A Hiccup, and What I Love About Spring

Azalea blossoms in our yard shot with a macro lens. I think azaleas are fascinating!

Forgive me readers for I have been MIA. It’s been two weeks since my last post.

Missed me? I’ve missed you all….figuratively and literally! I’ve been dealing with some family health issues for the last two weeks, so had no time for cooking, blogging or keeping up to speed with other posts, either. So sorry about that…some of my fellow bloggers are so prolific I may never catch up! Since I still haven’t had time to get back on my schedule of cooking or just fun eating in general, I’ve decided to give you an update on things I will hopefully be cooking from my garden within a few months and my quarterly commentary on a few things I love about the season at hand….Spring!

Remember the holes in the garden on March 13 with seeds for French Filet Beans? Well, here's where they were two days ago...

and here's where they are now!

Yes, this is what more than a week of 85 degrees will do for a little spring garden…even one that doesn’t get sun. Amazing isn’t it? I never get tired of seeing seeds that you plant in the ground grow into plants. Our spring this year is an odd mixture of early and late spring all at once, in terms of weather and plants.

My Camellia Japonica Colonel Fiery started blooming in late February, and is now very confused and blooming again!

February bloomers are side by side with April flowers and trees. Nature in all her glory of rebirth. Here’s a little tour of what’s happening in my yard and in my neighborhood.

The young blueberry bushes have bloomed, are dropping the blooms and starting the fruit already.

The baby blueberry bush I have out back that should have been transplanted in the winter is full of blossoms.

Dogwood trees are blooming everywhere and they look like little sprinklings of snow against the darker tree canopy. Almost every street in Atlanta has Dogwood trees and hence we have the yearly Dogwood Festival in April...though they won't be blooming by then.

All the Dogwood and Cherry trees are in full bloom.

Magnificent blooming Cherry trees.

And now, here’s the list of a few (actually, there are a lot!) of my favorite things about spring to round out my first four seasons of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy the images and check out some of the links!

So tell me, what are your favorite things about Spring?

Souvlaki

Grilling and chilling

Spring vegetable salads
(Recipes coming soon!) 

Asparagus and new potatoes

Iced herb tea

Azaleas, azaleas, and more azaleas!

Fresh herbs

Butterflies

The view into our little "forest" from our deck.

The reopening of our deck

Blueberries and strawberries


Strawberry Orange Buttermilk Sorbet with Grand Marnier

Fresh fruit sorbet

Taking sunset rides in a covertible or t-top


Collards coming along just fine...

Young gardens

Eating al fresco

The first of the Rosé wines

Easter

Dogwood blossom.

Cherry tree blossoms.

Dogwood and Cherry blossoms

Baby bunnies

Tumbleweeds of pollen pods line the streets. Achoooo, ugh!

Pollen (NOT)

Formula 1 racing begins
(Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend)

I still can't resist blowing on these when I see a perfect one!

We used to have battles as kids by picking the clover blossoms, wrapping the stem back around the head and sliding off the blossom forcefully in shoot-outs! See any four leaved clovers in this patch?

Dandelions and clover

Longer days and beautiful sunsets

Nature walks

Wild violets

Screened porches

Birds nesting

Daffy-dils

Forsythia

Tulips and pansies

Anyone recognize this?

Flowers, flowers and more flowers!

Camping

Spring showers

The Starlight Drive-In on Moreland Avenue is Atlanta's only Drive-In movie theatre. Each year beginning in the spring "Drive Invaders" vote for which movie to all meet at one night and bring picnics and boom boxes.

Drive Invasion at the Starlight Drive-In which starts April 4

Lemon-Thyme Penne with Chicken and Spring Vegetables
(recipe coming soon)

The new season of Mad Men March 25
(Trust me, I work in advertising.)

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48 thoughts on “A Hiccup, and What I Love About Spring

  1. WOW!! What a welcome back gift you have given us and yes we missed you. I hope all is well now. The first photo of the azalea looks like it is decorated with little silver balls…wonderful. My husband is eagerly awaiting the formula one races. Are you going to try to get tickets for the Texas race?

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    • Thanks, Karen, we just found out today that all will be well in time, which is a great way to start our weekend. Glad you liked that image…I didn’t touch it from the camera to the post. We hope to get tickets and go to Austin, just have to see how the next month progresses. Are you going?

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        • The circuits in Europe are often more interesting because of the track layout and the history of racing there, plus it’s sort of a “home” crowd. I saw my first race in Monaco, then all but one race run at Indianapolis, but haven’t made it back to Europe. I’d love to go to Spa, Spain or Monza for a race…you guys should plan a trip around it! 🙂

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  2. Favorite things about spring? Asparagus! Azaleas, violets, “Nature’s first green is gold” (Robert Frost), hummingbirds (they’re on their way, if not here already), tulips, flowering cherry trees, hot cross buns (might as well apply them directly to my hips!)–the list goes on. Had an update on you and yours and glad to hear how things are going. Give everyone a hug. 🙂

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    • Hi Carol, thanks so much! It’s been an interesting and harrowing 10 days, but we are smiling today, thank God! How could I have forgotten hummingbirds and hot cross buns? I’d sworn off the buns this season for the sake of my hips, but me thinks I may treat myself now! 🙂

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  3. Glad to have you back, Betsy, and I hope things are going better for you and yours. We missed you! Such a gift you’ve given us, this tour of Spring in your area. I was out running errands today and even though in a downpour, it was amazing to se the trees already in bloom. We’ve shared your Spring this year. I hope we don’t share your Summer, too. I don’t think we could handle it! 🙂

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    • Hi John, and thanks, we’re very optimistic for a full recovery after a harrowing couple of weeks, I’m happy to say. I’m glad you’ve shared our Spring, but can guarantee you don’t want our Summer….I’m afraid it’s going to be vicious!

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  4. Gorgeous azalea photos especially the first one. Love spring, everything is awakening, love to watch the seeds sprout and put out true leaves and grow and grow…..
    Hope all is now going well.

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  5. Welcome home! I hope you’ve worked out those health issues… how could one not with all the spring going on over here on your blog! So cheery and happy!! I think what I love most.. is spring.. when it shows up! I thought it was here but we are back to snow and clouds.. snow and clouds… sigh.. I will just come here until it goes away!!

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    • So glad I can share some Spring with you Barbara, and you’re welcome here anytime for a breath of it! It’s probably my favorite time of year with all the growth, renewal and promise of good things to come. We think we have a handle on the health issues now, and think he (my loved one) is on the road towards good health again.

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  6. Good to see you back, Betsy. The azalea photo is lovely, as is the one of the camellia. Like many, I love to see the first green leaves on the trees and the first daffodils, freesias. But spring is my least favorite food season: the peas and asparagus that make others happy don’t thrill me at all. I’ll enjoy strawberries and raspberries when they come in. The longer days are nice — more light.

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    • Thank you, Sharyn! I got really lucky with that opening azalea photo…it’s exactly the way it was shot. I love asparagus, though didn’t always…but it makes spring for me, now. The peas, as we’ve discussed, are another story. But the berries…LOVE berries. Still, I know what you mean as it is more of a time of starting, leafing and growing than harvesting, for the most part, and I was thinking about that when trying to think of food things I like about Spring versus the visual changes. Baby lettuces and arugula…we can add those, too perhaps?

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    • Why, thank you so much, Tanya, and yes, things are on the way to better. The road to recovery will take a little while in this instance, but we’ve found out that we can expect recovery and that’s the important part. Colonel Fiery is aptly named and I always think of that when he/she blooms each year, usually a fiery splash of color when nothing else much is blooming. Just one more day to endure Draper fever!

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    • Hi Mandy, and thank you for your comments. The road to recovery is well underway and I hope that all will be healthy again soon. My camera has a macro lens feature built into it, so don’t feel too bad about not having one for a 35mm camera. This one is a smaller pocket, but really nice digital camera with a Leica lens…probably not the same as your “big dog” camera! 🙂

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  7. Firstly, Betsy, I would like to extend my sincere good wishes to help you get over your family heath issues. The spring photos are gorgeous, and I love everything on your list too!
    The forest looks wonderful. I was only in Atlanta once, over 16 years ago and recall how lovely the spring was, certainly not the temperatures you are experiencing, but it was warmer than Toronto! Everything is a bit early in Toronto too due to the warm spell; we recently planted a Japanese cherry tree in our front lawn and I’m so excited to see it in bloom.

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    • Thank you Eva for your good wishes…I feel everyone’s “love” and am passing it on. Hopefully good health will be restored in a few month’s time. We just have to work through the process.

      We’re lucky in that we’re right in the city, but have about 3/4 acre of land front and back yard combined in the middle of an old residential area. What used to be behind our house when the neighborhood was built was a farm with big pine trees, and the folks behind us now have made a small nature preserve that backs up to us. Our “forest” yard is fenced and we’ve built paths and “rooms” back there, which we use when it’s not too buggy. Japanese Cherry’s are gorgeous and I know you’re loving it in your front yard!

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  8. Welcome back Betsy – I hope everything has been ok! It’s wonderful to see you again, and what beautiful photos! I love spring – all the lovely flowers, filling up my balcony with seedlings – I’ve been watching the tree outside my apartment gradually get more and more “leafy” 🙂

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    • Hi Charles! I saw those seedlings and I’m so impressed! I haven’t been as good about getting seedlings started as I intended, especially with all the issues going on lately. Still, it’s warm enough to direct seed here and if the cats will stop digging up my seed…I might have a chance! 🙂

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  9. Yes I did miss you Betsy and I did hope all was well with you. I do hope your family health issues are now all resolved. Those cherry blossom trees are gorgeous. What I love about the warmer months is the ability to get outside – cook outside, eat outside, relax outside. I think being outside in the sun is very therapeutic xx

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    • I agree about being outside is therapeutic, Charlie Louie. It just grounds you in a way that nothing else can. Thanks for your good wishes about the health of my family. We are on the road to resolving and recovery!

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  10. thank Goodness you are back, I missed your cheery self, and say three Hail Mary’s and an Our Father and consider yourself forgiven. What a wonderful collection of pics. do not try and back track on The Kitchens Garden. Mama Sheep is still pregnant (we have decided not to watch her anymore in case that helps) , Daisy is getting fatter (due in May) and jumped another fence the other day, Hairy sleeps a lot, tons of blossoms are out, the grass is growing, I am hoping to get piggies this weekend, the the bees are ALL GOOD! Mia the little sheep is putting on weight again, we have put tomatoes in the ground along with just about everything else tho i am late with the potatoes or is it on time i am not sure.. a MAN built me a storeroom/cellar in the basement, and it is good. GOOD! So there you are.. you are all caught up. Love love celi

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  11. Welcome back. We missed you. I hope everything is okay on your end and things are starting to get back to normalcy. Thank you for the beautiful flower photos and the azaleas have these little silver balls attached, just amazing. My favorite part of spring is baby bunnies and I sure hope the Easter bunny brings you some lovely treats as you so deserve it. Take care, BAM

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    • Hi Gretchen, we live in Atlanta in a small area between City of Atlanta and City of Decatur. Atlanta is a very green city in that it has lots of trees and parks. Our property is in the city, not suburbs, but is about 3/4 of an acre with a naturally wooded lot filled with old 80-90 year old 100 foot tall pines and tiers of understory. Very shaded but very private when all the leaves fill in. And thank you for the compliment!

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    • Julie, you are so kind…thank you for the nomination, I am so flattered and honored! You should plant some azaleas…they are so wonderful in the spring and have pretty foliage the rest of the year, too. I love the shot of you with the chicken on your shoulder…priceless!

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