Saturday, April 6, 2013


Yes, it IS Spring, and everything is emerging from beneath the snows of New England. Today Mom, Emily and I went to our favorite sugarhouse for a late breakfast.

Our favorite!
As soon as we opened the car doors we could smell the maple infused steam coming out of the boiling tanks. Whole wheat pancakes, waffles with blueberries, bacon, and corn fritters! All to be smothered with just-made warm maple syrup. The sun shone in through the windows as we ate. My first gluten meal in 6 months, but I had to do it-a once a year treat!

Lookin' a bit goofy

This time of year is not really pretty, but there are miracles springing up all around us! The birds are coming back or migrating through, and I hear their various calls every day.

Through the screen
The protective plastic on my porch shredded in the wind and cold. I guess expecting 2 winters out of a sheet of plastic is a bit much! But it did keep most of the damaging snow and rain out when I needed it most, and protected that part of the house from some of the winds that pound us throughout the winter and spring. I cut it all down yesterday, exposing the mess that I will have to freshen up over the next couple of weeks.

The neighbors must have loved this!
My "garden" has emerged from beneath the piles, relatively intact. But it looks horrible at the moment! The hardy pansies are out in the garden centers, though I'd better wait, as the soil is still cold and hard. Then I'll cut back all the dead stuff and amend the soil in all the containers. I've been saving my coffee grounds and egg shells for that.

 I look forward to the gardening routine-going out every day to water and trim and fuss with it all. Reading on the porch, surrounded by my houseplants, which become porch plants when it gets warm enough, flowers and herbs and tomatoes growing in my big pots.

Also emerging from the winter blanket is the local forest and brooks. Before pictures are 3 weeks ago. The after pictures, in the same places, I took today.

I love how these two brooks emerge from the woods and join to go under the bridge, then they flow into the Dead Branch of the Westfield River, which flows right by our house. It isn't much more than a brook, until spring floods come through.


After-Still snowy!
Straight down off the bridge
The forest is waking up again...
with Spring color

and Pussy Willows!

I took a meander across the street to the old mill museum. It is closed and in poor repair. There are a few pieces of old mill and farm equipment in the back, emerging from the snow, merging into the earth. There's an old snow plow, some sort of turbine equipment and some field machines. Their forms fascinate me, as do their wonderful patinas!

What is it?

Rust and Rivets
Ah, that patina!

Emerging and merging
Just across the Dead Branch is this old building which used to hold the turbines that harnessed the hydroelectric power from the river. Its roof fell in a bit with the huge storm we had in January, almost 3 feet of snow in 2 days.
Still standing
Bottom rot and bittersweet vines
The post and beam structure is still standing, but the walls are rotting from the bottom up and the bittersweet is encroaching on the tongue and groove boards.

I want that sign!
Bittersweet curliques
More bottom rot. The flooding comes through here.
Talk about patina! I wish I had a way to use some of those boards when or if they take the building down. There are birds nests and wasp nests in the rafters. Mud wasps have made their little gothic arches on the walls and ceiling.

I will get in there when the light is softer and get more pictures. I want to see those turbines in the basement.

Till then, have a sweet April!