A picture is worth a thousand words. Well in this case, the ones below are worth two thousand. A chill reminder that spring has been very slow to move along. Our meadow was nearly twice as high this time last year! Sorry Phil, but your prediction I feel was wrong again. The only thing bigger and more lush is the red cedar tree which has grown in girth over the past 365 days. Even the tall trees in the background are not as green as they were in 2019.


April 27, 2019


April 27, 2020

Forest-free Shinrin-yoku

It has been just over forty days now that we have been in lock down, stay at home mode. Nothing about it has been easy and I very often find myself feeling down in the dumps or just plain zapped of all mental and physical energy. Which I suppose is the direct result of my emotional energy being tapped so hard. What has kept my spirits high (which comes as little surprise) is the time I get to spend outside with no particular agenda whatsoever. It’s a small joy to poke around and see what little new things are trying to grow and spring back to life.

I am left to just sit and observe, or walk and admire, or stop and take a deep breath. And the more I do, the better I begin to feel. But as my senses take in all that surrounds me, I am noticing much of the colors around me are coming up blue. Strange to think that in spring, there is not more pastel and pinks to admire. But recently I find myself surrounded by bluebirds, Virginia bluebells, blue birds eggs, and tree swallows but what I really want, I can’t seem to get: BLUE SKY.

Male Eastern bluebird


Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)


Bluebird eggs


Tree swallow
Tree swallows house hunting


At this point, looking at the forecast is another way to feel “blue”. There is just barely an uptick in the temperature. When will it finally feel like spring ????? Well, it almost did for a brief moment this past Saturday. We were watching the swallows pick up small bits of grass to begin their nest building. And while we were watching them, a stroke of yellow flew past the window. My daughter blurted out: “SWALLOWTAIL! I just saw a swallowtail.” I was stunned. I didn’t think it was possible. I flew out the door and tried to see it. I was not quick enough to get a picture, but sure enough. There was indeed a yellow butterfly flitting about. We have not seen it since.

I will steer clear of AccuWeather for a while and just keep this old English Proverb in mind instead, and know that before long, the colors I will be feeling will transition out of the cold of spring in the warmth of the summer sun.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

–English proverb
Tiger Swallowtail…I will be seeing you soon.




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