Hello! I hope this blog post finds you all doing well, and feeling the wonderful “warmth” of all things Spring! I know this time of year I might whine a bit because it always seems to take forever for the seasons to change and warmer temps to arrive, but this year takes the cake! We’ve had the heat and woodstove going, even into May. (Normally, this time of year, I might be fighting the urge to crank the air conditioner). I didn’t grow up in a four-season climate, and am often asked by warmer-weather-dwelling friends how I can stand the cold for so long. Here’s why…when Mother Nature wakes up from her long winter’s rest, it can arguably be the most wonderful time of the year!
Spring means we start seeing colors – silver and white ocean waves, green grasses, pink skies at sunset, and blooms of all colors.
Everyday, there is something new blooming.
Spring means I can start walking outside again! Because of the Pandemic, I had not seen the ocean in three years. If you have read my blog for awhile, you know that one of my favorite things to do when I have downtime in summer is to go to the beach.
Recently, we decided it was warm enough (I use the word, “warm” loosely here, I still needed a coat) to head down to the coast. We had lunch at Jimmie’s of Savin Rock, a New England restaurant that looks out to the water, opened since 1925! After dining, we walked the boardwalk.
I have missed the smell of salt water, and the sound of seagulls as they comb the water looking for fish. Even though it was a grey, windy New England day, I was happy as a (true) clam. There is something about being on the beach – it’s so good for the soul.
I posted one of the photos I took that day on my social media wall. I was blown away when my talented Facebook friend, Jill White, who lives a world away in New Zealand, used my photo as inspiration for her art!
Jill says her paintings, which are all sorts of subjects (and really beautiful), “are done in watercolor, with an ink component,” as part of a “100-Day Creative Challenge”, where you do something creative for 100 days! Have you tried doing a 100 day creative challenge? If so, tell me about it in the comments!
At home, I change my decor with the seasons. After Easter, I pull out my summer-bright decor. Vintage red strawberry pincushions “pop” with color in a vintage milk glass dish.
Outside, I couldn’t pass up a real pot of strawberries on a recent feed-store run.
On that same feed-store run, (at my local Tractor Supply), I found this adorable farmhouse-style pillow for my porch rocker.
Herbs are potted, though I bring them in at night if we get too-low temps. I love that deep purple of the lavender!
The lettuce I planted in my big pot, a cold-weather crop, is peeking out, bright and green.
Inside, the hope of warmer days materializes in the form of seedlings in the indoor greenhouse. Hello, my little babies!
Outside, the snow and snap peas that Audrey and I planted together in March are finally popping through the ground. However, it will be a while before the other veggies can go in the ground.
Here in New England, we have to wait until the soil is warm enough. Cold soil can shock sensitive plant roots, like tomatoes, so the best way to know when to plant is with a soil thermometer. It was sunny yesterday, but today is a typically wet spring day, and that soil is only 53 degrees! Brrr! I’ve been really happy with the digital soil thermometer I ordered last year through Amazon. It takes the guesswork out of knowing if it is still too cold to plant.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about spring was that my mom would take me shopping and I would get a new, fresh pair of sneakers, or “tennis shoes”, as we called them in Texas. I still love that feeling of a new pair of sneakers, not only because I love a shiny, new pair, but also because it is important to have comfy, supportive shoes when I’m so busy and on the go. I sometimes find it hard to find shoes I really like. When a knitting student of mine walked into class recently on a rainy, muddy, spring evening with the cutest bright-white shoes, I told her she was brave – they wouldn’t be white for long in that weather! That’s when she told me that she had just washed them! If you haven’t heard of Rothy’s yet, you should check them out. They make shoes that are made of fabric woven from recycled water bottles, which makes the shoes washable! From cute flats to sassy sneakers, when it is time for a refresh, the insoles pop out and everything goes into the washing machine. I picked up the classic-looking, white slip-on like my friend’s, knit from Rothy’s signature stretchy fabric, made from water bottles. I absolutely love them! They are super-comfy and look cute with everything from jeans, to shorts, to dresses, yet also have been very comfortable for my long walks! I love that all the cute shoes and accessories Rothy’s makes are made from single-use, plastic water bottles (which are so bad for the environment), keeping them out of the ocean! Win-win!
It’s finally been time to reopen Gidget the Glamper. I love that it might be 2022 in the world, but when I step into my camper, it’s still 1966! As you can see, Pip is ready to go camping!
Indoors, the cats enjoy the sunbeams coming into the house now that the sun has a different arc in the sky with winter’s end. Mittens loves to perch in her favorite window, and Norman loves to hang out in my warm, sunny sewing room with me.
Outside, the insects are starting to wake up, as well. I’ve seen a few butterflies, and several other beneficials, like a six spotted green tiger beetle.
On a walk, I noticed several egg cases left by the Praying Mantis, as well as one on my rose bush in my garden.
Each egg sac can hold up to 300 baby praying mantis, an important beneficial insect. It’s also the State Insect of Connecticut! (Someone mentioned to me that the egg sacs look like pork rinds, ha ha)!
Spring in New England means that it isn’t too hot to bake yet, and it kicks off the start of the canning season! I spent a very happy “Farmgirl Day” recently, baking sourdough bread from my starter, “Dough Beast”, and making jelly from the first dandelions that pop up. Dandelion or “Sunshine Jelly”, is one of my specialties, and tastes a bit like a combination of marmalade and honey. I posted my how-to and recipe on the blog, way back in 2013, in a post titled, “Hooray For Weeds”.
After canning, baking and whitening some antique linens, I was tired, but it was a good, “happy” kind of tired!
Here’s wishing you a great Spring, A Happy Mother’s Day, and lots of warm, busy “Happy-Tired Days”!
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Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole
A wonderful post! We too have had Spring arrive but the cooler temps and thos April showers are still hanging around.
Those you call weeds, or wildflowers, we call wild violets. Such beauty about in the Springtime!
Hi Denise, thank you ever so much! I call those flowers wild violets, too, and I love them! I’m really looking forward to spring planting this year after such a long winter. Have a great spring! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole
Happy Spring, Nicole!
I loved reading about how everything is waking up right now in New England.
I’ve been noticing it too and I couldn’t agree more that it’s just a wonderful time of year in our neck of the woods. I didn’t start any seeds indoors, but I have enjoyed watching the Mascari (grape hyacinth) bloom under a stand of trees in our front yard. My goal is a ” blue river” effect but right now it looks more like the ground has been peppered in blue straws. Maybe I’ll add an additional 500 this Fall to speed things up a bit!
We took down a couple of large pine trees last year which once were the background of a large perennial garden. Now that it’s exposed the garden is more of an island garden and not a border so I’m re designing that garden this year. I purchased 7 Little Lime Hydrangeas, 3 lilac bushes and a red scarlet double flower quince the other day to fill things in some…While I mourn those big, beautiful pine trees (that would have smooshed our house had they blown over in a Nor’easter) I am having fun designing the garden again from a different perspective.
We have a new 6 MOs old corgi and 9 new baby chic’s to keep us busy as ever. The trees are heavily budded and will most likely burst into clouds of green in the next week or so and then the race against summer begins. Planting, watering, weeding, and (WEDDINGS) with some beach time for relaxation planned in carefully so we don’t burn ourselves out in the process of ” waking up”. Alas, the long winter is truly over. The miracle of life surrounds us once again, bringing hope, beauty and joy to our everyday lives.
Thanks for the wonderful read!
Deb (aka) Beach Farmgirl
PS. love the new tennis shoes! We grew up calling them that as well.
Before you know it we’ll be sipping iced tea under a shade tree praying for cooler weather!
Hi Deb! It is so good to hear from you! I was in Massachusetts a few weeks ago (the pic of the lake is in Massachusetts. I am not sure where, as we got lost on the way home, ha ha)!
Your flowers and trees sound wonderful! I am also in the process of redesigning a few areas of our property. We are working, too, to remove some dead trees and some invasive plants. Then the fun begins of picking out new plants! We had a lot more damage from ice this year than I can remember ever before. I think, however, that this may be one of our prettiest blooming years from what we see so far.
I am glad to hear you are busy with weddings again…so happy to hear more “normalcy” is happening.
Congratulations on your new puppy! Oh my goodness, how much fun is that! Corgis are such great little dogs. One of my dearest friends lost her elderly corgi two years ago, and last year got a new Corgi, who is now a year old. What a great behaved, sweet little pup she is! Corgis are a good size, too. Not too big, not too small!
I hope you continue to have a great spring, and a Very Happy Mother’s Day!
Thanks again for “dropping in”…love hearing from you!
Wow, I loved this! So delightful reading about spring springing up and the interactions with nature. So fun reading about all the creatures, furred and feathered and six-legged! Delightful! Thank you for this inspiring post!
Hi Sandra, thank you ever so much! Today is a really beautiful spring, warm and sunny day. So we are enjoying the sun before some more spring rain arrives. Everyday something new blooms, too! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole
Nice pictures especially Pip.
Thanks! He is getting old (14) but still pretty spry! ~Nicole
Hello, Love all the beautiful photos. It is chilly and rainy here in Iowa typical spring weather. We just arrived back from being snowbirds in Florida so it feels cold. Looking forward to warmer weather. Happy Spring.
Hi Marlene, Thank you! And thank you for the beautiful card/letter I received! Nice that you were in Florida! I have not been in ten years now. I have always had a wish to go to Iowa someday. It looks so pretty in movies. I hope you get some pretty spring weather where you are too, soon! We are loving today – 68 degrees, but “raw cold and rain” are supposedly coming for the weekend. Boo! Next week is supposed to go back up to being nice. Crazy temps this year! Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole
Wishing you a lovely Spring filled with lots of beautiful flowers and walks along the beach.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
Joan,Marion and Marilyn
Hi Joan, Marion and Marilyn, Thank you! And wishing you a beautiful spring and Happy Mother’s Day, too! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole
What a lovely inspiring spring post!
Hi Kathy, thank you so very much! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole
Happy Mother’s Day Nicole! Thank you for the your wonderful take on Spring in CT. I also love seeing everything coming to life. I can’t wait to get out into the garden and watch the flowers on the trees opening up, the pollinators busy doing their work and everything turning green! I also appreciate your love of the ocean. I am so fortunate to live in a CT town that has beaches to visit! I look forward to getting my feet in the sand and feeling the cool salt water!
Hi Nancy, thank you so much, and Happy Mother’s Day! Everything is greening up so beautifully, but I would like to see some warmer temps – they are on the way! I can’t wait to spend a day at the beach on a nice, hot summer day! There’s much to look forward to! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole