Tag Archives: Monarda

The Spring Equinox (And Spring Has Actually, Finally Shown Her Face)

Hurray for the Spring Equinox!  It’s finally, officially Spring!  The ‘official’ Equinox occurred on Thursday, March 20th,  at 12:57 pm EST.  Our daylight length here where I live – 12 hours 10 minutes.  I love it!

But I knew ahead of time that spring was on its way.  How?  I SAW BEARS!!!  I did, I did!  I was driving back from delivering Saver of Bugs to school when I noticed some black blobs at the bottom of a tree in a fairly open area.  I did a double take and stared.   BEARS!!!   They were very close in size and not all that big so I figure they are last year’s cubs.  Momma must have been in the tree line.  Regretfully, I was driving on a main trucking route at speed.  Stopping for pictures would have put me on foot going back to get pictures at dusk.  Getting smooshed by a truck was not on my agenda.  Or as my son said, “Hit by a truck?! Seriously?!  How about EATEN by a freaking BEAR?!”  🙂

But back to Spring!  The following is a partial reblog from a post I did last year.  I just couldn’t think of anything more I wanted to add to this:

“…Once Upon A Time Long, Long Ago… when I was working horses and gardening and nature loving on a daily basis and was in tune with the seasons, this part of spring was expected and accepted. It was known as March Madness (and had nothing at all to do with basketball) or Spring Fever (and had nothing at all to do with big retail sales). This really hit me in the face since I have been struggling for several weeks now.

Between the lengthening days, more noticeable now, and the dramatic swings in the weather (that barometric pressure going up and down affects your body), animals and people alike are restless, moody, depressed and ecstatic all at the same time. Life can swoop from awful to wonderful from one step to another. It is just that time of year.

Those believing in Fairies say the upheaval is the passing of seasons from one Fairy Queen to the next.

Greek mythology talks of Demeter (in brief, Goddess of the Harvest), cursing the world and taking life from all growing things; when her daughter Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades.  The deal to bring Persephone back is that for 4 months of the year she must return to the underworld.  During that time Demeter grieves and nothing grows.  Persephone’s return marks the beginning of spring.

Pagans and Witches have celebrated Ostara for hundreds of years (It’s the precursor to the Christian holiday of Easter).  This holiday is celebrated on the Spring Equinox when the hours of day and night are equal.  It is a celebration of rebirth as the world awakens from its winter sleep and “life” begins anew.

It’s all about Change.  From our seasonal sleep we are thrust fairly abruptly into our “awakening”.  There is a primal need, often unacknowledged by us humans, to take advantage of the cycle of growth, resulting in “March Madness” or “Spring Fever”.  When I was working on the farms, allowances were made for man and animal alike. “This too shall pass.” (Or in some cases, “Aw hell, it’s spring again.”)  In this “modern” civilization we forget that we, too, are creatures of Mother Earth and thus subject, to a certain extent, to her whims. We may forget our “roots” but our bodies don’t. We need to be patient with ourselves and others right now.  Acknowledge and accept the unsettled feelings as part of life’s cycles.  Remember that with this huge burst of Mother’s Earth’s creative energies, things are bound to be unstable for a while.  Just hold on tight!”

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The symbolic rebirth of Mother Earth after a long, hard, cold winter was supposed to be cold and nasty.  So I decided two days ago, with warm beautiful weather as company, to once again go looking for Spring outside.  I also decided it was time to start cleaning up out there and started by bringing the plants out of the garage.

Daffodils, weeks late, finally poking up through the grass!  YAY!

Daffodils, weeks late, finally poking up through the grass! YAY!

More Daffs in the garden!

More Daffs in the garden!

Mini Iris

Mini Iris

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Buds on my small Amelanchier Laevis.

Buds on my small Amelanchier Laevis.

To save money, I grow a lot of things from seed and shop the clearance racks, especially at Lowe’s.  And life being what it can be not everything has made it into the ground.  The Dump (aka our garage) is too full for a car, so the back of the driveway is a convenient place for plants in pots.  This winter I put plants I knew wouldn’t survive outside in pots in the garage.  Unfortunately,  there were still a lot of pots in the driveway that had to deal with an unusually severe winter.

My mint survived it's winter in the garage and is starting to grow.

My mint survived it’s winter in the garage and is starting to grow.

And my Lemon Balm.

And my Lemon Balm.

The coreopsis on the left was in the garage.  The one on the right is still asleep.  Or dead!

The Coreopsis on the left was in the garage. The one on the right spent the winter in the driveway.  It is still asleep. Or dead!

But my Monarda in the driveway is still alive and awake!

But my Monarda in the driveway is still alive and awake!

So whether you celebrated the Spring Equinox on the actual Equinox or whether you celebrate on the calendar Equinox (the 21st), I wish you a happy beginning to your Spring!

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Mercury Is In Retrograde (YUK) and A Wee Critter Is Found

Random Thoughts

So Mercury went retrograde on Oct. 21 and has been slapping me around ever since.  Remember how much trouble I had posting that day?  A sign of things to come.  Me and the internet and this computer having been having at it ever since. Internet for 5 minutes then no internet then internet then no internet, ARGH!  The Husband did a shutdown and reboot(?) of all things computer and internet related that has given me back internet for now. The question is will it last?  Retrograde doesn’t end until November 10.  So no starting new things, no signing contracts, no buying new cars, expect delays in travel, expect anything to do with communications to fritz out, got the picture?  I am told that revisiting old projects, sorting paperwork, cleaning out clutter, organizing, and regrouping are good ideas till everything settles.

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Another bit of ‘fun’ was an intestinal virus that came to visit last weekend.  I still feel like all my ‘go juice’ got drained away.  When I can sleep, I’m hitting 10 – 11 hours at a clip.  *sigh*

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” It takes both the sun and the rain to make a beautiful rainbow.” — Attributed as Unknown or Proverb

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“Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu

Life At Our House

Not much to tell.  It’s been a whole lot of nothingness this week.  I did, however, get in the mood for food.

Fresh sourdough bread and Cranberry Pumpkin muffins.

Fresh sourdough bread and Cranberry Pumpkin muffins.

Out In The Yard

When The Husband grabbed a couple of hours to mow, he found a wee surprise under one of the flower pots.

I did not handle this wee fellow who was maybe all of 3 inches long.  Just gently scooped him on to a leaf and moved him.  So by process of elimination on what lives around here and what my yard has to offer, I believe he is a lead phased, Eastern Red-Backed Salamander.

I did not handle this wee fellow who was maybe all of 3 inches long. Just gently scooped him on to a leaf and moved him. So by process of elimination on what lives around here and what my yard has to offer, I believe he is a lead phased, Eastern Red-Backed Salamander. (Normally they have a red back.)  They eat all kinds of wee crawlies that live in the leaf litter and soil.

These guys have no lungs.  If their skin drys out they will suffocate to death.  They also do not require a water source for their eggs.  There are no intermediate stages, so eggs are laid in leaf litter or under logs and the young that hatch are fully developed baby salamanders about an inch long.

These guys have no lungs, they breathe through their skin.  They must live where it is moist, for if their skin dries out they will suffocate to death. They also do not require a water source for their eggs. There are no intermediate stages, so eggs are laid in leaf litter or under logs.  The young that hatch are fully developed baby salamanders about an inch long.

It was such a nice surprise to know my yard is safe enough for these guys to live in it.  I rarely, rarely use anything poisonous in my yard.  (My big exception is getting rid of fire ant colonies. I refuse to be constantly attacked in my own yard.)

Our header today is Bee Balm or more properly, Monarda.  Everything loves this stuff.

So pretty.  It is a member of the mint family and can be used for tea or to spice up dishes.

So pretty. It is a member of the mint family and can be used for tea or to spice up dishes.

Mugs

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Yes, another old favorite.  Have I mentioned before that this is one of my favorite sets?  I leave it up on my mug rack all year round.

It’s now 11:14.  So time to go.  Fingers crossed this posts the first time around!