February 2nd: A ladybug works on a soon to open "Colonel Fiery" Camellia Japonica blossom.
Based on weather reports of a blizzard in the western U.S. and Colorado, the answer to that question is: Not everywhere. But, in what was no great surprise around these parts yesterday morning, our local resident groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, predicting that our Spring will be early. Ummm, more like right now…I would say!
Eye see Spring around the corner! Cats...always on the move when you want to take a photo!
I wouldn’t mind having a bit more Winter as I previously posted, not just for the pleasures of it, but also to allow the natural dying off of insects (primarily mosquitoes) and foliage so that we benefit from the dormant season. I’m sure we’ll have some cooler days before it’s all said and done. But yesterday—which started with fog and nary a shadow to be seen if we believe large, weather-predicting marmots—was all Spring, with temps in the low 70’s. The birds were singing, doves were cooing, cats were prowling, smaller marmots were scurrying, hellebores and snowdrops and jonquils were blooming. Spring at the beginning of February! A day beautiful enough to give anyone Spring Fever, and I certainly had it.
Sun shining through the hellebores...a welcome sight considering how many rainy days we've had.
Close up hellebore.
Snowdrops blooming in the back yard.
All these flowers are blooming in my yard, calling to me. I live in a major metropolitan area that happens to be known for having lots of green space in residential areas and its many parks, and our neighborhood is lovely, with plenty of places to walk…just begging one to play hooky and leave the work desk for a while.
As you may have guessed by now, this post won’t be about a recipe, or even cooking. Next one, I promise. But just because I could, I wanted to be outside yesterday, communing with nature and enjoying this fine day. So I took a very, very long lunch and walked around our yard, then our neighborhood and then on to downtown Decatur to see what has sprung. It’s often said, that one needs to take the time to “stop and smell the roses.” This was the perfect day to do just that…well, not quite roses yet, but there were some camellias! Enjoy my little walk and tour, and here’s wishing you an early Spring! (Warning…lots of photos!)
This is my herd grazing out back.
This is my chicken...not a layer unfortunately.
As usual, the T-grr stays outside to hunt while Cin comes in to nap in the sun.
I have a liking for lichens.
How on earth did that groundhog NOT see his shadow. Switching to my phone camera, I head off for town.
There's a railroad between me and downtown Decatur. You can hear the haunting whistle of the trains echoing in the night this time of year.
Headed in the right direction...yes, I think the signage is working well around here.
I'm heading (further) south.
The things one sees on the sidewalk around here.
An azalea blooming way too early, blooming bushes and a camellia.
Lots of film production goes on around Atlanta and it's a frequent site in our neighborhood. This is the old courthouse in downtown Decatur on the square and it looks like a commercial is in progress...not enough crew for a movie.
Since all trails lead to good food, it's time to stop and enjoy a sandwich al fresco. This is the "Veggie Heaven" panini from Java Monkey, the "original" cool coffee shop down here.
Next to Java Monkey is Mingei, one of my favorite stores in Decatur. The owners travel to other countries to meet artists, promote fair trade and they have amazing jewelry, arts and crafts in the store. They also do lots of good things in the world and I'll talk more about that in another post.
Downtown Decatur has a very hip and village-y feeling to it as well as an urban vibe. The city promotes green practices and lifestyle, is a place of great creativity and is worldly as well. That center shot is a donation jar for 50 Cents Period, a cause started right here and you can learn more at the website by that name. Decatur and it's inhabitants will have it's own post at a later date, but just wanted to give you a little taste today.
A Japanese Magnolia in full bloom!
A beautiful ceramic tile birdhouse sits amongst a patch of jonquils...truly, Spring is in the air!
Time to go as long shadows appear in the early afternoon...it is still Winter after all!
Have a great weekend!