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by Carol Bossard

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Yo-Yoing February

Yo-Yoing February

Due to that recent warm spell, my enthusiastic little crocus bulbs are putting forth green shoots. And this week, we have another warm day or two to encourage them. Has anyone seen skunk cabbage peeking out of swamps yet? My former drive to work took me through swampy areas, so I always noticed those green-y/ purple-y, pointed, smelly leaves. You wouldn’t want them in a bouquet, but they are a visible sign of spring.  Spring, on the calendar, is about a month away. But Easter is early this year

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

A Heart Full Of February

A Heart Full Of February

February is sort of a transition month.  We may still get snow, sleet, and freezing rain but, there is some snow melt, and daylight becomes darkness, later and later. Somewhere out in the snowy woods, high up in a tree, a mama owl is sitting on eggs, warming them with her fluffy self.  And squirrels, having found mates, are aggressively defending their territories.   Hal Borland*, renowned naturalist, said: “In February, snow will actually melt in very cold weather; evaporating without going thr

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

A Long Winter's Rest

A Long Winter's Rest

A few snow squalls, some bitter wind gusts, and there goes January! The mild weather throughout December and some of January has discouraged the long winter naps for our resident skunk and possum.  They’ve been out and about, thieving at bird feeders and the cat’s dish. The birds haven’t been quite as ravenous as when the snows come fast and deep, though the cold of last week sent them often to the suet.  The deer have been down from the hill, but not in multiples; I think only one or two.  The

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

And Here We Are, 2024

And Here We Are, 2024

We have just exited the Christmas season. Having made it through December and New Year’s, many people are breathing a sigh of contentment, repletion, and maybe —- relief.? Wonderful holidays and the Christmas decorations lovely, but it is time to take the tree down and put the ornaments away until next year. Twelfth Night, just past, is traditionally when the Magi reached their destination (probably not the stable in Bethlehem although all of our creches have them there), to worship Jesus. Regar

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Springing Ahead Slowly

Springing Ahead Slowly

It’s March……Little rivulets of joy     Begin flowing down stones,       Through the mosses         Out from the tree roots.          They’ve been there all the time,          just hidden down under                       Where they’ve quietly added sparkle and glow                  To the ice, and crunch to the snow.                         There’s a warm glow over the earth                   In the setting sun………*   This is one stanza of a

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

From The Heart

From The Heart

What a variety of weather February is bringing us.   Shortly after Valentine’s Day, environmentalists on social media began encouraging us to leave garden debris for a few weeks at the beginning of the “season”, and “don’t pull dandelions.”  I’m thinking, “Umm.….there are still patches of snow beneath my shrubs, plus what we just got, and dandelions haven’t dared show a glimmer of green.  There’ll be no debris-removal until mud season is over and my fingers won’t freeze.” Regardless of yoyo

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

February Love

February Love

February in the Finger Lakes is like a mild case of the flu. Instead of sneezing and coughing, however, our symptoms are less patience with and more grumbles about cold, snow, graupel, ice and slush.  We will assuredly survive, but we are ready for more sun and a few signs of spring.  Yesterday was a good start!   I try to look at winter as a performance and I’m interested to see how the scenes play out.  Will Acts I & II (mid-December- Mid February) bring cold and blizzards, or will it be a

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

A Little Historic Ranting, A Little Laughter, A Lot of Joy!

A Little Historic Ranting, A Little Laughter, A Lot of Joy!

Snow, snow and more snow!  Winter snows and winds have impacted several of our trees, especially our lilacs.  The oldest one, probably at least 60+ years old, had three large broken branches that we removed from its center.  Now it looks like two champagne flutes with space in the middle.  Kerm taped another newer lilac back together, hoping it will reattach.  Butternut and tulip trees have shed limbs all over the lawn, and one crab apple tree is split right down the middle.   The deer have been

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

A Year Of Things That Have Never Been

A Year Of Things That Have Never Been

Happy New Year again, now that we are actually in 2023.  I have so appreciated the holiday season that is just past, and wish some of the benefits could go on and on, as this says: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”*   New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were both busy and engaged because our granddaughters were here all week, and then our adult kids were here and life was lively.  There wasn’t a lot of time for year-end introspection, but in the back of

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

End of The Year Musings

End of The Year Musings

We’ve decorated, baked, caroled and the Season of Noel is approaching its end.  We do have until January 6th ---- 12th Night ---- before we must pack the shiny ornaments away and we head into true winter.  It has been two weeks of being together with friends and family, good church services and special music.  One of our remaining tasks would be sending out  Christmas cards.  We have more time now, to write notes. New Year’s Eve is coming and it is, for many, a time of merriment and partyin

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Stars, Music, And Snowy Hills

Stars, Music, And Snowy Hills

Starry skies --- crisp nights ----- occasional snow feathering down ----sleds, sleighs and church bells.  That is what all the beautiful winter cards depict.  In real life, we often have what the meteorologists call “graupel” plus sleet and freezing rain, with a little mud underfoot, making slush, rather like what we’re getting here today ---and tomorrow.   The cards keep us looking for that bit of winter magic.  I wish that I could find a better use for the many beautiful cards, especially hand

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Don't Let The Light Go Out

Don't Let The Light Go Out

Turkeys can now relax; their season is over while we humans have stepped from November (Thanksgiving) into December (Christmas) with hardly a moment of transition.  We are one week into Advent; hanging of the greens at church occurred this past Sunday.  For nearly all faiths, this is the Season of Lights.  Pagan holidays emphasized light because December brings the longest nights of the year, and asking the gods to send the sun’s light again seemed a survival necessity.  The Jewish Chanukah cele

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

What a rapid run through November we are making.  Days are flitting along like leaves blown by November winds.  Thanksgiving is a week away.  Am I prepared for the holiday season that follows?  No, I am not!  But somehow, we always manage to celebrate royally, ready or not.  I enjoy Thanksgiving because it is about family and gratitude.  There are fewer dizzying activities like wrapping gifts, running hither and yon, and all the hullabaloo that goes with Christmas.  The weather is usually better

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

The Good Days Of November

The Good Days Of November

November, the month of golden topaz gem stones and heaps of topaz leaves fallen from trees. November is a month of birthdays; my husband’s is today and one son’s is at the end of the month, with several family members in between.  Kerm’s birthday means strawberry shortcake tonight. That is his choice over any cake I could bake.   My eldest brother shared my husband’s November 3d birthday.  Kerm was born about the time Frank went to war in WWII but regardless of their age difference, they both ag

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

From Spooky To Holy

From Spooky To Holy

“I like the fall --- the mist and all.  I like the night owl’s lonely call --- and wailing sound of wind around….”* Especially do I like those things if we have a cozy fire in the wood stove and a c up of hot chocolate in hand.  We are well into October and Halloween is approaching.  If you don’t like Halloween, how about “All-Soul’s Night” and “All- Saint’s Day” instead?  Festivals marking the end of the growing season seemed also to have evoked the memory of those who’ve gone on.  Our Hal

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

The Glowing Season

The Glowing Season

We are in the last quarter of the year; October, whose birth stone is the fire opal and flower is the marigold, takes us into mid-fall.  My flowers still in bloom are chocolate eupatorium and monkshood/wolfbane/aconite (ref. Harry Potter).  Leaves on trees are turning, days are crisper and darkness comes too soon.  It is the season of glowing.  We were recently away for a few days on Cape Cod.  Our sons and their families joined us to de-stress and find a change of scenery.  We went on a whale w

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Autumn Impulses

Autumn Impulses

The Equinox has come and we are now truly in autumn.  Seasons are flashing past in double-time.  Sooner than seems possible, we’ll be contemplating Thanksgiving dinner and then Christmas cards.  But even now, there is this strange pull to prepare for winter ---- though most winter days here are navigable and fairly easy to manage.  We are seldom snowed/iced in for more than two days.  But, still, something inside ---- maybe all those years of helping put in hay bales or canning tomatoes, or perh

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Transitions

Transitions

My favorite time of the year is drifting in with these late summer days leading into fall.  Perhaps it is due to so many years of school beginnings, but now has always seemed to me, a more appropriate onset for a new year than January.  Many cultures back in history have agreed; as harvests ended, a new year began.  Instead of snow and ice, we could look forward to weeks of blue skies and pleasant weather with, hopefully, a few more rainy days than this summer provided.  It’s time for being outs

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Perspective And Seeing Clearly

Perspective And Seeing Clearly

“Itsy, bitsy spider went up the water spout….down came the rains and washed the spider out.  Up came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy, bitsy spider went up the spout again!”  A kid’s song apparently appropriate to August; I found three spiders escaping up the wall, in my shower this AM --- after having nary a one all summer.  Steps will be taken!! August ---the month with no holidays.  There are actually about 3 ½ weeks of summer remaining before the Equinox, but we are progra

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Dog Days And Celebrations

Dog Days And Celebrations

It’s mid-August and the stores are blatantly advertising school supplies and autumn clothing, not to mention Halloween decorations ---- this, in spite of the humidity and 80-90 degree temperatures.  August is still summer!!--- and days continue to be good for picnics, sun tans, and nights fine for star-gazing.  Hal Borland* describes August well……….”Dog Days ….Dragon flies and Damsel flies follow the boat when I go out on the river……little spotted turtles sun themselves on old logs and slip into

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

The Gifts Of Summer

The Gifts Of Summer

Is the aroma from my kitchen wending its way out?  Do you smell cinnamon---- chocolate----orange?  This is cookie-baking week ---- a variety of cookies for that family gathering I mentioned in the last essay.  Pineapple cookies, ginger cookies, chocolate cookies and some melt-in-your-mouth buttery nut cookies.  One thing I’ve noticed is that the cost of ingredients for cookies have risen a lot, and so desserts are actually as valuable as restaurants have been trying to make us believe all along.

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Mid-Summer Magic

Mid-Summer Magic

The birds aren’t singing as enthusiastically as they had two months ago, but they are still happily visiting the feeders and chirping away contentedly.  A very small hummingbird – probably this year’s baby —- zips in for the sweet fluid and hesitates when he sees me sitting on the porch.  The fireflies have begun lighting up the grassy parts of the back yard, especially on warm humid nights. The second cutting of hay is nearly done for local farmers.  The garden is growing but not ready to harve

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Bounty And Blessings

Bounty And Blessings

‘Tis the season of the Strawberry Moon, according to the Algonquin, Ojibwe and Lakota peoples.  And from ancient Rome, we’d be one day past the Ides of June! Few people realize (unless they sat through Latin classes with Mrs. Dunn) that the Ides come every month.  The 15th of March is the famous Ides because it was the chosen date of Julius Caesar’s demise via assassins. “Et Tu Brute?”!!  But we are now just past the middle of this lovely month, in our time, and Mid-Summer Night’s Eve is soon to

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

All Green And Gold

All Green And Gold

“Outside the open window the morning air is all awash with angels.  Love calls us to things of this world.”* This totally describes a morning in June with its singing birds, dewy grasses and long hours of light.  Besides the beauty of the world around us there are all the people who give love and those who need love. June —— when graduating seniors get a bad case of “senioritis” and grade-schoolers gaze longingly out the windows of their classrooms ——when birds who flew north in March have fledg

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Remembering... Remembering

Remembering... Remembering

How wonderful is the month of May?  Its thirty-one days are all too short, even as February’s twenty-eight days are far too long.  It is a month of moderate temperatures and new growth everywhere — flora and fauna.  A perfect picture of May would be a spotted fawn peering out from a mélange of ferns, trilliums and dogwood.   There are so many shades of green as the trees and shrubs leaf out, and many of my favorite plants are in bloom. The very air of May is fragrant.  We planted potatoes last w

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

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