Monday, April 23, 2018

Admiring the beauty ~ my column from Sunday's paper

There are those who scoff at the predictions from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Weather scientists with new-fangled equipment can be very vocal about this. I’ve found that the Almanac’s predictions are usually as good as any other weather forecaster. The publication predicted a colder winter and spring. They got it right this time.

I’ve heard people complain about the cold weather we’ve had in the South during the winter and spring months. Some of our friends planted gardens on Good Friday. We told them that the Almanac called for late frosts. They ignored our advice. Now they have to replant. Every day’s a school day.

The thing is, it’s OK with me if I have to put on a sweater to run to Walmart instead of wearing shorts, a tank top, and flip-flops. We need cold weather. I can promise you if the fruit trees and other vegetation could talk, I’d get a hallelujah from them. Beautiful springs often follow cold winters. Walk outside and take a look around. I rest my case.

Our fruit trees are full of blossoms. A few days ago, while standing on the back deck, I could smell apple blossoms in the air. It was “Heaven’ish.” Is that a word?

Today while driving to Birmingham to pick up some contact lenses from the eye doc, I drove in the slow lane. It gave me time to look at what Mother Nature had to offer.

Before turning onto the entrance ramp of I-22, I noticed red clover and white daisies on a knoll. No
one was tailgating, so I pulled off the edge of the road and clicked the gearshift into park. Grabbing my phone, I stepped around and headed up the slope to the flowers. The wind out of the west was cool, but the sun warmed my face.

A crew of state troopers were across the highway weighing and doing safety checks of 18-wheelers. One of the officers noticed me across the highway and stepped a little closer. Holding his hand up to guard his eyes against the sun, he watched me for a long while. He was probably curious about what I was doing. I pointed to the flowers as if that would explain. I wasn’t breaking any laws that I knew of, so I turned and navigated further up the hill to get a better angle on the flowers. My knees squeaked when I squatted to shoot the picture. The flowers and red clover in the foreground with a spring-blue sky in the background made a frame-worthy photograph.

Once back in the truck, I rolled my window down. At one point, the smell of freshly mowed grass made me smile. This scent is one that was etched into my psyche at a very young age.

South of Birmingham, the vegetation was lush. At one point, I thought I could smell wisteria though I never saw any purple blossoms.

This coming week when the weather warms a little more, we’ll start preparing our garden. I think we’re going to do raised beds this year. We’ve read that the raised-bed approach is less vulnerable to rainy spells in the summer. We’ve dabbled with raised beds in the past with good results. We’ll keep you posted.

Happy Earth Day.

The photo I took that day


  1. Worth the stop, thanks Rick.

  2. I've heard the almanac was pretty good at predicting trends.

  3. Well worth the stop. And the quizzical looks.

  4. People's joints and critters' behaviour can also predict the weather, if one cares to pay attention.

  5. Nice photo. I imagine that the State Troupers are not used to seeing people stop their car to take photos of fields of flowers.
    I think the almanac people pay close attention to Mother Nature and patterns.

    Hugs, Julia

  6. We are just now starting to reap the bounty of a cold spring. A few early bloomers are showing off for us but there is no smell of new mown grass yet, however it is growing. That picture is beautiful! Thanks for taking the time to take the picture and for sharing it with us. I like that expression: every day is a school day. So true and I do learn something new every day !

  7. This is a beautiful shot and smelling the apple blossoms is heavenish. When you wrote about the cop placing his hand over his mind went to placing his hand...on his gun.

  8. Everyone should take time to stop and smell the roses.... and Wisteria.

  9. Thanks, Rick. Good one, can experience it when read through this post.

  10. Great article. You describe spring well. I love the picture. I actually felt a warm spring breeze and could hear a bit of the rustling of the plants.

  11. What happy little blooms! I'm delighted you found them significant!

  12. I envy you and your cell camera. You painted a beautiful spring with your words.

  13. Some photos are worth stopping to take

  14. Anonymous11:52 PM

    You have quite the eye for photography!!


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