25 May 2008 Susitna Spring

South-central Alaska is turning bright green with fresh leaves on trees and shrubs and renewed grass in lawns. Some ornamentals, like my apples and lilacs, have barely budded yet, so the transformation from the black-and-white winter isn't complete yet. Once I remove the remaining leaves from my flower beds, they should start to show more green, too.

I'm finally emerging from 'the winter of my soul,' too (ok - a bit dramatic). Thanks, little Alex, for hanging on until late winter so I'd have the new life of spring to revive me. Anne Frank is correct that Nature brings solace. We spent two cool, cloudy, windy days on a gravel bar on the Susitna River this past weekend. I didn't do much other than eat, sleep, talk, and huddle around the camp fire. I'm not sure what happened, but I passed some sort of grief threshold. Now my gratitude for caring for and being cared for by a 12 lb calico outweighs the emptiness of not having her here (most of the time).

22 May 2008 Tree hugging

Spring has been very slow to arrive this year and we've been busy with who-knows-what. I'm behind (again!) on the blog and I'm low on inspiration for musings and photogging. I've been indulging myself to do whatever I want (within reason) for a couple of months now as I adjust to life without a furry beast. I've been looking through photo albums and finding some favorite photos of our little family in the last 20 years. Today I'm posting one of Paul, looking blissful with a big tree in NE Arizona. Im hoping to feel that way now that the weather is turning warm and I'll be out in the sun more playing or gardening.

The big guy turns 50 on Monday and I haven't been completely devoid of creativity. Most of my creative juice has been pouring into an Alex scrapbook and a surprise for Paul's birthday (but I can't tell what just in case he ever reads my blog).

We're headed out for the first camping trip of the season with an overnight float on the Susitna River. I'll take the camera and actually remove it from the bag this weekend. The leaves finally emerged this week and Alaska is blanketed with bright green. Maybe I'll even get a little inspired while gardening this afternoon and snap a photo or two of new life.

5 May 2008 Spring flowers

The muscari and daffodil greens started shooting up weeks ago. The muscari started blooming a week ago and I cut the first daffodils a few days ago. These flowers are protected by the roof eave and warmed by the sun on a south-facing wall, but the snow was only inches away until last Thursday.