A Time of Firsts and Beginnings

Spring is a time of firsts, a time of beginnings.

Last week, for the first time, I saw these flowers in our yard.

Thanks to the Internet, I was able to identify them as coltsfoot. According to Mother Earth Living, coltsfoot is too invasive to go in the garden. Fortunately, these flowers are blooming on the side of the driveway, by the woods, far from my gardens.

For beginnings: Clif started cutting up the tree that had fallen in the backyard. The wood is too punky for our wood furnace, but we will be able to use it in our fire pit.

Drum roll, please! On Friday—for what counts as big excitement at our home on the edge of the woods—Clif brought out our small patio table.

The patio is now ready for action. And even though Friday was a little chilly, we had our first drinks (and snacks!) on the patio.

How lovely it was to sip rum and Coke, watch the birds and the squirrels, and admire the red buds against the blue sky.

For the first time this week, we heard the exuberant spring song of the peepers, tiny one-inch tree frogs whose small size belies their robust voices that come together each night in a rousing symphony. They sing, “Spring, spring, spring!”

Dee also heard the melancholy call of a loon, which means they have returned to the Narrows, about a quarter of mile from where we live.

As I’ve written before, spring is an old story that never feels old. The renewal, the rebirth, the sights, the sounds are always stirring, no matter how many springs I have seen.


Book report for Of Time and Magic

Word count this week: 6,006

Total word count: 86, 795

To continue with the metaphor of writing and being at sea…not only can I now see the harbor, but the docks, ships, store fronts, and houses have also snapped into view.





70 thoughts on “A Time of Firsts and Beginnings”

  1. Hooray for all things spring and going well up north in your neighborhood! Temps have been good here, but this morning at coffee making time it was 29ยฐF. We could use a little added to that to get it over the 32ยฐ mark. Happy writing and anchoring at that dock.

  2. It’s good to see that spring is making it up your way. Isn’t it wonderful to hear the peepers? Your coltsfoot is beautiful (I’ve not seen it here but we did have it in NE Ohio), and drinks on the patio sound wonderful.

  3. Congrats on the progress on your book — keep sailing, Laurie! And I’m glad Spring is finally reaching your part of the country. ‘Tis been a long time coming, don’t you think??

  4. Spring is so inviting. Enjoy light and warm weather. I see red buds on the plants but no flowers yet except the daffodils I planted in the backyard after they were finished flowering inside last year ๐Ÿ˜€. We shall soon take out our terrace furniture.

  5. A friend I walk with started looking for coltsfoot (colts feet?) a few weeks ago. For her they are the true harbinger of spring. Today we saw several. They look like straggly, second-class dandelions and seem to favorite ditches, but, hey, theyโ€™re blossoms!

    1. Whatever is the plural? Your guess is as good as mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will admit they are not the showiest of flowers, but they are cheerful dots of yellow in the early spring landscape.

  6. These are happy pictures, Laurie. Thank you. PS another way to identify mystery plants is with an app called PictureThis. They try to sell a service there, but it’s really free to take the pictures and get an ID. You may have to poke around to find where the free part is.

  7. Oh wow, I’m excited to see your patio out in the sunshine, and the squirrels and birds and greenery…and to think I’m looking out the window at autumn trees here in Australia….it is an amazing world isn’t it!

  8. YAY! You can sit outside again and life is returning to your neck of the woods!

  9. Spring is coming! Thank you for the lovely early-spring pictures. What fun!

    And yay for your book! You’re nearly there ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. We accidentally imported some coltsfoot in some fill soil when we built our garage. Now it’s everywhere! It has fluffy seedheads, similar to dandelions, and the wind blows them into every crevice and cranny. They seem to like poor soil. In any case, I suspect you will be seeing more coltsfoot next year. Happy spring. We’re getting battered with wind here today.

    1. The coltsfoot featured in my photos are indeed growing in poor soil. We’ll see where they go. Very rainy here today, but not too windy. But we don’t live as close to the coast as you do.

  11. How wonderful you were able to celebrate beautiful moments of spring and great progress on your book out on the patio!!๐Ÿ™‚ The tree frogs have never been louder and Iโ€™m still amazed by the sound of hearing my first loon the other week. We had a few inches of snow yesterday, but it should be patio weather by the weekend.๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Coltsfoot is a new one for me. I think I’ve heard that unusual name, but I can’t recall seeing it. When I looked on the maps, I found the reason — it’s not in Texas, or any of the surrounding states. It seems to enjoy colder weather.

    That said, hooray for warmer weather, patio tables, and outdoor drinks. I’m so glad your season is turning — but I’m wondering if you’re getting any of the cold/wet/snow that I’ve seen from New York. Some places got more than a foot — there’s nothing like a spring snow!

  13. It’s nice to see your patio table out and in use again, Laurie. I’m smiling at the joy you convey in this simple ritual each year. We eat lunch outdoors when we can, and all three cats wander out to join us. Congratulations on that word count! Wowser.

  14. I love your wonderful forest paradise. And I agree: planting your patio table is a perfect beginning for the new season. I find such joy in eating (and sipping and snacking) outdoors.

    Regarding your writing: that’s all of us on the shore waving colorful pennants for you!

  15. Amen to everything you have said about spring, my favorite time of year. So exciting to see the advances, both in your yard as well as in your manuscript. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  16. Ah, the first outdoor drinks of the year! I had a piece of wood like that to examine, a branch that was like a tube of paper wrapped around fluffy stuff. It was interesting.

  17. You can hear loons from you property? I’m so jealous…I’d have to travel hundreds of miles, to the north of Scotland, to stand any chance of that. Such a haunting, melancholy call, but so beautiful. Lucky you!

    1. We are lucky. There are two large ponds—-really as big as lakes—about a quarter of a mile from our home. Spring, summer, and fall we hear their haunting calls.

  18. Lovely list of firsts … old friends visiting after a long hiatus! I am just marvelling at how different your garden, patio & yard look now that the snow is all gone.

  19. A beautiful passage, Laurie! “As Iโ€™ve written before, spring is an old story that never feels old. The renewal, the rebirth, the sights, the sounds are always stirring, no matter how many springs I have seen. ” How very true!

  20. Spring is good time to pull into harbor. Our coltsfoot flowers grow in ditches. We have piles of what I call โ€œwoggly woodโ€ for the fire pit, while nice straight wood is staged for moving into the wood shed for next winter. We have used the deck and fire pit furniture on nice days/evenings. The birdfeeders are down before the bears come along looking for Spring snacks. We are waiting on the Spring Peepers. – Oscar

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