ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It's a warm, breezy, overcast spring day here at Fieldhaven.  I went for a walk outside and saw ...

* Full bloom: daffodils, jonquils, giant hyacinths, grape hyacinths, forsythia, domestic apricot, domestic plum, wild violets, trillium.

* Buds: redbuds, gold currants, columbines, Manchurian apricot.

* The first few stems of asparagus are sprouting, and should be ready to start picking in a day or two.

* A bumblebee servicing the daffodils under the maple southeast of our house, heavy with pollen.  This is a strong sign of spring, as bees rarely emerge when there is still cold weather to come.

* The mourning dove nest under the porch roof is still active.  The one in the crotch of the walnut tree has fallen to predation, with a broken eggshell still in the nest.
 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So I just found out that my favorite little mossbears are vacuum-proof.  Since we also have algae in space, that's looking real good for the panspermia theory, or even just polyspermia that travels from a handful of sources to nearby locations.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Grand Prairie Friends is trying to raise money to buy 91 acres of forested property in Coles County, Illinois.  It's adjacent to two other large parcels already owned by the same organization, making it useful for protecting species vulnerable to habitat fragmentation.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman. Just so you know, it's also the start of a three-part arc with Fiorenza and Giacinto in Faggiola.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
How cold is it here today?  It is four-sparrow cold.

We have a hopper feeder for the birds.  They don't always like to share it.  So on a warm day, it's one sparrow per side, front and back, who will throw a gigantic hissyfit if another bird lands on the feeder.

When it starts to get cold, two sparrows will share the same feeding ledge, at far corners, with an occasional peck and flutter.  They will also cooperate to drive off anything that tries to land between them.

On a cold day, three sparrows will land on the ledge, but they squabble back and forth.

You know it is really frigid  out when there are four sparrows crammed wing-to-wing on each side of the feeder, all stuffing their faces as fast as they can, instead of fighting. 

Also out today were a few mourning doves and a pair of cardinals.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.


"Flowered Lanes"
-- an Italian sonnet


In winter, frigid winds and frost hold sway,
Which grip the world in silver claws so keen
They tear the curtains, lash the trees to lean,
And almost seem to strip the flesh away.

In spring, the winter snow and ice give way
To browning mud and sudden shoots of green --
Then purple crocus everywhere are seen --
It's muck in April, flowered lanes by May.

One day you leave your house, and there they are --
white violets in shade, an early rose
in sun, the scent of thyme about the farm,
a sprig of mint, and Bethlehem's blue star.
Now Fiorenza smiles as she goes
to gather them, a basket on her arm.

* * *

Notes:

Read about weather in Le Marche.

Italian wildflowers include crocus, violet, rose, wild thyme, wild mint, and star of Bethlehem.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] helgatwb made an icon for [personal profile] chanter_greenie based on the mentally stressed medieval beasts I posted recently.  So [personal profile] chanter_greenie wrote this piece about spring, which I would class as creative nonfiction.  It is primarily about smells, so my vision-impaired readers should definitely check it out.

Birdfeeding

Jan. 4th, 2015 05:26 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It's frigid here today.  Birds have been mobbing the feeders.  Mostly I've seen sparrows, but also some male and female cardinals.  The sparrows have figured out the thistle sock.  While they prefer to be perching birds, don't let that fool you.  They're incredibly clever about getting food, even if that means impersonating a clinging bird.  I even saw one that figured out the upside-down thistle feeder I used to have. 

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