Tag Archives: spring

…Green Pastures

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Some colors are just naturally more likely to produce feelings of calmness.  The two best colors?  Glad you asked!  I’ve been told that they are blue and green.  If you are a believer in God, that would makes sense…that the sky and ocean are blue and the trees, grass, etc., are green…sorta like He wanted us to have some peace and calm in the midst of our lives of craziness!

Have you ever dreamed of your perfect place?  For some it may be heaven, for others a place they visited or would like to visit.  I know that dogs dream because you can watch them “run” in their sleep and they bark and their eyes and noses twitch…and they even growl.  Surely they are dreaming!  I wonder, though, if horses and cows dream, too?  I suspect that they do as they are sentient beings.  And perhaps, when they dream of their ideal place, it is like the scene in today’s photo that I took last Saturday.  Spring has burst out all over Georgia.  The dogwoods are blooming, daffodils are up, other trees are covered with blossoms…it is lovely!  The grass which turns brownish in winter is now green and lush and the cows and horses just must be dreaming of chewin’ it up!  And even the small shed in the pasture got into the green spirit!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1979, the world’s first anthrax epidemic began in Ekaterinburg, Russia (now Sverdlosk). By the time it ended six weeks later, 62 people were dead. Another 32 survived serious illness. Ekaterinburg, as the town was known in Soviet times, also suffered livestock losses from the epidemic.

As people in Ekaterinburg first began reporting their illnesses, the Soviet government announced that the cause was tainted meat that the victims had eaten. Since the town was known in intelligence circles for its biological-weapons plant, much of the rest of the world was immediately skeptical of the Soviet explanation.

It was not until 13 years later, in 1992, that the epidemic was finally explained: workers at the Ekaterinburg weapons plant failed to replace a crucial filter, causing a release of anthrax spores into the outside air. The wind carried the spores to a farming area and infected people and livestock in the area. Had the town been downwind from the plant at the time of the release, the death toll might have been considerably higher.

Anthrax is a bacterium that can enter the body through multiple routes. It is most deadly when it is inhaled. It prompts the production of toxic molecules that destroy essential proteins in the body’s cells, usually in the lymph nodes.

In 2001, anthrax spores were used as a weapon of terror in the United States. Spores were mailed to media organizations and members of the U.S. Senate. Five people died and another 13 were infected, but survived. The investigation into who was responsible is ongoing.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: After criticizing Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire, the famous philosopher/rhetorician Cicero was murdered and had his head and hands displayed on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum. It is rumoured that Fulvia, the wife of the influential Roman politician, Antony, pulled out Cicero’s tongue and stabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin.

When It’s Springtime

Well, it seems that spring time has come to northern California.  It’s been overcast and it rained yesterday, but the temps have stuck right around 65-73 degrees.  Just about perfect, wouldn’t you say?

They say that in springtime a young man’s fancy turns to love.  I guess maybe I’m not young enough any more to know if there’s truth to that or not.  Seems to me that the season of the year didn’t have much to do with it as I recall.  I’d wonder what some of the other male readers would have to say about that.

But thoughts turning to love in the spring aren’t all that happens then.  In Maine, spring ushers in what the locals call “mud season” because the frozen ground thaws out and it’s all muddy!

Spring begins to usher in mosquito season, too.  We don’t have many mosquitoes in northern California, especially in the urban and city areas.

Spring brings tax season.  That alone is enough to prevent a young’s man’s thoughts from turning to love!

Spring brings March Madness and late spring starts the NBA playoffs.  And don’t forget, opening day of baseball season!  Just think: you could go to opening day and drink enough of the frothy stuff that you can’t find your car in the parking lot after the game!  Now doesn’t that sound like fun!   (Hopefully, you’ll have a designated driver if you’re prone to drinking too much of the foamy substance!)

Spring does have advantages, though.  The weather is warming, birds start singing, flower blossoms poke their heads out of the place where they’ve been hiding for months.  I rather like spring.  Next to fall, it’s my favorite season of the year.

I hope you have a wonderful spring, too!  I took this at Duncan’s Mills in northern California just a week ago.

Spring2013ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: John WIlkes Booth’s plan to abduct President Abraham Lincoln was thwarted when Lincoln changed his plans and didn’t appear at the SOldier’s Home near Washington, DC.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: a 15-pound turkey is typically 70% white meat and 30% dark meat.


A Georgia Springtime

This is our first spring in Georgia.  Let me say this about my first impressions: springtime here is beautiful!  The weather has been fantastic the past 2 weeks and temps are forecast for all this week in the mid-70’s, with lows at night around 53-58.  Perfect sleeping weather!  (I wonder if I’ll be eating those words come summer!  I fear that may be the case.)

Right now the trees that are in bloom are spectacular.  There are white, pink, purple, yellow flowers everywhere.  And the azaleas!!!  Reds, pinks, whites, lavender, purples…and they are huge, not small little plants.  They must love the Georgia clay and weather.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

I know every year when the Master’s golf tournament rolls around that they talk about the azaleas in Georgia and how beautiful it is.  We’re learning what they’re talking about.  I have truly been impressed.  The leaves are appearing rapidly on the trees and it is delightful.  I’m hoping that spring lasts all year long!!!

Here is a shot of some azaleas that are growing in our back yard.

Delight on a stem...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1965, the U.S. spacecraft, Ranger 9, crashed into the moon.  It took 5000 pictures on its way down, and those pictures were broadcast for the first time on live TV.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: when one cooks poultry and finds bones with dark splotches, it means that the bird was previously frozen.  When poultry is frozen, the blood in the bone marrow ruptures, and when it is thawed, the ruptured cells leak causing discoloration.  Cooking then turns the red splotches dark brown.

Changing of the Guard

A beautiful spring day in Georgia today!  It as a bit cool this morning, but the wind died down and it was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.  We went in for a free(!) heart scan using some kind of high-tech thingie (I heard it advertised on the radio “a complimentary heart scan” if you sat and listened to a spiel for a while first and given my family history, I figured it would be worth it!), and afterwards we were anxious to explore a bit.  We went to Marietta (more on that another day!), and then came back to Norcross and did some grocery shopping.

I’d notice on numerous occasions an office building about 1/2 mile from us that had a highly reflective outer “skin”.  At different times the color it reflects changes as the angle of the sun moves, the clouds come and go, etc., but there are now trees starting to blossom all over the area, and I had always thought it would be worth shooting for fun.  Since I had my camera with me (duh!), I told Laurel that we’d stop there on our way back from grocery shopping so I could take a few exposures.  Today’s photo is one of them. To me, it speaks of the changing of the guard as the winter is nearly all over and the springtime has come.  A sign of the times…and then, time changes tonight, too!  That’s a sure give-away!

Look at the reflections of the tree trunks, the flowers on the branches, etc.  I kinda liked it.

A changing of the guard as winter gives way to spring...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the government and charged with sedition.  He was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the Hope diamond was acquiared by King Louis XIV in 1668.  It was worn 120 years later by Marie Antoinette and now resides in the Smithsonian.  The beautiful natural blue diamond weighs 44.5 carats.  You won’t find something like that in your box of Cracker Jacks.

In Green Pastures

I grew up for my first few years on a farm.  I still love the farm life – there’s just something earthy about it – the smell of the rich, black soil, the sound of the corn growing on a hot summer night, the smells from the feedlot….WHAT?!?!?!?!  The smells from the feed lot?  I don’t miss that.  But did you know that when a cow burps, it smells rather sweet?  (Don’t ask me why!!!!)

Today I went to a meeting down in Petaluma, and on my way back, I drove along Stony Point Road and stopped to take this picture.  It was the barn that caught my attention, because I’d never really seen on that was square like this before.  It was most unusual!!!  The grass and trees and sunshine reminded me though, of all the things I loved about living and working on a farm.  I used to love sitting alone on a tractor while I was cultivating corn or soy beans…driving up and down the rows, turning over the soil, the white cumulus clouds billowing far overhead.  Great stuff.

When I saw this scene, it nearly made me hop the fence and go out and lay down in the green pastures…(but I didn’t, there may  have been “cow residue” there!)

An April day on a Petaluma farm...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on this day in history, Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.  There is a new movie coming out called The Conspirator (Redford directed it) that supposedly will tell “the truth” about what happened.  I think, based on the previews, it centers around the plight of Mary Surratt, convicted of being a conspirator in the assassination, and who was hanged, though many believe she was innocent of the charges.  She was executed on July 7, 1865, the first woman ever executed by the US Federal Government.  Her body rests in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC, and buried less than 100 yards away is the body of the man (John M. Lloyd) whose testimony was key in convicting her.   And yes, I do plan to see the movie.

TRIVIAL FOR TODAY: Zachary Taylor, a former professional soldier, never voted in an election – not even the election that saw him become the President of the United States.

A Time for Flowers

It is spring.  Hallelujah!  We have had over 48 inches of rain this year in Cloverdale, nearly all of it since November.  It was one of the coldest winters for Cloverdale (I know, Carla, we have nothing to complain about weather-wise compared to those of you who live in Alaska!) that I can remember.  But now, at long last, I believe spring has come.

With spring comes robins, warmer days, nights that aren’t as cold…and flowers.  Every year about this time I once again get excited about taking some photos of flowers.  My favorite flower of all, however, is the tulip.  I love the deep, rich colors, the delicate shapes of the petals, the fine details that often are on the end of the petals.  Tulips are simply beautiful!  Here’s one I shot yesterday out in front of our church building:

My favorite flowers are tulips...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: the ill-fated Apollo 13 took off from Florida on its way to the moon.  There were so many problems with that flight, it is amazing that the crew got back, especially considering the explosion that nearly killed them all and required the aborting of the lunar mission.  It’s a great movie (Apollo 13) if you’ve never seen it.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: there is some evidence that ginger root can be effective in preventing motion sickness when taken in powdered form.

Hillside Barn

Found another barn!  I’ve driven by this barn for nearly 7-1/2 years and for some reason it never captured my attention before!  Has anything like that ever happened to you?  I’d like to think it was because I’m such an attentive driver that I’m not looking around too much at the scenery, especially on a twisty, turn-y road such as we travel on.  But, I actually think I know better than that.  Maybe you’ve had an experience like I’ve had many times over: I would be driving home from work and if I was really tired or thinking about a problem at work, I could drive 20-30 miles home from the office and not remember a thing about the trip home!  Now THAT’S scary!

Anyway, here’s this barn.  Hope you like it…seems like several of you like barns from your emails!!!


Spring in Alexander Valley and a Hillside Barn


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1573, Sir Francis Drake first laid eyes on the Pacific Ocean.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Just 50 years after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, over 6 million books had been published on all sorts of disciplines: law, science, religion, politics, poetry, etc.  Talk about a pent up demand!!!!