Friday, January 22, 2021

Five on a Sunny Friday

 


Outside my window today the sun is shining mightily. It's chilly, too, with a bit of early morning frost. Now, late in the afternoon the light is so welcome and energizing. I bought a handful of tulips recently and have enjoyed watching them open. As they matured petals dropped one by one until there were more on the table than on the flowers themselves. 



I am reading "Miss Benson's Beetle" by Rachel Joyce, and 
"Rising Strong" by Brene Brown. Two very different books that both address the issue of getting on with life after difficult experiences. I'm not very far into either book.


A recent weekend walk took us through woods so green and fresh with the sound of trickling water everywhere. Ferns and ivy flourish in this climate. The ivy is invasive, brought here by homesick English settlers in years past. In many places it chokes trees to death. Volunteers come and cut the ivy from the trees, and pull great long strands of it to discard. I still find it pretty, in spite of its destructiveness. 


Our walk took us to a small church surrounded by an old graveyard. I've written about this place before and the old headstones that speak of many who came from England, Scotland, and Ireland to make a new life in Canada, settled, and died here. Snowdrops are another plant brought from Europe and unlike the ivy, they are not invasive. Instead they bloom in gardens and cemeteries, and in far out-of-the-way places where homesick women planted them to remind them of home. 


A Downy Woodpecker visits our feeder from time to time. He prefers the suet to the sunflower seeds and his head swivels back and forth so quickly that it's hard to get a clear photo. 

Colder weather, and perhaps some snow is forecast for this weekend. I would love to see snow cover the ground for a week or so, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I have exams to mark and a few lessons to prepare for next week, so that, along with a little laundry and cleaning will keep me busy for the next couple of days. What have you planned for the weekend?

33 comments:

Ruth Hiebert said...

Lovely pictures.

Granny Marigold said...

I didn't know that Snowdrops are not native to Canada. I've been watching for mine to pop up but so far none have appeared.
I've been enjoying these past lovely days. Now I see we may get some flurries mixed with rain. Could be messy driving. Stay safe and well.

Patricia said...

Beautiful white tulips and snowdrops, which are lovely against the greenery. I like a wander in an old church and grave yard too. It is like walking through history. Woodpeckers are very striking looking birds, and fun to watch (although I have only ever seen one!). We are having a humid weekend - I have made muffins, and my husband is outside putting new soil and turf over a bare patch of ground. He wants some exercise :)

Coastal Ripples said...

Great photo of the woodpecker. Intriguing to think how different plants arrived, brought by moving populations. I’ve often read about the many Mediterranean plants the Romans introduced into the British Isles. Have a lovely weekend. B x

Elizabethd said...

Snowdrops do raise the spirits, and what a lovely story goes with yours. It's amazing to think how long the plants have been there, and yet year after year they reappear. I am delighted to see that one of my plants is at last flowering.

Marie Smith said...

I love the rhythm of your writing and the photos. The pace sounds wonderful. Have a great week.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

This weekend, I will take a walk on the beach, spend some time in the kitchen and catching up on a little housework. Have a great weekend!

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

There is absolutely no signs of spring around here this weekend. Although the sun is shining its 40-watt bulb, adding a gentle cheer, the temperatures have gone back down to deep midwinter. Our walk late this morning was brisk and biting on the face.

Loved your tulips and the books you're delving into sound interesting.

Happy day...
Brenda xo

Kit said...

I didn't know that about ivy and snowdrops. You must be getting close to retiring. Are you excited? I have a teacher friend who is battling covid right now and they still want to open up our schools. Take care. Kit

ellen b. said...

Yes, ivy is pretty in small amounts. Those snowdrops are a welcome sight in the winter. I should plant some on our property somewhere. We are having quite the cold snap here and are forecasted some snow up to a foot in the next week. Yikes! Our weekend was busy with a Marriage Conference at our church. It was very good. Hope your weekend is going well.

Jenn Jilks said...

We talked to my son in Vancouver, he was bragging about crocus coming up! We've -18 this a.m.!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Lovely photos, seeing spring flowers any time of year is wonderful.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Good morning, Lorrie. I enjoyed all the lovely photos, but especially of the cemetery. It is hard to imagine snowdrops already in bloom. We will see them around late February. Your tulips are so pretty and I am always thrilled to see them arrive in the grocery stores in the winter.
For the weekend, I have a few household chores and am reluctantly working on taking down the Christmas tree. I am terrible about letting go of it every year. I enjoy the lights on cold winter evenings. Also, I am working on another wonderful book, a gift from Mike for Christmas. It is a true story about a woman who was the leader of the Alliance during WWII. It takes place all over France. I will talk about it in a blog post when I finish it.
Have a wonderful day and week ahead.

Mary said...

Lorrie, I had to laugh - I'm one of those 'homesick English settlers' who perhaps didn't actually 'bring ivy' but bought and planted far too many cute little pots of it around the garden years back. Ask Bob, he has been ready to strangle me over the ivy situation and has spent days at times pulling it out!!!! It did run all the way up one tall oak - we had it cut at the bottom and it's dead but taking forever to drop from the high branches.

Love white tulips and sweet Downy woodpeckers. Hope you get a little snow so you can photograph the birds - I'm awaiting some too and it may just happen come Thurs. Fingers are crossed.

Got that first vaccine jab this morning - so far no reaction. #2 will happen on Valentine's Day - oh well nowhere else to go to celebrate in a more sweet way I guess!

Hugs - Mary

Dewena said...

I have a fondness for walking through old graveyards so would love to see this one. Ivy, how I used to love it. Planted a whole flat of sprigs at our old place in the early 90s. Loved it as it grew everywhere, loved the look of it as it grew up our huge elm tree. Loved it until an expert told us it was killing the elm that was third largest in the state. It took piles of scaffolding and a whole day for my husband and sons to climb to the top and rip it out of the bark. They felt as if bugs were crawling on them for days. Ivy became a dirty word in our family!

kathy b said...

so happy you got a vaccine!!!!!! hooray. I love your snowdrops coming up!

Marilyn Miller said...

Those white tulips are stunning. I even love them when they are almost ready to release and fall to the table. So lovely!
I love the nature around you too. And oh those snowdrops! A sweet sight.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Everything around us has a history and we seem to forget that when we begin to take things for granted or think of them as the status quo. Much of the plant life here that isn't native was brought from Australia. I've bought ivy at the plant souq but it never survives no matter what I try. The same with ferns. :/ I have fond memories of spending holidays at my Mammaw's in Mississippi where my cousins and I would wander a very old cemetery just down the street, reading all the headstones, wondering about the lives lived and of those gone too soon. Have a good week.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

I always enjoy your walks and thoughts Lorrie. It amazes me too how something so benign as ivy is so invasive, when it was planted in good faith. And yet the snowdrops grow so abundantly, but don't choke life out in order to do so. We have had a very mild winter here, hardly any snow at all. I wouldn't be surprised if we begin to see signs of spring soon, but nothing yet. I hope you continued to have a lovely weekend :)

Happy@Home said...

Tulips are such a welcome sight at this time of year. I've been thinking that I should get out and buy some. I think I'll make that happen this week after seeing yours.
For such a pretty plant, it's hard to believe how ivy becomes such a nuisance. Despite hearing from the local garden expert here to "just refrain from planting it", I did plant some at my last house. It was pretty until it started growing up all the nearby trees. I was kind of glad to get away from it when I moved :). From now on it only goes in pots.

Cheryl said...

I find tulips lovely no matter what . . . fresh with tightly closed petals, opening, drooping, or with petals scattered all about! How wonderful to have a visit from the downy woodpecker!

Sylvia said...

Lorrie, We are in COLD weather in Alberta. I hope it does not last too long. We had a great December and early January. Love to see the green! Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

Margie said...

The only snowdrops I see are the ones on my Royal Albert January teacup!

I'm intrigued by the Brene Brown book. I thought she wrote another book about leadership?

Sara - Villa Emilia said...

Hello Lorrie, what a beautiful and interesting post!
Thank you for your kind comment. We have some health issues in our family now. I'm looking forward to reading your posts with more time.
Take care!

Friko said...

My snowdrops have been out since before Christmas; I have various varieties and they pop up straight after the cyclamen have finished and stay for weeks. The only other spectacular show is the hamamelis bush with its red/orange flowers on bare stems.
I am glad that the snow is beginning to melt; it’s only here for a short time and always turns into a slushy mess.

Anneliese said...

I like how you imagine homesick English settlers planting their favorites from their homeland.
It's wonderful how we can share memories with plants.

handmade by amalia said...

We've had a sunny few days and are settling in for a rainy weekend. We are still in lockdown and it looks like it will be extended, but I'm scheduled to get my second vaccine shot in ten days' time and I hope I'll be able to venture out more after that. I have quite a lot of seeds in my kitchen so I'm thinking of making crackers this weekend, I have a few favorite recipes and they are great with both salad and soup. Take good care!
Amalia
xo

Angie said...

Lorrie - we have had more sunshine around here than normal, but it does not begin to take the cool out of the air! I don't mind - it's winter and I like it to behave the way it is supposed to!!! I have noticed that it is staying light longer ... This weekend will be a busy one - work on Friday and Saturday, and then I am helping with a Winter Carnival event on Sunday ... Enjoy your weekend!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

I always enjoy your walks, Lorrie! I envy you, for I am not able to do that myself any longer. I must go to my memory bank and enjoy them. But reading about walks by other bloggers like yourself help me dream. I love ivy but I never realized that they actually choke the trees. I probably knew that once upon a time and had forgotten until you mentioned it. The cemetery walk makes me miss my uncle who came from England and he had all these wonderful stories to share. He loved to talk about the Factories and he so enjoyed his tea from a china cup. He loved his gardens and nature in general. I miss England, the way he described it to me. My son will visit there one day when traveling is once again permitted and he will have more stories to share. The snowdrops are lovely! I always found cemeteries peaceful and there is so much history as well etched into those old headstones. Thank you for taking me along.

gretchenjoanna said...

I had a Downy on my suet feeder too, recently! He stayed around long enough that I could make sure of his I.D.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see all of your photographs.
My favourites are the white tulips and snowdrops.

My good wishes.

All the best Jan

Decor To Adore said...

Lorrie I love that image of the woodpecker. Such detail! I am actually surprised to not see more snow on the ground. But the green is lovely.

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Lorrie,

Your tulips are lovely. I love the photo you took in the graveyard; I find old graveyards fascinating, don't you? The snowdrops are precious flowers; I see a few of them growing around here and they're one of my favorites in winter. I didn't realize they had been brought over from Britain, but that makes sense. I love the look of English ivy, but it certainly is destructive. We're going to have to get some trees taken down because of the ivy.

Thank you for sharing Five on Friday with us. Have a wonderful week!

Hugs,

Denise

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