#Spring Fling – Wordless Wednesday

Let your photo(s) tell your story.

Spring Fling – March 2021 – by Joni’s mom
First sign of spring – which my neighbor weed whacked away!
Crocus in front of the library…
The early bloomers of the 50 bulbs I planted….looking rather downcast….
Blue skies smiling at me…..nothing but blue skies do I see!
The tulips stems seem short this year….
Hyacinths which have fallen over – we haven’t had enough rain….
Daffodils in front of the library…..you can tell they have a gardener.
It’s nice to hear the chorus of tree frogs when I walk….
Spring peeper hanging in there during the pandemic! Happy Spring!

March Madness

March has always been a crazy month – volatile, unpredictable, kind of like the stock market at the moment.   You can expect snow, sleet, rain, howling winds, warm breezes, sunny days, gray skies or all of the above.   Despite the Rodent and Company’s optimistic predictions for an early spring we have not had very many warm days and the few we did have were overcast.   In fact March came in like a lion with a big snowstorm, so hopefully it will go out like a lamb.  (It did not….3 C – 37 F today).

snow

Thankfully, the snow melted quickly, like the wicked witch of the west – revealing snow drops a few days later.

snow drops

I have a lovely view from my kitchen window as my neighbor has about ten clumps of them scattered around the base of an old tree, like a little fairy woodland.

The daffodil shoots were up the first week, growing by leaps and bounds. 

Our imaginations can leap forward to this vista of sunny yellow.

daffodils

On St. Patrick’s Day we had grocery shelves reminiscent of the great Potato Famine, 

empty shelves potatoes grocery store

but a spring rain changed the grass to Shamrock green overnight,

green grass

which was then covered up by more snow on March 23….ugh….

daffodils with snow

This is Spring?

The library might be closed due to COVID-19, 

Library closed

but the crocuses in front of it were open for business.

crocus in front of library

The robins were back,

Robin bird

and the tundra swans crossed the border early because our Prime Minister had ordered all international travelers home!

Tundra swans Lambton Shores

They winter in Chesapeake Bay and rest at the Thedford Bog, an Ontario marshland, before flying on to their breeding grounds in the Arctic. 

The March winds were brisk and perfect for kite flying.   There were rare sightings of children in the park trying this ancient activity, well their dad was trying.   They looked too young and seemed more interested in examining the ground as toddlers like to do, while the dad was busy untangling the string.    (No picture as he couldn’t get it airborne).

Airborne - kites - AMc

“Airborne” by Joni’s mom

I’ve never seen so many people out walking before, entire families have taken up the joy of exercise and their dogs are happy too.   I met Millie a Golden Retriever puppy who was ecstatic at being in The Great Outdoors, but at 12 weeks soon tired of walking and had to be carried home.  

We might be out of bread and soup,

but they will return, just like these old faithful perennials.

Dandelions

These dandelions need to practice social distancing….

On March 25, there was finally a day warm enough to sit on the front porch, sheltered from the wind, with a magazine and a mug of tea.   It’s so nice to feel the sun on your face after a long cold lonely winter (the Beatles).  

lawn chair and Victoria magazine

While the stores and restaurants may be closed and the grocery shelves empty, we can replenish our souls with nature and rejoice!   May the Gods of Spring place a pox on COVID-19!

PS.  As other people have observed, this crisis may be the Earth’s way of healing from all the climate change, by calling a time out – a message from Mother Nature.    

 

 

 

 

 

Blockheads and Daffodils

Which is more depressing, forty days of rain or using the new WordPress Block/Gutenberg editor?

Even the daffodils are depressed

Unlike Enchanted April (link to last blog), this past April has been anything but enchanting.   Day after day of rain and gloomy skies – on Tuesday we even had a bit of sleet, and some places received several inches of snow.   These cold wet late springs are beginning to be the norm here, and it seems you need to book a vacation to an Italian castle if you want to enjoy nice weather and blooming flowers in April anymore.    Despite the debate over climate change, it does make you stop and think – are we ruining the earth?    It’s enough to make you depressed, like poor old Charlie Brown of the Peanuts cartoon fame – remember how Lucy was always calling him a blockhead.

Which brinks me to my second topic, the new WordPress block editor or Gutenberg Editor, as it is named after Johannes Gutenberg, who invented a printing press with movable type more than 500 years ago.    If you are not familiar with it yet, each paragraph, photo, video etc, is contained in it’s own separate block, and there is an option to try out this new Editor on the right hand menu in Draft. Since we are all (sooner or later), to be made mandatory Blockheads by WordPress, you may now have another reason to be depressed other than the weather, unless of course you’re the kind of person who enjoys coding and fiddling with layouts.   If you’re just here for the joy of blogging, then it seems like the new editor has taken all the fun out of it.    I’m not sure how they managed to take something so simple (writing and inserting pretty pictures) and make it so complicated.    Of course, I may change my mind once I get used to it, but it seems to be taking twice as long to do anything, if you can even figure it out in the first place.    On my first try I could not even paste in the draft I had written in Office Word.   I had heard that it would automatically convert it to blocks so I wouldn’t have to copy and paste each paragraph individually.   Was I not in the right block? I finally gave up and tried to exit back to the Classic Editor but could not find the button.    I googled and read the tutorial and tried to contact a Happiness Engineer to no avail, and after wasting an hour finally located it at the bottom of some sub-menu.   Intuitive it is not.   Perhaps hiding the button was deliberate, thereby forcing me to stay here until I figured it out, but the hour grew late and I was starting to panic. It was like being in one of those reality “escape room” games where you have to figure out the clues or you’d be stuck there forever.     

When I first joined WordPress almost two years ago, there were 32 million followers on here, now there are 52 million.     I’m not sure what is behind their reason for the change to the block format (could it be the new European copyright laws coming?), but I would bet the majority of those on here are either amateur bloggers or smaller business sites, who don’t want, have the time or even care about how they can endlessly change and create new layouts by moving blocks around.    It’s a puzzle to me, but then I am only a very small tadpole in a great big pond.    I checked a recent survey though, 1800 of 2700 users who had tried it were not happy, so I don’t think I’m alone.    It would be nice if WordPress would leave us the option to continue with the current Classic editor, if that is a possibility?  (Asking nicely here, but not really expecting a positive response, as they didn’t listen about the dark blue likes and links which don’t contrast well to black ink.)     

Ah well, the second attempt was better, but I watched a youtube tutorial first to get the basics. I’m sure there are many more icons and features I will need to know at some point, like just exactly how did I do the links? The captions were fun though. I’ll try it out to see if it will solve the problem of my very thin font with the Sela theme…(it did not, although I was allowed to make it larger). I’ll even try a background color, maybe yellow….pretty fancy eh? (Except it’s not really yellow, it’s called luminous vivid amber.) But good grief Charlie Brown, it’s just not worth all the grief. I think I would prefer to remain Glutenberg-free! Now where is that exit button again?

To cheer up I went for a walk in the woods.   Here’s a link to last years blog, Among the Daffodils, because daffodils always remind me of sunshine, and we need some right now.  

see how late the spring is, not a bud on the trees.
now this is yellow!
woodland fairyland

PS.  Have you tried the new Gutenberg/Block Editor yet? 

Among the Daffodils

Daffodils are one of the earliest messengers of spring and after such a long late brutal winter, the warm weather has finally arrived.   I think we are in need of a little dose of sunshine, and perhaps some poetry.Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsmith may be famous for the poem, I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud, but I think I much prefer his sister Dorothy’s 1802 journal entry about the walk in the English Lake District which inspired the poem.

“When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up – But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway – We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea.”Daffodils

This acre of wild daffodils in a wooded lot is enough to motivate me to start my daily walks again.   Every spring I thank the lovely soul who originally planted these heirloom gems, as they have reseeded themselves over the years in a way that my modern bulbs never seem to do.   Mine might start out in orderly clumps, Daffodilsbut the squirrels have great fun transplanting them and they eventually end up lonely as a cloud.  Daffodil

They are especially lovely paired with the delicate blue of Siberian Squill, a bulb that can be invasive over time, but who would mind?  Daffodils & Blue Flowers

Daffodils are the most cheerful of flowers, so bright and sunny, waving in the breeze as if they are announcing that spring is here.   No wonder they belong to the Narcissus family, they demand look at me, and we do!  Welcome spring!    

Daffodils indoors

Postscript:  for more pretty pics see May Flowers blog.