Found Friday #31: “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers…”

Graham has entered his busy season at work, and the last two weeks have been really exhausting for him. I don’t generally encourage overwork, but I’m proud of him for hanging in there. He’s smart and talented at his job. But I know he’s tired. And so this week, I wanted to do something special for him, and feature some of the photos he’s taken lately of the birds we’ve been seeing this spring.

He’s a good photographer, and he’s always trying to get better, and I’m proud of him for that, too.

We see cardinals around the property all the time. They are the state bird of Virginia, so it’s not surprising, but they’re really lovely, and fun to watch.

This little guy hangs out on our power line almost every day. I wonder what he’s thinking about.

Just, you know, sitting down to lunch together.

I hope Graham has more time in the not too distant future to get outside and snap some pictures, and just to relax and do the things he likes to do, generally. But in the meantime, I’ll be here, cheering him on. And bragging on him a little. 😉

Found Friday #28: Redbud in Bloom

Are you tired of my posts about spring and blooms and blossoms yet? Because I’m not! I just can’t seem to get enough of the spring.

Today, I thought I’d share some pictures of our redbud tree.

They grow all around the village, but I’m really happy to have one right in my front yard. And it’s putting on quite a show this year.

I grew up seeing the redbuds bloom every spring in southwest Virginia, so it almost feels like having a little piece of home here in the NOVA.

And, fun fact! A couple of years ago, I learned that there are white redbuds trees, too!

Beautiful in every color.

The Garden Path (A Poem)

There’s something magic,

isn’t there,

about a garden path in spring?

Always worth the following,

I think,

if only to see where it leads.

Or even just the slant of the light

along the way,

just right to make

the everyday

extraordinary,

and the ordinary

enchanting.

Found Friday #27: The First Apple Blossom

I’ve mentioned a few times that we’ve been planting some fruit trees over the course of the last couple of years. Just apples and cherries for now, but we’re hoping to eventually add plums, and maybe peaches, as well.

In the meantime, watching our mini-orchard grow and change has become something of a pastime for us. This week, Graham snagged a picture of our very first apple blossom.

Isn’t it lovely?

Our trees are just babies right now, but eventually they’ll grow. And then, I’ll bake all the things.

A Foggy Morning Hike Through a Hidden Gem

*This post is a little shorter than I’d initially planned. I had my second COVID vaccination yesterday, and today I’m feeling a bit under the weather. (It was worth it. I’d do it again. I’m so grateful and relieved and happy and hopeful, and I can’t wait to hug my vaccinated friends and family. I’ve missed hugs.) Now, with that out of the way…*

I’d mentioned in a previous post that we want to do more hiking and get outside more this year, and I’ve featured one of our hikes already. Here’s another.

On Saturday, we pulled ourselves out of bed at 7:30 in the rainy, foggy morning, and made our way to a beautiful hidden gem.

I suppose there are lots of people in the area who’ve visited Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve before, but I honestly had no idea it existed. I’m so happy that’s changed!

It’s an amazing, quiet place with lots of native flora. I kept having to stop and take pictures. It was just so lovely.

It’s bluebell season here in Virginia, and I can’t get enough of it. They’re so vibrant – purple when they’re young, and then their signature color as they grow and bloom.

The hike itself was low-key and easy. The rolling hills weren’t difficult to manage at all, and the scenery was distracting enough that I probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway.

Next time, I think we’re going to try something a little more challenging, but for now, I’m so happy to know this place exists, and I absolutely plan to go back.

Found Friday #26: Daffodils

Remember these guys?

They’ve grown.

I’ve always loved daffodils. They make me think of sunshine and brighter days. I’ve caught these little beauties slightly past their prime, but I still think they’re lovely. And it makes me happy, knowing I’ll see them again next year.

Found Friday #23: The First Flower

I spent most of yesterday staring at my computer screen, absolutely distracted by the gorgeous weather outside. Sunshine, a light breeze, warm air – the kind of gentle reawakening you expect after a long winter.

I try to be pretty disciplined in my work day. It’s crucial to me, actually, since I work for myself, that I set deadlines and stick to them, that I schedule my time and take that schedule seriously, and that I hold myself accountable to getting tasks done. Otherwise, I WILL just read books, take naps, daydream, and spend time with friends. (All good things, to be clear. But the writing still has to get done.)

Yesterday, though, I just had to get outside and play. An impromptu visit from a friend got me out of my pajamas and into the outside, and I’m not mad about it.

We walked around the back garden for a bit as the sun was just starting to set behind the willow tree.

Everywhere, there are little signs of spring.

It’s exhilarating to see the earth coming alive again.

And just as we were about to head out for a quick drink and a bite to eat (outdoors, of course), we spotted it:

This lovely little crocus is the first flower to bloom in our yard this season. More will follow, but I’m glad we happened upon this little beauty leading the way for them.

I love winter and snow, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited for spring.