Okay. That white stuff out there is definitely snow.
And yes, the days are still getting shorter. And even though I’ve had quite a bit of fun and success in the last few weeks finding living, crawling things outdoors, plus making an extra effort to up my birding game, I’m still worried about the long-haul viability of making it to spring after such a delightful first year of observing on iNat.
To that end I propose that we share, in this thread, some schmecky ‘observations for the soul’ here that we can duck into when we need to in the coming months. Will that be better for the psyche, or worse? I’m going with better. It’s the promise and hope that we need visuals for, not ‘try not to think of it’ diversions.
I’m kicking off all this with a shot I only recently uploaded but it’s almost 14 years old! I hope it sets the tone, even if it’s a bit traditional. Behold, the official flower of the province of Ontario…
EDIT: I just realized that the definition of ‘schmeck’ may be a regional one from Canada. I think it was in 1968 that a Canadian food writer, Edna Staebler (I think?) from Ontario’s Kitchener area had a hot cookbook titled, “Food That Really Schmecks”.
It was based on recipes she had gathered from the German Mennonite community there that were largely simple, but delicious and comforting ones that had been passed around that community for many generations. Or, as she said herself, “tasty,” “lip-smackin’,” and “that tastes like scheissdreck.” Hope that helps convey my adopted meaning here
Let me offer these as some of the earliest spring bloomers in our area to look forward to. Oconee Bells - the famously elusive plant that sent Asa Gray and his fellow botanists on a wild goose chase around our mountains before being rediscovered by some local teenager (brief history with link to sources). This one blooms just in time for a spring break trip to SC:
Just observations that you’d like to look at in winter times (honestly, not sure if close ups of springtails and mites are it), like in summer you want to sit at fireplace in New Year’s Eve, and in winter you want to swim in a river, that kind of thing.