Spring…Sprung…Sprang?

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Lilacs see to have sprung into bloom… gracing gardens with their perfume and their beauty.

  Dogwood blossoms are everywhere. 

From the trees sprang a myriad of sounds and critters.  Chirruping squirrels, chasing one another in the thrill of spring’s ecstasy.  Tree frogs…completing the chorus with croaks, trills, bleats, and grunts. At night it can sound like a fleet of fire trucks descending on the neighborhood. The anoles don’t have a lot to say as they leap and slither about the limbs or run along the morning glory shrouded fence.  Skinks slither under the raised garden beds, hide in the damp shade beneath the kids’ sand/water table.

Already broadhead skink females are hidden in my woodpile, guarding and tending their clutches of tiny white eggs.

species photo (not  my picture…but I seldom get the females to stand still for me, lol)

The males, with their big red heads are much more imposing than their ladies and less skittish. They love it up in the big live oaks.

species photo

Spring is here in the Lowcountry.  It couldn’t have sprung up at a better time.

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Finding Beauty

I am, by my very nature, someone who seeks ‘connection’ in the world around me. I revel in time spent swinging in the hammock swing under the ancient live oak in my backyard.  Staring at the leaves, noting how much the spanish moss has grown since I first ‘introduced’ it to the oak tree five years ago, listening to the vast array of bird songs.

I thrive on walks on the beach, the feel of warm sand under my bare feet, the scent of the ocean, unexpected treasures to be gathered, or moments of wonderment in the sea and coastal critters we share these beaches and tidal marshes with.

https://passyingbyphoto.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/531a9778.jpg?w=474&h=379  Endangered Wood storks have returned to the coast after a long absence.

And the easily missed, once common and now making a slow comeback, Sea-beach amaranth can be found if you know what you are looking for…and are open to the tiny humble details to be found in nature.

Today I didn’t go anywhere unusual. I puttered about the house and yard. As I was clearing small downed branches from the week’s storms I spotted this lovely hiding near the bushes.  An Island glass lizard, I see them every once in awhile about the yard and love seeing the tiny babies when they hatch in the summer.

Always something beautiful to see here.  The white azaleas are in bloom in the yard, saved by their later bloom time from the late season frost which decimated most of our early bloomers.  The camellias are still heavy in flowers and the wisteria has joined in.  By the time the magnolia blooms, it will be swathed in soft purple wisteria blossoms.

Everyday miracles.  Every day…wonder.

 

 

 

Stormy weather

As I’m sure anyone who knows me will attest…there’s a bit of a storm chaser in me.  I love the scent of rain, a good hard storm with thunder that shakes the vaults of heaven, and lightning slashing the skies.

Here in the Lowcountry we get our fair share of storms and tonight we had a very lovely one. It began early in the afternoon, gusting winds shaking the trees, and a good steady rain.  Just what our newly growing gardens and landscaping needs this time of year.

And just when it seemed the forecast for severe thunderstorms was fruitless…BAM!  The house shook.  The yard shook!  Woo hoo! Here came the main event.

The dogs took shelter under the furniture.  The parrot muttered to herself. I think she finds such displays more annoying than scary.  The shaking and thunderous claps disturb her conversations and requests for…well…whatever she is wanting at that particular moment.  And no one interrupts Scooter.

It brought back fond memories of chasing tornadoes on my rural paper route up in Ohio. Watching the rain come sideways, the lightning outlining the clouds. I do miss those twisters.

But this was a nice storm, not so big a rush as those…but fun.

Rain came down in torrents.  The street filled quickly and was soon spilling up into the yard and driveway.  As the storm moved over us out to sea, the lightning changed from blue and silver to pink.  A show worth watching as each passing moment provided an even more breathtaking display.

https://i2.wp.com/media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/57/f7/18/57f718be46bd9687352d8c6d5961178f.jpg

Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by such power and beauty?

https://i1.wp.com/data.whicdn.com/images/130214293/large.jpg

And all too quickly, in just a few short hours, it passed.

They say we may get another front later tonight.  I hope so.  I love sleeping when it storms.

 

 

Intertidal Magic

My friend, Melodye Shore, is quite the Renaissance woman… a gifted writer, an amazing photographer, a friend to bees, hummingbird ‘whisperer’, and now a budding expert on the intertidal zone, tidal pools and their amazing inhabitants.

So imagine my delight tonight when, in my usual eclectic way, I was perusing all the weird and widely divergent things that amaze and delight me…and here was this fascinating article on a critter from her neck of the woods… the lovely Lined Shore Crab.

http://awesomeocean.com/2016/12/28/meet-dr-jekyll-mr-hyde-intertidal-zone/

Shore Crab

Immediately I thought of Melodye…and how magical such small places as our tidal pools are…on her western shore or here on the shores of the Lowcountry, or in other countries around this tiny blue world of ours.  So much precious life.  So much we don’t yet understand.  So much magic to be lost if we don’t protect it fiercely.

I vote for magic.  The more we can find and share… the richer our world….and our lives….become.

 

 

Amazing Beginning…

Life has been a crazed roller coaster of late.

All right, maybe more than lately.  Maybe for the last five years!  Friday it has been 3 years since my husband passed away…quite suddenly… of cancer.  We’d beaten it twice.  We expected to do it again.  Then he was gone.  Still haven’t quite figured that one out, but I picked up the kids and we came home to the Lowcountry.

It has been crazy… in good and bad ways.  Of late…lots of bad. Crises upon crises,  each deeper and scarier than the one before.  Most my own fault.  I have a stubborn streak of intractable faith in people.  I was brought up to believe the Golden Rule.  To treat people…all people….the way I would want to be treated.  To give everyone the benefit of the doubt as equal children of the Lord.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

Sometimes people make fun of me for being naive. Sometimes people take advantage of my desire to believe in them. I’m not stupid, really.  I just believe, in the long run, good will overcome.  I can’t imagine how cold the world must be to allow oneself not to trust that beyond the ugliness the news seeks to bury us under there is a greatness in the human spirit.  It just needs nurtured.

I digress.  Since David passed away, I haven’t had his influence to keep my ‘world is my oyster’ nature under control.  Frankly, I’ve made a mess of more things than I care to admit.  And, frankly, it has become more than a little discouraging.  Then today…faced with having to begin the process of digging out from under the two latest messes…and each time I reach for the edge of the hole it crumbles away… it occurred to my daughter and I that the glimmer of hope we have been so desperately praying God would give us… is all around us right now.  In the midst of our being broken and trampled by life, God is preparing us for the blessings yet to come.

He is teaching us to be humble. Teaching us to wait on Him.  And above all, reminding us to be thankful and to be good stewards of what He entrusts us with.

Hard lessons for me.  I am so not equipped to handle financial things.  I just hate them. But I am learning.  And part of what I am learning is not to trust ME.  Because I will definitely. mess it up again, LOL.  A good thing to know.

So now we have a new and hopeful outlook on our current trials.  It doesn’t make it easier in the moment.  I will continue to have my little panics and moments of doubt that I can crawl out of whatever the next hole is…and then I will.  And we will carry on, and keep failing, keep falling, keep learning, keep surviving.  Keep giving and hoping and praying… and trying to learn what He is teaching about how to do what is right…the right way.

It is an amazing new beginning… a rebirth of hope.  Just like Spring.

Carry on.

What a fabulous Friday!

The Spring equinox!  A solar eclipse (even though we couldn’t see it here…bummer) and tonight a Super Moon to celebrate the arrival of Spring!  Now this is a day to remember.

Spent much of the day cleaning house with all the kids pitching in one way or another.  Then Reesie and I went and did half the grocery shopping for my 2 week menu of meals to see us through till next pay day.  Tomorrow we will finish the shopping and drive out to look at another potential ‘home’.

The nightmare of my budget remains.  God gives me a little ray of hope, enough to cling to in these dark hours.  And just when we take a deep (and oh so very thankful!) breath… the next catastrophe hits.  Maybe God is checking:  do you trust Me now?  how about now?  do you trust Me NOW?

I do.

I have to.  He’s all I have to hold onto.

We’ll get through.  We always do.

Tonight, as I was making supper another totally random moment.  This time a huge raven flew down into the azalea outside the open kitchen window and sat there… looking at me and making the strange croaking cry they often make.  We watched each other for a bit before he sailed up to sit in the oak tree.  Such fascinating birds. I enjoyed his visit.  I don’t believe they venture often here, but having grown up with both ravens and crows I know the difference.  Hope he returns again. I could use the enlightenment he symbolizes.

Tonight?  Editing and writing to be done on Khyr’s story.  Maybe a quick visit with Mathias as well.  So many stories…so little time.

It is quiet.  Perfect weather.  Dogs snoring.  Life is good.  May it be as lovely for you all.

FRIDAY FANTASY!  (did you think I’d forget?)  In honor of tonight’s gorgeous Super Moon

Moon lights the snow

Random moments to treasure…

A random moment of weirdness….and affirmation of our connectedness to nature around us. Sitting here in the living room, writing away, when ‘plop’ an anole leaps onto my laptop and sits there eyeballing me with its bright emerald gaze. Mind you I am not outdoors, nor near any windows or doors, have not been outside for several hours and even then not near the places our anoles prefer to hang out… where did this little guy come from? It seemed in no way overly distressed by my presence, so I eased to my feet and carried the laptop out the front door so he could leap to freedom into the flower pots or shrubbery,

Nope. Wasn’t budging.

I lowered the laptop into the azalea and the anole promptly scurried up my hand and arm to avoid being deposited in the greenery and seemed, indeed, rather offended by the gesture. Anole and I discussed this for a bit as he sat on my hand, then Reesie came out to help me release my new friend. He didn’t object to her handling either, but again seemed unwilling to be returned to the wild and scurried up her hands as well. Eventually we found a bare branch directly in front of the sunlit porch and the anole finally stepped off and rested there…still watching us with a “seriously? you’re leaving me here?” look.

We have a new friend and he is quite a charmer.

Welcome home, little guy.