Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Brave New World

So ... how's it going where you live? Is there anybody reading this who hasn't been quarantined, isolated, told to stay home, or otherwise encouraged to practice social distancing? Who isn't reeling at the suddenness with which our entire world can change?

I'm currently jobless (bead stores being considered non-essential under Wisconsin's Safer at Home order), and trying to use the unexpected free time to finish my book. Mr. M is still able to work some hours, so we're not completely bereft of income. We are also, by the grace of God, healthy, able to get groceries, and free to exercise in public. We have much to be thankful for.

Being an introvert, I don't mind staying home - in other circumstances I would be loving it. My biggest frustration has been the inability to see my dad, because his assisted living facility is locked down. It's hard to know that if he gets sick, or needs help, I can't get to him. I feel for all the families who have been separated, in one way or another, by this virus.


In other news, Interweave YarnFest (where I was due to teach in May) has been rescheduled for August 28-31. I hope and pray that the world will be in better shape by then.


And now, an attempt at "normal" blog content....

March began with a day or two of pleasantly warm weather, and the early return of the wild geese and the sandhill cranes. When the songbirds followed soon after, I thought we might be in for an early spring, but no such luck. The rest of the month was cold and snowy and rainy and damp, with only a few sunny days to punctuate the gloom.

I've taken three rides this month (all sunny), and several walks (all cloudy). Given the grim news that surrounds us all, I think I'll post only the sunny photos here.

Sunday, March 1

Snow still lines the roads and covers the fields, but the temperature is in the low 50s, and I can see my shadow!

Streams are no longer frozen over...

...but stubborn ice still grips their banks:

I'm not the only one enjoying the open road:

Sunday, March 8

A week later, the temperatures actually reach 60. Time for another Sunday ride!

The air is filled with the honking of geese, the fluting of sandhill cranes, and the sweet song of red-winged blackbirds - the soundtrack of Spring.

Iris the bike leans against a bridge railing while I rejoice over the open water:

Many fields are now entirely (if temporarily) clear of snow:

Tallulah happily hums "On the Road Again":

As we make our way home, a pale full moon floats over the dreaming trees:

After that ride, March suddenly remembered that winter wasn't over yet, and withdrew into a fit of cold sulks for the next three weeks. The weather seemed determined to be as gloomy as the news. But on...

Monday, March 30

...the sullen clouds receded, the sun shone down brightly from a deep blue sky, and the mercury, exhilarated by the unexpected warmth, jumped up into the 50s. I cast off the cares of book editing, and took off with Tallulah for an afternoon ride.

("Why do all my pictures look exactly alike?" asks Tallulah. "Couldn't say," I reply.)

A cold north wind is gusting, but we don't care. We tool about the countryside, enjoying the sound of frogs in the ponds, seeing wild duck, wild geese, wild turkeys, and, best of all, a great blue heron that rises majestically from a marsh and sweeps slowly out of view.

We pass favourite bends in the road:

See lambs in the sheepfold:

And say hello to favourite trees:

We climb up to the high prairie, past greening banks and champagne-colored fields, silvery silos and cherry-red barns:

Then we swoop downhill to see a pasture full of cattle, with adorable baby calves curled up in the grass:

The biting wind lifts my jacket into a hunchback as I take a selfie:

A few miles later we're home, full of fresh air, and cheered by the sights and sounds of nature.


Today the weather has turned bitterly damp and chill, but the grass continues to grow, and the birds to sing. I feel very blessed to be able to take walks and rides, especially now, when so many people are unable, or not allowed, to exercise freely.

May God send more sunny days, warm friendly weather, and renewed health to our beleaguered planet.

Stay safe, my friends.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~