a bear if you disturb me. I'm just saying . . . )
I hope you are enjoying your spring, wherever you are, and I hope, like me, you are saving to buy a generator . . . just in case.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Beautiful photos!

Summer for me means the kids are home from school. That presents a whole series of pleasures and problems....especially for writing. I'm working on a summer schedule that will give me time to write and also make time for fun.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lonnie Cruse said...

Ahhh, I remember those days. My boys are grown, but we have 2 grands and we try to spend time with them in the summer. Have fun! And good luck with your writing.

Sandra Parshall said...

The DC area skipped spring this year. We were still having cold nights and cool days up to the end of May. Occasionally a hot day would come along and make us believe the season had turned, but then we'd be back to turning on the furnace at night. The early-blooming flowers bloomed late this year. And the rain -- good grief, I can't remember when we've had so much rain, one or two inches a day for days on end, week after week.

At long last, it's HOT. But we're still getting the downpours, now accompanied by thunder, lightning, occasional hail, and damaging winds. The ground is so sodden that big trees are simply falling over, even without the assistance of wind.

But we're supposed to enjoy summer, right? Okay. I'll try. Anything is better than winter. :-)

Lonnie Cruse said...

Wow, Sandy, I didn't realize you guys were having it so bad. Watch out for the trees! Hugs, Lonnie

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

How funny that we were just talking about Queen Ann's lace today and here, during a serendipitous reading of your blog entry, I see a picture of some.