Signs of Spring

After Hours, My Spaces

Apart from the ladybugs, which have come out early (and in droves!) this spring, there are other, earlier-than-normal signs that spring is on the way.

Ladybug Convention

Our roses are putting out their first leaf buds…

First Rose Leafbuds

…the bulb greens are peeking out from the ground…

Signs of Spring Bulb Greens

…plus, occasionally, we even see moths:

Signs of Spring Moth

And just yesterday afternoon we were treated to the first turkey tom mating display of the season. Can’t deny that’s a sign of spring!

Random Beauty: Firefall at Yosemite

Random Beauty, Thumbs Up

Each February, if conditions allow the seasonal Horsetail waterfall in Yosemite National Park in California to flow, the waterfall appears to be set ablaze by the setting sun. And it’s simply breathtaking!

Flickr Jay Huang Firefall Yosemite National Park

Jay Huang via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The event is known as the firefall (apparently as homage to Yosemite Firefall). This photo was posted by Jay Huang on Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Thank you for sharing, Jay!

Snow-Covered Backyard

Random Beauty

We’ve had the first snow storm of the winter. In two days, we got about 12″ / 30 cm. It’s SO pretty with the trees loaded up with snow! And the sun is also trying to get out.

First Snow Storm Morning Fully After

It’s going to be a great day, even if the town still hasn’t plowed the sidewalks. Then again, after two days of shoveling the driveway, I’m not in urgent need of a walk. ๐Ÿ™‚

November 2019 Recap

Newsletters

First, here’s the obligatory seasonal self-promo tidbit:

This year I tried a different approach to the holidays sales: the earlier you shop, the bigger your discount. Shoppers have just today and tomorrow left to save 25% on orders of $29 value!

Starting the day after tomorrow, December 01, shoppers can receive 15 % off their orders (same $29 minimum).

Click here to shop: Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy!

2019 Nov Dec Green Blue Collage

Remember, the December sale runs only through December 10, and I’ll close the shop for the season at 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

That’s so soon, yikes!

In my personal life, too, things are a bit busy, so the Thanksgiving break was very welcome. Each year, never mind how early I try to start my Christmas prep, December always sneaks up on me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Xmas Cards

Although perhaps I shouldn’t say โ€œalwaysโ€, for I do have a rather respectable start already. It’s just that the staff at the Finnish post office threw everyone a curveball this November and went on strike. Even having my cards and packages wrapped and ready doesn’t guarantee that they’ll make it there this year; they might arrive as late as early January 2020.

Simple Gift Wrapping

Fortunately almost everyone is now online or has a phone with texting, so I can at least send holiday wishes electronically, although the packages cannot be helped.

For Thanksgiving โ€“ which for us this year was a delightful friendsgiving โ€“ I refreshed my rose hip bouquet and added red apples into the bowl as well. Husband made spiced, mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potato this year, and it was good. We might adopt it as a staple.

Thx Rose Hip Bouquet

And even if there’s less light, November definitely has its share of natural beauty, especially around sunset.

Red November Sunset

Blue November Evening

I just love the moment when everything looks blue (sininen hetki in Finnish, literally ‘blue moment’).

How was your November?

October 2019 Recap

Newsletters

This October, I’ve continued the gift bag project I started last month. In addition to roughly book-sized baggies I’ve tried a larger size for sweaters or other clothes. My thinking is that they could also be used as off-season storage bags or organizers for travel wear, for instance, and not just gift bags.

Personally I’ve really come to like stuffing my underwear and socks into small fabric bags when packing for a trip; they’re so much easier to handle in a larger bunch. Confinement into a baggie also prevents them from being scattered all over in the luggage should the ride be bumpy.

Here are three of the small prototypes:

Gift Bag Prototypes 3 Small Ones

October is undeniably a fall month here in New England. It’s time to start putting the garden to bed, although every year I am re-astonished of how long the growing season continues. Husband and I’ve enjoyed the season. We visited a farmstand to get some bulk supplies…

Farmstand Fall Pumpkin Display

Farmstand Apple Selection

…and pickled our own cukes:

Pickles Done

Although early October was cloudy, we have also had sunny days. The bees are still out, but chipmunks seem to have retired for their winter hibernation.

October Wild Flowers

And Thursday is Halloween! Are you ready for trick-or-treaters?

Small Bouquet from October Flowers

After Hours, My Spaces, Random Beauty

I’m both amazed and delighted over how long wild flowers blossom around here:

October Wild Flowers

Granted, they’re not terribly flashy like cultivated ones, but they do give bees and other pollinators sustenance long into the fall season and provide splashes of color, too. (We keep our yard purposely toxin-free for the bees.)

Random Beauty: Light Diffracts Through Hummingbird Wings

Random Beauty

Christian Spencer has photographed hummingbirds in Brazilโ€™s Itatiaia National Park for years. He’s concentrated on the way light diffracts through the birds’ wings and breaks into a rainbow. The photos are GORGEOUS โ€“ here’s just one example:

Christian Spencer Hummingbirds Vitral

Christian Spencer

Wow โ€“ the skill it takes to capture the hummingbirds just so!

Found via Colossal. Visit Spencer’s website for more.

Note: I wasnโ€™t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.