Category Archives: squirrels and woodland critters

Spring News

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Happy (End of the) First Day of Spring!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, for April, 2014 predicts the

average Central states’ temperature will be 59 degrees!

That is news to celebrate! That is a little higher than the

seasonable average of years past… except two years ago,

in 2012, we had on our first day of Spring’s weather an

incredibly high temperature, in the eighties! This year’s

almanac also predicts the first week will be warm and the

month will be the “typical” April, filled with showers.

As far as flowers are concerned, my friend’s garden has

between 3 and 4 inches of crocuses, hyacinths, tulips

and daffodils showing green ‘sprouts.’ I love seeing the

popping out of flowers! The old adage that, “Winter isn’t

over until the yellow forsythia is in bloom,” means that

we still have a little more winter left. Unfortunately,

I have checked the woodsy area of her yard, where her

forsythia bush is, to verify this fact. I have seen a few

pussy willows showing their furry buds.

In the foothills South of us, leading to the stunning Smoky

Mountains, I wonder has anyone heard if the redbuds are in

bloom yet? I enjoy their fuchsia, purple color that is so

common in the woods and forests of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The contrast of their bright color, among the fresh, bright

green buds on other bushes and trees is quite breathtaking.

Another amazing place to trek to in Ohio, is Cedar Bog

State Nature Preserve. It has unusual plants that are

very exciting since they come from when the ancient

glacier deposited its seeds and remnants of rich soil.

I have seen in their woods: Violets, Spring Beauties,

Jack in the Pulpit and Trillium, which is also known as

Indian Turnip, since they are considered edible. There

is a wide variety of different hued flowers including

the pinkish-lavender of Dame’s Rocket, the yellow Swamp

Buttercup, and the purple Greek Valerian. The hummingbirds

enjoy the nectar in the Red tipped Wild Columbine flowers.

(Compared to the purple and blue Columbine of Colorado.)

This nature preserves has a bog, swampy area and the

prairie areas with their unique plant life. The prairie

area is also known as the “prairie fen complex.” In this

area you can find different trees like the White Cedar

Trees, tall Arbor-Vitae and the Swamp Birch Trees.

The rainbow-colored flowers with the greenery deck out

Mother Nature quite nicely in all her glory!

Cedar Bog is recognized for one of their most unusual

flowers, growing in large quantities, considered the

biggest collection around. This is that of the Showy Lady

Slipper orchids. They are not in bloom until late May or

June, though.

Nature photographers gather there and lean in close to

take those perfect shots that capture the floral beauty

all year ’round.

When I think of the word, “Spring,” I think of the word

buoyancy. Everything if so full of life and new energy.

I think of pastels, like the pink and lavender hyacinths

combined with the yellow and white daffodils with their

orange-red details in their stamens. My Mom’s favorite

tulips are the ones that have ruffled edges, hers with

bright pink tips with white petals. Then, she would plant

beside them, those dark, deep purple tulips. The contrast

was always outstanding.

I liked the scents of lavender, lilacs, lilies of the field

and honeysuckle in the warm sunshine. The bees buzzing did

not phase me in my youth. I would not worry about their

sting, when I leaned in to take deep breaths of flowers.

My grandchildren adore the A.A. Milne character, Tigger.

His ‘springy’ bounce on his coiled tail illustrates the

way I feel about ‘Spring!’ They like to bounce on the bed,

where they wear the ‘springs out!’ I think of a cat, up

high looking down at its prey, a mouse, from a fencepost

or rook. He is poised and ready to spring to catch his

tasty meal!

Wishing you Spring in your step and Light in your Heart!

Are You Ready for October?

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I am so ready! Ravens, owls, pumpkins, scarecrows and colorful

leaves! I enjoyed pulling out my tub of decorations and having my

grandson, Micah, “direct” where items should be placed! We were

setting October things out early for his cousins. I will have some

coming (possibly 4) for an overnight on Sept. 28th. Then they can

see the seasonal extravaganza! We put batteries in all of the

flashlights and we can play hide and seek in the dark.

Micah, age 4, loves these “boo bells” that are metal about 6″ in

diameter. There is an orange sparkly ball and a black sparkly other

ball. They clang!  They have the letters “Boo!” on them. He also liked

pulling out the stack of picture books to add to the September ones

in a pile on the end table.

Micah’s favorite books are the hard cardboard ones that have shapes

of the season, (the pumpkin is round, the witch’s hat is a triangle, etc.)

and colors of the season. I am sure you can picture the joys of all the

colors of “treats” included!

“The Biggest Pumpkin Ever” is another favorite October book, written

by Stephen Kroll and nicely illustrated by Jeni Bassett. There is an

interactive one titled,  “Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate.” We chant

the words in this book to a slight tune. If you need the words; they are

surely on the internet! Finger play songs are my specialty!

My favorite book is called “The Nutty Nut Chase.” It has all kinds of

cool characters, like “Hickory” and “Pecan.” They are squirrels! Then

there are other helpful woodland critters, like “Badger,” “Hedgehog,”

“Littlest Rabbit,” “Mole” and “Blackbird.” This book is written by

Kathryn White and has such sweetly drawn illustrations by Vanessa

Cabban. There is also a sad part with namecalling of poor “Hedgehog.”

He is left out of a game, since one of the critters calls him a “prickly

cannonball!” It gets resolved in the end, of course!

I like to post about the upcoming month, letting my readers and fellow

bloggers aware of some of the October facts that I have discovered.

I hope this is an interesting read for you today!

OCTOBER

4th-  There will be a New Moon (rising!) Hippies will know that

reference!

6th-  The 2013 Old Farmer’s Almanac advises to “drill holes in

window boxes 1/4 – 1/2″ holes to drain every six inches.” Mums

and zinnias still shoud be going strong during this month.

7th- Child Health Day. Celebrate and encourage any children

who you may know or be related to, to have regular doctor

annual physicals and dental check ups. Also, healthy diets

with plenty of fruits, vegetables and water daily.

9th-  Leif Erickson Day. This Nordic Viking’s discovery of what

is now known as North America,

14th- Columbus Day. The post office will be closed, no mail

delivery, lots of sales here in the U.S. and also, library closed!

18th-  Full Hunter’s Moon.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says for “best flavor, suggests digging

up horse radish during the full moon.”

And also, today celebrate Alaska Day!

20th-  My friends, Felda and Jason, will have their adorable second

child, baby Zachary, baptized in their Catholic Church. I will be going

to the service and attending my first baptismal filipino celebration

party with my oldest daughter. I included this to ask, if you pray, to

include little “Zachie Poo” and his big six year old sister, Kridia Dawn,

in your prayers. I will post about this event after it occurs!

24th-  United Nations Day. My parents were convinced they were always

“helping the world” when they ordered their UNICEF Christmas cards!

I think this day would be a great one to remember to pray for all the

nations in the world. I have a bookmark with each of the continents

stuck in my Bible, it has me praying in alphabetical order. This may, or

may not, something you may be interested in tryin

25th-  Nevada Day.

(Also, from 25th until ten days later, I will be on vacation! Yeah!)

October 31st is Halloween or Hallowed Eve.

November first is considered the result of the hallowed evening

turning into “All Saints Day.”

Strange, you know “Oct” indicates “eight” or “eighth” so an octopus

has eight legs, an octagon has eight sides. But this October is the

tenth month due to rearranging from Roman calendar to the new

way we do things.

I hope we all make it to be octogenerians! (or older!)

Instead of October poetry, I chose a different direction to go with

the word and how you can find it in only four movies, where the

word October is in the first place position.

1.  “October” (1928).  A Russian movie, based on John Reed’s “Ten

Days That Shook the World” book. It is a historical movie that

includes the massacre that was around St. Petersburg bridges.

2.  “October Man” (1947).  A British movie that is a suspenseful

mystery and character study. It is based on Eric Ambler’s book.

3.  “October Sky” (1999).  American movie that is featuring how

a real boy who heard and saw the film footage of the famous

1957 Sputnik space event and how he chose to use this historical

event to guide his life. Homer Hickman, Jr. grew up in a West

Virginia coal mining town, where his father was a coal miner and

was dismayed at his son’s “dreams” of space. He builds rockets

with some of his friends. This movie (and the next listed) are the

only ones I have seen. The cast of famous actors include Jake

Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. This was a very heart-

warming movie. Homer goes against his father’s wishes and

also, accomplishes a better life. Including writing the book,

“Rocket Boys.” I would highly recommend this movie!

4.  “Octopussy” (1983). This is the second British movie in the

list. Roger Moore plays spy and agent, James Bond. Maud

Adams plays the sexy lead character whose name is the title

of the movie.  I remember feeling it was an entertaining and

adventurous action movie. I will always prefer Sean Connery

as “007,” though! (Louis Jourdan also a cast member, is a

famous French actor who my mother always thought was

“suave and debonair.”

If you would like to look up an October favorite short poem

and add it in the comments, please feel free! Enjoy the

wonderful month of October with all of its beautiful colors

showing, at least here in the northern mid-western states.

Has Canada already had their gorgeous trees changed, by

now?