Jack’s Walk

A cloudy day in early spring. This photo is in full colour. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, it’s rain, rain, rain around here for the next 6 days if you believe the forecast. I don’t usually believe the forecast when the weather is supposed to be good, so why should I believe it when the weather’s supposed to be bad. That might make me an optimist and a pessimist which likely equals out to being a realist, which sounds about right. I’m being stiff upper-lipped about the weather, though. I keep telling myself that April Showers bring May Flowers and that it’s like this every year. Spring is wet, but at least this week it’s rain and not snow and the temps are steadily rising and the sun and the flowers and the birds and the bees will be here soon. Hmm… might be an optimist after all.

Tree Tuesday

I love to see the bright, fresh blossoms on flowering trees in early spring, but around here the show hasn’t started yet and the trees seem to be waking up very, very slowly. In Germany, though, the cherry trees are in full bloom and Avalus has taken some gorgeous photographs to share with us.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

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Tree Tuesday

The Tree of Life in Bahrain, Alawadhi 3000, Wikipedia.org

In a remote part of the Arabian desert in Bahrain sits a lone Ghaf tree (Prosopis cinerariathat has mysteriously survived for over 400 years. It’s known as The Sharajat-al-Hayat or The Tree of Life.

Lacking any visible source of water, the 32-foot mesquite tree has baffled visitors and scientists alike for its entire life as it has continued to grow. Although the mesquite tree is known for holding a great deal of water in its massive root system, there is still no source of water in sight. Even arid vegetation needs water to survive, which makes Bahrain’s Tree of Life even more mysterious.

The mystery of the tree’s survival has led to a lot of speculation.

Without a rational explanation for the tree’s biological success, many have turned to mythology and religion for answers. Some assert that Enki, an ancient god of water in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, protects the tree. Others still believe the site is the historical location of the Garden of Eden.

Whatever the source of life is for this tree it has inspired millions of people and attracts upwards of 50,000 visitors a year from around the world.

 

Via Atlas Obscura

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Proper spring has finally arrived and our temps have climbed into double digits. Today it’s a delightful +13º and for the first time this year I smell that fresh, sweet, earthy scent of spring. I even threw open the windows this morning, but 13º isn’t exactly room temperature so I had to close back up sooner than I wanted to. No matter. Jack and I took a long, leisurely walk around our wee forest this morning and even the overcast sky couldn’t dampen our good spirits. I wore shoes, not boots and a light jacket, not my padded winter coat. I replaced my tuque with a cheerful small-brimmed straw hat with a navy blue and white ribbon and it was delightful to be unburdened of all that heavy winter wear. I think we probably have a few more cold days ahead of us so I won’t put way my winter stuff just yet, but it sure is nice to give the spring wear an outing now and then.

Jack’s Walk

Help me, I’m melting… ©voyager, all rights reserved

We’re expecting rain today and according to the forecast it’s going to be rainy for the next 4 days. Oh well, you know what they say…April showers bring May flowers. At least it’s finally getting warmer. It’s going up to +9º today and the weekend is supposed to get all the way up to +18º. Oh my, that will make the plants get growing and the trees start leafing and I don’t even care that it’s going rain. Proper spring is about to start and I can’t wait to see a bit of colour around here. I hope everyone has a good weekend, especially those of you who are battling with sickness…feel batter soon.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack started picking at his feet and scratching yesterday and around our house that’s a sure sign of spring. It means that the gray grass is getting ready to turn green and Jack’s allergies have flared up. I called the vet and we’ve started the boy’s allergy tablets (Vanectyl-P) and he’ll be taking one a day until the snow flies. The scratching isn’t all due to allergies, though. Jack’s annual spring shed has kicked into high gear and the amount of hair he loses is astonishing. It comes out in clumps when you brush him and your arm can go numb and still there’s more hair to brush out. When he walks you can see hair just floating off and it’s almost impossible to keep up with the hair bunnies that collect in the corners of the house. The boy starts to look a bit shabby, too, with light patches of fur that stick out at odd angles. So he scratches and turns into a little bear who rubs himself on anything handy; trees, telephone poles, the sofa, people. You have to watch out for that last one, people. Jack loves to talk to strangers and he’ll walk right up to anyone and ask for a scratch. If it isn’t offered quickly enough he’ll take his bowling ball of a head and butt you with it and then start rubbing himself around you in circles. Unsurprisingly, not everyone appreciates this. It will be a few more weeks before my little hair machine finishes his shed and until then it’s brush, scratch, rub, repeat around here.

Tree Tuesday

The spring arrival of cherry blossom season is cause for celebration across Japan. There are published charts that track the progress of the blossoms from south to north and every region has festivals to bring people outside to enjoy the splendid views. I’ll never get to Japan to see the spectacle in person, but thanks to the internet I can still see the splendid views and live a bit vicariously. I’ve gathered a few of my favourite photos of cherry blossoms in Japan for you to see as well. Enjoy.  [Read more…]

Tree Tuesday

It’s finally spring! Well, at least it is in Germany and Avalus is sharing a wonderful blossoming tree with us today.

Today at noon, it was really warm (18°C in the sun!) and so I had a stroll over campus, discovering many things. And a fruit tree in bloom, with lots of bees doing beesness!

©Avalus, all rights reserved

 

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Jack’s Walk

Is that tree looking fuzzy or are my glasses dirty? ©voyager, all rights reserved

That tree is looking fuzzy with teeny, tiny baby buds ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a wonderful day in my corner of the world. There’s a bit of a north wind keeping things cold, but the sun finally decided to visit and it gifted us with a brilliant blue sky. I can hear birds twittering and the air is filled with that earthy smell of spring. It’s a day full of treats for the senses and I am loving the feel of sunshine on my face. Jack is also in excellent spirits and has a bit of extra bounce in his step. I might be a bit bouncy myself. We had a lovely walk all around the neighbourhood and we sang our silly songs and talked about rabbits and the trees.

Jack’s Walk

Melt, dammit! ©voyager, all rights reserved

Sorry to be late posting our walk today, but I spent the afternoon at my dentist’s office waiting for him to squeeze me in. It seems I’ve developed an abscess in a lower tooth that’s going to require a root canal, but first I’ll need to take a course of antibiotics. Ugh. The day itself was a bit grim as well with gloomy, overcast skies and a bitterly cold north wind. It even started to snow a few times, but thankfully only a few brief flakes that didn’t last. I feel like it’s Groundhog Day and winter is stuck on repeat. Again, Ugh.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Nature is full of art. This small bunch of desiccated leaves fascinated me today. I thought it looked a bit like a coat of arms, complete with a lion’s head and spear. Jack postulated that it was the Royal Seal of the Faerie Kingdom, but Jack has an active imagination so who knows. What do you see?

Jack’s Walk

The First Day of Spring ©voyager, all rights reserved

Happy First Day of Spring, everyone. Yesterday was a bit of a melting day around here and early this morning the pond at the park was almost completely open water. By the end of the day I expect any remaining ice will be gone. Best of All? It might be a bit hard to see, but the willow trees are starting to look fuzzy with early buds. The willows are the first trees at the park to get leaves and I could jump up and down with excitement that I can actually see some promise of green. It was quite overcast when Jack and I were out, but the sun is shining now and it’s warm enough to even feel like a fine spring day. I hope all of you are having a fine first of spring day, too.