Spring is truly here. The other day there was a thunderstorm and there was rain. Two days ago there were alerts about flooding. The air is heavy with moisture and standing water is everywhere. The sun has made an appearance too with the help of the wind. March is a blustery, damp month and I can’t say I’m disappointed by it’s appearance. The flowers have returned and the trees are getting fresh green leaves. The birds offer their songs in the mornings. The season of Spring has arrived with clouds, rain, wind and sun.
I found a violet blooming in the backyard. It is the first I’ve seen this year. It is a delight to find them because they are scattered around the yard. Perhaps they belonged to a flower bed at one time or they are from seeds blown in from the violets growing on the side of the house. Last year I found a white variety growing in the neighborhood. The violet appears to be alone, but there are dandelions and wild strawberries blooming nearby. The small flowers are just the preview of what is to come.
The season of Spring approaches and with it signs of the eventual change. Some trees are already blooming. Small flowers have popped out on the lawn. Birds are gathering in the trees and twittering loudly. The crows have returned to the neighbors trees but I’m not sure what they want. They do not nest in the small wooded area, but they gather in the branches while cawing to the worid. I haven’t seen a March Hare in this area nor do I expect to see one. I have seen cottontails in the patch of woods a few blocks away. They come out at night and make dog walking a dangerous activity especially if you are with a wolfish dog.
The above picture is my interpretation of the image of the rogue hare. It is a legend about a wicked leader who was transformed into a hare and doomed to spend eternity spooking travelers and causing bad luck. The legend states that if you see this apparition you will soon suffer a minor accident like dropping a freshly baked pie, stubbing your toe or dropping your phone in a toilet. The bad luck isn’t fatal (mostly) but it is inconvenient as well as embarrassing to the experiencer. The oddest part of this curse is that you will never hear the sorry results directly from the person who saw the rogue hare. The stories will always be told by someone who had a friend who had an uncle who had a client who had a sister who saw the odd creature and had some irritating piece of bad luck. The tale will always be at least 3rd hand but the chain may even be 8 to 9 people long.
Of course this legend must be just a work of fiction, created to warn travelers about the dangers of using a lonely road. It may also have been a marketing device to promote the sale of cheap charms in the shape of a hare. Whatever the reason, it is much better to hear the stories about the rogue hare then to see it.
During the winter I tend to gravitate to winter scenes, until I get tired of the cold. While I’ve seen some snow this year, I’m still inclined to make art with winter scenes. The artwork should be easy; winter is mostly white. That isn’t the case for the above picture. The snow has been colored by the shadows of the day and the sky is influenced by the setting sun.
Winter has arrived where I live. It comes in sets of two. Two days of cold, and two days rain and two days of sun. The sun is surprisingly warm when it shines. The air is surprisingly cool in the shadows. Despite the low angle of the sun, its light is surprisingly bright. There hasn’t been enough snow to create snow people, so I used what I had available to make one. I’ve made paintings and other crafts in the past with a snow people theme. They are easy to make and are a fun subject for a winter painting.
Winter is approaching the region where I live. It isn’t the kind of shift I’m used to from years past. The temperatures may be in the 70’s F and then drop down into the 30’s F. Some of the trees still have green leaves and won’t loose them until spring. The honeysuckle vine is showing a little autumn color and black, shiny berries. There is a thorny vine with heart-shaped leaves that is always green. The grass has gone dormant but the wild strawberry plants have bloomed and produced fruit. Japanese clover is blooming again while holly plants boast bright red berries. The sun is very warm, but shines at an angle. Today there was a frosty smell to the air. Winter will be here soon, but how it behaves may surprise us all.
The end of October is here. Orange and black decorate the neighborhood. An autumn breeze rustles the leaves, which are still in the process of turning. The daylight is less and evening arrives sooner. There has been a recent rain. My autumn artwork has piled up with orange, brown and yellow getting a workout on the paper. Owls and bats may roam in the dark and Jack-O-Lanterns will glow on porches tonight. I saw one grinning from a neighbor’s yard this afternoon. It was to early too light it, but the savage grin will be a sight in the evening. The Halloween decorations are covering my chest of drawers and I plan to enjoy the glow of fairy lights on the spooky scene. Most of the decoration are crafts I’ve made. Some are old and some are new and most are made from recycled items.
Rain clouds have moved in and the wind is blowing through the trees. Hopefully they will be gone before the harvest moon arrives. Even if the weather is cloudy, the moon may be visible. Sometimes cloudy weather makes the night sky much more interesting when the full moon is present. For the above picture I envisioned an autumn night with a bright moon shining on the branches and trunks of trees. Stars glow in a violet sky and it would be cool enough to wear a heavy sweater or fleece-lined jacket. The leaves are gone, probably blown away in a series of windstorms. The floor of the forest is not shown, but it would be littered with yellow, gold and rusty leaves. The air might have a scent of wood smoke or, if the weather was cold enough, a hint of snow.
Despite the warm weather, I still get inspired by autumn. The brilliant colors, the scattered leaves, the big orange pumpkins and the promise of cool breezes brings out the craftier side of me. I recently went for a walk in the neighborhood and found two twigs that were in good condition. They were just right for a craft project I had been thinking about. I made them into a frame for an Ojo de Dios decoration. There were enough autumn colors in the extra yarn I had sitting around to use for the project. I first learned how to make this craft in the 3rd grade. They were a Christmas ornament project and I enjoyed making them. I looked for all sorts of materials to make them. I used old popsicle sticks and straws for the frame and left over yarn for the rest.
Last week I took a walk and was surprised to see several different types of flowers blooming. The plants looked healthy and hardy even though no one was tending them. They grew by the side of the road. The morning glory (or it might be sweet potato) and a trumpet vine had twined themselves together around a cable holding a power pole. This was near an active railroad track. As for the small red flowers, I’m not sure what they are but they were doing very well. After my effort to make a garden grow, I couldn’t help comparing the lack of effort that resulted in a lovely show of blossoms. Some plants have all the luck and no doubt the region is ideal for their growth.