Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring is here!

Arts

Nothing substantial is up. Arts Depot is getting a new exhibit in, as is William King museum. Not sure what the latter is, but the former is promising to be just as, or slightly more than, entertaining than the watercolors and the giant hanging fish that they’ve got hanging in there right now.



Part of the present Arts Depot show is called “Ice fishing”, and features three-foot-long ceramic reproductions of aquatic life, such as salmon, walleye, and beer bottles. The high points of exhibit, for those of you who may have missed the opening, were:
1. The day when the heating on half of the gallery was out and Wednesday morning painters had to move their tables among the fish.
2. When a small child of one of the painters tried to ride one of the afore-mentioned fish. To be fair, the fish’s attachment to the ceiling withstood the assault of a 5 year old with flying colors.


Birds

A downy woodpecker dropped by to investigate the suet feeder! Haven't seen him since, though..



The robins are here, therefore the spring is coming. Either that, or they are the proverbial early birds that do not agree with the concept of worm hibernation. There’s either one very persistent pack, or a group of similarly sized packs, in the general vicinity.



These unseasonal visitors assault the rare worms which do surface, and amuse us greatly with their peculiar method of movement: hop, hop, hop, GLARE. Hop, hop, GLARE. Rewind, repeat. Snobby little bastards.


Houseplan(t)s

The grape hyacinths, acquired on sale as a baggie of bulbs, have been successfully forced to bloom indoors! Granted, they are more leaves than flowers, but the flowers –are- cute, and are pleasantly scented, something like a mix of lilac and lily of the valley, if somewhat faint. Will try to get a picture of that on Tuesday, once more of them come into bloom.

The black spots on hoyas aren’t getting any better. They aren’t getting any worse, either. Something to be thankful for, I suppose. Its sunny place has been taken up by a wandering jew, which is turning an absolutely gorgeous, iridescent purple. Green’s disappearing. Posted on gardenweb about whether or not that plant’s getting too much light, guess we’ll see what the masses have to say.

Other than that, Elrin is getting emotionally ready for the spring container-gardening season. (More plants!) On the agenda are scarlet runner-beans, tomatoes, peppers, basil, chives, and possibly a few other herbs. Depending on what we can squeeze in. Let me tell you, not having a backyard –sucks monkeys-.



Hiking


Saturday was the first warm day in weeks, with temperature reaching low 50s. El and I spent a cheerful morning making oreo truffles , after which a walk was mandatory. For the record, some of the truffles can still be found in the fridge. We’re not monsters, you know.

Sugar Hollow park is a charming little loop of trails, cutting across woodland, pine plantation, some boardwalk-covered wetlands, and across a dam. The view from the dam encompasses the surrounding mountains, carpets of forested hills, and a conveniently placed strip-mall. Malls and giant bill-boards on sides of mountains are something that people should be drawn and quartered for, though the former at least has some practical humane value.

On the walk through the park, we saw a large quantity of ducks in the wetlands.

Some weren’t too certain about their physics.



A turtle was also out, which is pretty amazing, considering that this is the middle of February, and turtles should be sleeping, along with frogs, lizards, and a bunch of other cute things that people really shouldn’t be afraid of, but are.




There were also flowers. We haven’t figured out how to take really good close-up pictures with the new camera yet, but I’ll make a note that there was at least three flower types. One was a light blue birdseye speedwell (Thank you, Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife guide!), while the two white ones (not pictured here) were some sort of a cress, and a complete mystery.



The only (identifiable) birds spotted during this walk were the gang of robins, a few cardinals, and the ever present ravens. Some little brown things did flit about in the bushes, mocking us with their winter (or feminine) plumage… It’s really true. The smaller the bird, the more it fills me with righteous rage.