Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Despite the fact that we didn't have TuTu with us to paint the world green, and that D-meister in particular missed her presence, we did have a nod toward the holiday. N-man wore his leprechaun socks and danced a jig while we listened to The Pogues and we dined on shamrock pancakes. Of course, we also had traditional corned beef and cabbage for dinner that evening. Erin Go Bragh!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Cams

This kind of thing is an example of the very best that the internet has to offer. We should be using it to really study-- second best thing to first hand-- the world around us!

I love nest / den cams!

Hummingbird Nest WebCam (as of 3-21 no eggs left, no babies)

Barn Owl Nest (as of 3-21 one baby has hatched)

Barn Owl 2 (as of 3-21 these guys have hatched and are LOUD)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Spring marches in

As with the spring of 2008, March has started out with serious kookiness. Yes, I said kookiness.

With our beautiful warm, sunny days and blooming trees and flowers, it was easy to be seduced into thinking winter had spent all its energy on the Eastern parts of the country. Yesterday, March and its madness arrived. In the space of one day, the temperature dropped from the 50s to the low 30s. We had dark cloudy skies, hail, sleet, rain, snow and beautiful sunshine. While the children played outside frolicking in fast-flying snow flurries, chanting "Stick Stick Stick!" I burned the insert so hot you could break into a sweat in the living room.

Spring may now come. I have declared it!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I begin to doubt myself

or perhaps, I need a vacation.

I love the Pacific Northwest. I love it here. I love the prevailing political sentiments, I love the public-oriented government entities, I love big, clear street signs and I love ferries. I love the Mountain. I love the Forests. I love that you can see four volcanoes at once on a clear day. I like being able to walk to the Sea and drive to a glacier on the same day (not that I ever do). I love the copious availability of free, low-cost and yes, the expensive, educational opportunities for our children. I love the masses of like-minded people and that one can source just about anything needed within a hundred mile radius.

The weather itself doesn't even bother me most of the year. Summer, naturally, is an odyssey. By the time Autumn rolls around, I have so much work built up from our summer activities and purchases that I don't have time to lament the passing of Summer's bloom and warmth. The darker months surrounding the Solstice don't even phase me. I need the rest after harvest season, and I enjoy the quiet. I find the noise and bustle of the children jarring to my sensibilities during this period, but I keep them busy enough with organized activities outside the house that it levels out.

But I hate--and I do mean HATE--the months from the end of January into the beginning of May. That's a long time to be disenchanted with your natural world. Winter doesn't really show here, in my experience, until this time. Even this year, when Spring appears to be sneaking up on us early, I refuse to fall for it as I did last year. Frigid weather is coming back this week, which no one seemed to believe would happen, and I do have some glimmer of satisfaction that this year, at least, I didn't install a garden ridiculously early just to watch it die.

What I hate most about it though, is not the waiting for the signals to GO! PLANT! YAY! It is my body's response to the intermittent cloudiness. My spirit is refreshed from a long winter's rest and now I find myself wanting to channel energy into project after project. I plan them well, I organize my supplies, and then.... nothing. I sit like a lump as if petrified by the fall of a shadow. When the sun is shining at this time of year, I zip around like I have no limits. I see nothing but the possibilities in my minds eye. I do not see dormant trees and rotting leaves, I can almost physically perceive the outlines of things I want to build, plant or paint. As soon as the light fades, I droop like a morning glory and quite literally forget what I planned to do. I have been working for weeks and today I sit here as if stupefied.

I believe that being in touch with the natural world is a good and necessary way to live, but this is ridiculous. For P-daddy, it is even worse. He doesn't connect with and during the solstice months the way that I do, and he starts suffering in October. Given that I only know the man because he deliberately chose Southern latitudes for the abundance of light, I begin to feel.... cruel.

Sometimes I wonder, despite my love for this place and the community we've grown here, if we wouldn't be better off choosing somewhere more sunny.