13 March 2008

Buds, Mud, and Power Outages

While our up and down weather continues, I found things yesterday that gave me great hope. A little stroll around the squishy-in-places, frozen-solid-in-places yard showed that the parts that have emerged from the snowdrifts do know what they're supposed to do. Yes, I know it's not the most beautiful flower image you've ever seen. But it's a plant sprout--maybe a snowdrop, maybe puschkinia, maybe crocus or iris reticulata--and it's up and ALIVE! Whoo Hooo! Even though Farch has yet many tricks to play on us, weatherwise, this brave shoot reminded me that we'll make it.

I was even more excited to find that Hamamelis 'Diana' was opening its buds, letting the long, tentacle like petals of its flowers shake out slowly. These remind me of the pompoms we used as cheerleaders in high school, as they look very much like crumpled, folded tissue paper. The fact that 'Diane' is flowering suggests to me that I ought to take to the woods and see if our native hamamelis is flowering or not--you can usually smell its flowers in the woods before you ever locate the modest looking flowers and twigs.

I spent some time watching my ham-horse, Leggo-my-Eggo, who doesn't care if it's muddy, or windy, or cold, so long as he has hay to munch on and his donkey to tease. It was especially poignant watching these two happy, if muddy, fat and fuzzy creatures, given that I'm currently working on a story about an appalling case of animal cruelty in Alberta. Thank heavens that the SPCA was able to execute a search and seizure--there will be a happy ending, eventually, for many of the horses and other animals they rescued. For the many dead animals, it came too late--but I am so glad the SPCA was able to get in, and that so many have come forward to help with the animals' recovery.

I'm running a bit behind, as last night we had an abrupt and tedious power outage here which went on until into this morning. This would not normally bother me even one iota. However, at the time I was downloading the upgrade for my MacBook Pro's operating system, and it was in mid install (directly while downloading, near as I can tell) when the power went out. Including, of course, the Internet. So this morning I had to do a complete reinstall of my operating system, which always takes time. With deadlines up the wazoo and research to do, I haven't been able to comment back to posts, or visit others, or even check my email until a couple of hours ago. So if you've been expecting to hear from me, it'll be soon. After I get a decent sleep, that is. And I'll get to the next container posting by the weekend, if nothing else goes awry here. It's acting like Friday the 13, not Thursday...


  1. We need snowshoes to get into the woods but the first signs of spring have arrived. Buckets are hanging on the Maple Trees. On another note - you could freeze your wazoo off with last night's sub-zero temps.

  2. Jodi, you are really getting the what for from Mister Weatherman! Is this the norm up your way at this time of year? How wonderful for your critters to be able to happily run amuck. Your turn next.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  3. It is such fun to find your first plant popped up. I don't blame you for being happy.

    That Leggo is so lucky to have his dear donkey friend and his momma to love him.

  4. We are getting warmer and brighter each day! I have a few things pushing through the soil in a protected area right behind the house, but for the most part, we have snow and mud.

    This afternoon, I took my box of seeds out and looked at them for the fourth or fifth time. I do the same with my quilting fabric!

    Glad you have your power back on. We have only lost ours once this year, and that was accidnet related, not weather.

  5. Hi Jodi..
    It was snowing .. AGAIN .. today..and cold .. I have my indoor staypuff housecoat on over my polka dot pajamas .. cat attached to both .. now snoring on bed .. cat that is ..
    I am so looking forward to seeing ANY sign of plant life .... sigh !

  6. It is nice to meet a new 'soul sister' - we both have grey cats, fat ponies and, of course, the gardening bug. :)

  7. Sorry to hear of all your troubles, Jodi, but glad to see that you've found the first hopeful signs of Spring under all the crud.

  8. I honestly don't think I've ever been so excited by those first, tentative buds before! Thanks for sharing yours. :)

  9. What a happy horse! Hang in there. Spring will soon be sprung! Here in Seattle our snowdrops and iris reticulata have faded. Daffs are bright and cheery. And the forsythia is beautiful. But today was rainy, gray, blustery and just plain dreary. Sigh.

  10. Always amazed ... I don't know how you wrap your malleable arms around all that you do, jodi. You have a gift for sure! I see perhaps not the 'most beautiful flower image I have ever seen' but through the eyes of a true lover, a beauty in its own 'brave' right. I share your thoughts ... a delightful post! Yea spring ;)

  11. excellent news about the buds and mud. it gives all of us hope. I still can't see the garden for the snow so I've taken to checking on the plumpness of the beech, lilac and serviceberry buds daily.

    how many power outages have you had this winter? i don't know if i could stand it...and in mid-download? arggghhh!


  12. It amazes me how quickly spring happens. It seems to take forever for winter to end and before you know it those little sprouts have emerged. I know we will still have some cold and possibly snow, but I know I can make it now. I was beginning to have my doubts.
    I hope the worst of your winter weather is over too.

  13. Yea spring indeed! :) Exciting, isn't it to see those first shoots? We've got daffs poking through (actually they've been poking through since the warm weather early in February), and snowdrops beginning to bud, Maple blossoms and daylily shoots. That fresh air must smell so good to the happy horse and mule!
    Oooh....ugh to the power outage! What a bummer!
    I hope you get some good rest.
    Still cold here but it'll get better! We have cowbirds, grackles and large gaggles of geese (down on the river..the geese, that is).

  14. Hi Jodi, where is hope and you get so happy to see that something is going on but......the winter is to looong. When I look out of my window today there is a light snowfall and it's grey and +2 C. I want the spring to come PRONTO.

  15. Gack, it seems like power outages *always* occur when a #$@!!* deadline (or three or ten) is looming! To paraphrase a line from the movie "Repo Man," the life of a freelance writer is always intense. But it helps to have your beloved animal companions to cheer you up while waiting (and waiting) for the power to come back on. Been there, been there, been there!

  16. I'm glad that you are happy with your plant sprout. I hope it keeps growing bigger and bigger.
    Have a nice day..

  17. Jodi, you've had your hands full. I hope you make deadline on all your projects. As a writer, I've noticed that when I'm on deadline is when all h-e-double toothpicks breaks loose.~~Dee

  18. theres been a similar horse-rescue in england recently, such a large numbe of horses, several of them dead, more dying.
    i dont get it.
    i want to swear.

  19. I know just what you mean. I changed internet providers one week ago, and I'm going crazy every day trying to figure out why it keeps going out! Oh, how did we get so hooked on this monster the computer that hooks us up to the rest of the world? And animal cruelty to me is just the ultimate crime. Should be much more punishable than it is.

  20. Wonderful to see objective evidence of spring. We still have three feet of snow and not a bud in sight.

    Power outages mid-installation? Definitely Friday the 13th energy. Maybe the calendar got confused by daylight's savings time?

    Keep blogging!

  21. Mud? A thaw is happening. Spring is here and getting warmer, I Hope! Sorry to hear about your computer woes. Nothing more tedious with a computer that a reinstall.

  22. Yah!! Signs of Spring..power outages and all??? Glad you finally got your op system installed!

  23. The first signs that spring is really on its way in your garden too Jodi, how wonderfull!!!

    What a horrible case of animal cruelty, something that I will never ever understand. But it was heart warming to read that some many people are donating time, money and the very much needed TLC that all these horses need. Hopefully they all will survive and live happy and healthy lives.

    Enjoy your Leggo-my-Eggo and the cute donkey too and know that they are safe from cruelty and as happy as pigs in mud. :-)

    BTW is it wise to invest in a generator? You seem to have power outages at a fairly regular base. Not good as you need your PC.

    Have a great weekend!

  24. Hi my winter-weary and spring sassy friends:

    John, the sap is running here too. I've learned that maple syrup is really good in hot chai tea. And on oatmeal. And on salmon....
    Frances, this has been a snarkier winter than usual, this year, but a lot of people have reported that around northeastern North America. I wish I knew what it meant for spring.
    Lisa, Leggo is a happy horse, although he might be grumpy tomorrow depending on how much snow/ice comes down tonight.
    Sandy, we seldom lose our power, but it was a annoyance. I'm trying to decide whether to start some seeds yet or not.
    Joy, there will be plant life soon, there will. Really...
    Kate, welcome! Grey cats are very wise (and orange cats are very, very naughty, at least in our house...)
    Carolyn, yes, hope springs eternal with that first little bud.
    Nancy, i know what you mean. I felt my heart lift with relief...even with whateever is due to come tonight (nothing much so far!)
    Weed Whackin' adventurers, the fun about reading so many blogs is that I get to enjoy extended seasons, really--yours and other warm climates, then mine when it finally arrives, the souther hemisphere gardeners which are opposite ours...
    Joey, the secret to all I do? I dont' do housework. Bwah hah hah!
    Irena, we've had two power outages, only--but the funny thing is, the last one we had of any significance--like more than an hour--was three years ago. Go figure.
    Robin, spring doesn't come so quickly here...it flirts and torments and comes and goes til late May, sometimes even longer for us. But it always does get here...
    Kerri, the goldfinches are brightening now too...always a good sign.
    Tyra, I really do think we should start a petition to the weather deities that we want spring NOW!
    Ourfriendben, welcome and you're right about the SNAFUs that time themselves with deadlines. The cats here are very comforting, however.
    Surya, I think my sprout is in stasis now, due to the latest snowfall...
    Dee, yuup, I always make my deadlines...don't always sleep much, but that's the advantage of being a freelancer and not having to work nine to five.
    Claire, I don't get it either, and I did swear--a lot--when I read the story first. But then I decided to focus on the good people who are helping the horses.
    Brenda, on the one hand the Net is a pain...on the other hand, without it we wouldn't be able to talk to one another across the miles.
    Charmian, I think it was a Harperite conspiracy, myself.
    Curtis, our thoughts of spring are on again off again, gone again finnegan...
    Carol, at least it's easy to reinstall Mac OS, with only some time needed.
    Yolanda, spring has now decided to duck back under the blankets for a few days, while we maybe get some snow. My understanding from the people I've talked to in Alberta is that most of the horses are rallying.
    We don't normally lose our power, which is funny--the Valley and other parts of the province lose it much more often than we do--three years ago was the last time for more than an hour or so. Strange, isn't it?

  25. Goodness you have had a rough time of it lately! I hope you get some pretty blooms soon, Jodi!

  26. Jodi, I'm at the library in the city so I'm able to read several of your posts, and comment too. Isn't it a crying shame about those poor horses? Last year I reported a local fellow up here in northern Alberta for starving his horses and not providing shelter. The ASPCA made me feel like I was the bad guy for calling. One of his horses was already lying dead in the field and they didn't even give him a fine!! It's a shame that others don't call the SPCA and really make a lot of 'noise' about these things they see everyday. Sad. Thanks for mentioning the case.



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