It’s been a joy to finally see the rain during the past few weeks. The gray hills that looked so barren a month ago, are a lush bright green once again, as the sun kisses them, waking up the orange poppies to new life. It never ceases to amaze me, just how quickly this change happens after just a few heavy rains. Although I was able to capture some of the beautiful green hills in my photography (http://mleuephoto.wordpress.com/), the smell in the air just can’t be done justice to in a photo.
Speaking of green: my cat Calvin was sitting in my office window this morning — making sure that the gardener visible in the distance was doing a good job of cutting the grass (Calvin really does have a very nice vantage point on the window sill — one that he frequents often). Taking a cue from the feline supervisor, I decide on a walk, which leads me by the “supervised” lawn, which is trimmed to British standards (although a Brit might object to my hasty comparison). There is nothing like the smell of freshly cut grass — I stop to breathe in deeply. In the distance I see pink and white blossom filled trees competing with each other — or perhaps a better word would be complementing each other. I just love spring.
I saw my first ladybug of Spring. She flew into the windshield (Thank God the car was parked), crawled up and down the glass investigating matters, decided the windshield wasn’t that interesting, and departed. I hope onto greener pastures, abundant with aphids. Such delightful bugs they are. Her visit reminded me of an amusing book I used to read to my sons when they were young — “The Grouchy Ladybug“.
The other night there were some fireworks after the baseball game (heard but not seen), which sent my cat Calvin racing under my photo supply table behind a basket into the furthest corner he could possibly squeeze into. As you may be able to deduct from this retreat, he is not fond of fireworks at all. However, this behavior is in stark contrast to when he sleeps on my legs while I’m watching a movie — when sometimes the sound can get loud. Go figure. I wonder what goes on in that little cat brain of his.
Having come from the Farmer’s Market with some home-made asparagus soup, and a batch of green onions, I went into my local supermarket to complete my grocery shopping. Putting the gathered items on the conveyor belt, I was questioned as to whether I had brought my own bag, or if I would like to purchase a paper one. I responded, that unlike an elephants’, my memory is rather faulty, and that I would like a paper one. The cashier then suggested that it might be of benefit to consume some peanuts. Triumphantly, I held up a can of peanuts at the end of the conveyor belt. “Well there you go”, she said surprised, and amused.
May a ladybug fly across your path this week, and some peanuts bring back good memories.
It is astounding what a few days of warm weather can do. The trees are in bloom everywhere now. In just one week, the magnolia in front of church has gone from buds to blossoms in all their beautiful splendor. A tree up the street has littered — if I may use that expression — its blossoms all over the sidewalk — a carpet of pinks, violets, and whites, one hesitates to step on. Yesterday the first blossom on my apricot tree opened up, and the photo I posted brought comments about apricot pie from a French friend, who is perhaps a bit impatient, I think. I recall a few years ago, the squirrels got all the apricots (there were only 6-7), and last year an unexpected cold front killed most of the blossoms, except one. And although I protected the lone remaining apricot with mesh, a squirrel beat me to it again! Today, many more blossoms opened up, so anticipation is high. Although apricot pie is good, my favorite is still apricot jam. I use it to cover a thin apple tart, a recipe I learned in a French cooking class a long time ago, that should be resurrected. So all you squirrels, back off, or I’m sending my cat Calvin after you for a tête-à-tête!