Saturday, February 3, 2018

Faded beauty

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.
– Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) 

I walked extra early one morning this week; the fog hung thick, making everything look misty shades of brown or gray. Depressing some might say; but I love to walk along our paths in every season and almost always find something inspiring or uplifting. 

This time of year I'm on the lookout for early signs of spring: daffodil leaves poking up, grape hyacinths sending up spikes of urn-shaped flowers, lenten roses nestled in the snow with their heads turned downward, witch-hazel showing off its shaggy, spidery winter blooms. But I'm finding nothing. Nada. It's been an unusually cold couple of months and I'm thinking spring will be slow to come to Farm Dover.

I'm trying to make the best of it, knowing that I have no control over Mother Nature. On my recent foggy walk, I picked a bouquet of flowers. Granted they were dead flowers – in various stages of decay – but nevertheless beautiful in their own degenerated way. I brought them inside and arranged them in old ginger beer bottles and assorted pottery jars.

Then, a few days later, I spied a deserted American Goldfinch nest in a flower stem. I added it to my dead-flower collection.

I have to tell you this gothic show of decay isn't really doing it for me. I'm itching to purchase a bouquet of orange tulips from Whole Foods. But I've promised myself that I will refrain from purchasing flowers from far-off lands when I have acres of native flowers and grasses to pick from, just outside my door. Still, it is tempting....

In an effort to bring new life into the house, I've cut some branches from a wild pear tree, pruned some twigs from our orchard trees and snipped some blossoms from the magnolia bush in the bee garden. I put them in vases filled with warm water,  hoping to force them into blooming.

Perhaps these coerced blooms will be enough to cheer me until the circle of life pushes forth new growth and I can pick fresh flowers to my heart's content.


From my archives: Some photos from previous years, when spring bore her gifts early.

December 31, 2015
January 26, 2016
January 30, 2013
February 5, 2016