In which Spring is still coming, but we go visit Winter for the day

The front yard shows new sprouts and shoots every morning now. These might be crocusses. Crocusii? Might be a crocus or two, I'm thinking.

Strawberries plants have survived the winter, hurrah!


This blooms yellow, and I haven't the faintest idea what it's called. Pretty, though, and the bees love it.
Speaking of bees, we got some winter-blooming heather just for the mason bees. We have a small local population of orchard mason bees, and we plan to supplement the natives by bringing in a bunch of cocoons next weekend.The lilacs survived too, dangit. I really don't like lilacs....just my luck to be gifted with 5 big lilac bushes that the winter was unable to kill. Ah, well. I suppose the bees will like them.


I'm not sure what this plant is. It was put in by the former owner, and forms a lacy hedge between the orchard and the road.
Fortunately, I saw a book at the library the other day that will probably help:

Yes, this looks like exactly the book I need to consult every year in the late winter and early spring, when I've quite forgotten what my yard looks like in the summer, and which plant grows where around here!



Speaking of winter, we decided to take a field trip today to go visit some winter. Stevens Pass is only an hour from the farm, and provides all the winter we could possible want.

Megan and Henry's New Year's Resolution this year is to Have More Fun, and I want to support goals like this as much as possible. We all loaded up in Jim's truck to explore the mountainous terrain by snowshoe.
Jim carried the map and kept us on course.
Willy never saw a snowball that he didn't instantly love...and tromped over to see if he could throw it. Turns out, he couldn't. But it was fun watching him wrassle with it.

Some sentimental fool on the trail ahead of us made this. Yeah, we all smiled at it, even the kids.

Henry was rather astonished at the effort required to walk on snowshoes. His mom was more than ready for the challenge, though. "Drink some gatorade," she'd say. "This might be the part of the adventure where you need to suck it up."
Henry had a couple of mobility issues on the trail. Kid-sized snowshoes do not have the same kind of agressive crampons that adult gear has. Also, an 80-pound body doesn't pack the same kind of "wham-o" for kicking into a steep trail that my significantly bigger --and stronger ;-) --legs can generate.
We took turns being the engine and the caboose to get Henry up the steep hills. Going down, he usually opted to slide down on his backside. That worked pretty well most of the time.


It was pretty.
After about a mile, I looked around and realized that I was grinning like an idiot. I forget, sometimes, how much I love snowshoeing. Why can't I remember? Am I getting that senile?

Tromping the trails.
Blue skies. I love blue skies.

Triumphant arctic explorers return to the parking lot.Jim had to chain up the truck and rock it back-and-forth while a bunch of us (including some Stevens Pass employees who stopped to help) pushed.


Tired and happy, we returned home.
Springtime was waiting for us. Life is good!!!!

Comments

  1. Looks like a grand outing! I would love to have the luxury of "visiting" winter....then LEAVING when I'd had enough!

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  2. Come to the Wet Side, Evensong! We have cookies....

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  3. Great photos. And I only wish lilacs could make it in Texas. I have wonderful childhood memories of that intoxicating smell.

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  4. I'm afraid we don't have to go anywhere to find winter - it's right here and likely to stay for a while.

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  5. So how deep was the snow? Were the snowshoes just fun, or were they necessary for the hike?

    Also, I suspect you can't remember how much you like snowshoeing because of the first part of the word - you detest sn*w, remember? ;)

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  6. @Leah: I'd be happy to send you our lilacs, if only I could find a big enough envelope. Aarenex hates them, and while the odor reminds me of my long-deceased grandmother, I'm really unhappy with their weedy-ness.

    @Funder: The snow was packed in two to five foot piles, and I saw some post-holing where others had discarded their snow shoes. I suspect you're right about the reason Aarenex forgets that she loves snowshoeing. :-)

    vidinkin: Relatives that you only see on TV.

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