Wednesday, February 17, 2010

She's got the snow-covered herbie blues...

There is barely a wisp of color outside. The occasional streak of red as a cardinal perches forlornly on the nearby fir tree is shocking in contrast to the varying shades of gray. Last year at this time I was peeking under leaves and walking along the creek, thrilled with the occasional patch of green from chickweed or garlic mustard, thinking ahead to the jewel-toned woodland wildflowers that would be like a siren call into the woods in another month or so.
All of that is so deeply covered with snow that the only hint of spring I've seen lately was when I dug a path to the fuel tank, and found some grass under the drifts.

This is frustrating.
Some of the gathering baskets are hanging by the backdoor, ready to go.
My fingers are itching to touch dirt. My heart is aching to see a sign of the spring to come. The seed and plant catalogs that I've gone over with a fine-toothed comb are feeling a bit like mockery, and even the current issue of The Essential Herbal is brimming with early spring hopefulness.
So today, I decided to go for a little nature walk here inside the house.
It is a rare day outside when I don't find something that needs to come back into the house.

I thought I'd share it with you, just in case you're feeling it too.
Inside the front door is a table where little things get dropped. Nuts, feathers, stones, and whatever is in my pockets. Off to the side is a barely visible brass "lucky" frog statue, sitting on Chinese coins. I help him along sometimes with gemstones, feathers, and loose change. I think some dusting is in order.The corner cabinet in the living room is another repository for found natural objects. There is a big cylindrical jar filled with shells and sea glass, a gourd stuffed with lunaria, dried daffodils, and feathers, and some twisted vine that caught my eye one day - among other things.This little curio cabinet is a little harder to see, because the back of it is mirrored. It is filled with sprigs of dried flowers, seed pods, a really beautiful egg-shaped beeswax candle, gemstones, and at the very bottom there is a very old set of metal beads that I found walking along some railroad tracks one day. Where I used to work, the tracks ran along the building, which were very close to what was once the town dump site. My favorite lunchhour activity - especially in the spring when the thawing seemed to rearrange the earth - was to walk along and find old bottles and various other oddities from a long time ago.This basket contains roses that arrived for my birthday. They were beautiful, but their arrival coincided with what was to become our 22 day sojourn of hospitals and hospice, ending with our brother John's passing. Somewhere in there, I snipped them off and put them in the basket to dry so that I could enjoy them later. A little packet of blue squill bulbs that I *should* have planted in the fall got in there somehow, too.Several years ago I visited my friend Sharon Magee's house, and was awed by her collection of old herbal remedy containers. It gave me a new eye for when I visit flea markets and such, and now I love my own tiny collection. It's exciting to find the old packages, and read the labels - things have really changed!
Eventually today, after getting through piles of left-for-later emails and business stuff, I think I'll strain off the fruited brandies and vodkas that were started in the full days of summer, and turn them into cordials. That will help.


PeggyR said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures! We are buried in snow, but this is normal for us. Hopefully Spring is around the corner!

Marnie Plunkett said...

Thank you for a tour of your home Tina! The baskets hanging from the ceiling is a great idea. I'm gonna do that! Right now they sit under my light stand. Also - I adore old apothecary items. Lydia Pinkham's things, snakeroot extract's just soooo neat.

Wall Flower Studio said...

Wonderful photos, Tina. Great tour!
I'm in Ontario, Canada, and we have four + feet of snow right now. It'll likely be around until the beginning of May. Looking at blogs like yours helps this gardener/herbie, get through winter!

Sharon67 said...

May I tell you that it was close to the 60's here in Oregon today? And the daffy's are blooming, the violets are already on their way out and I planted 3 hop plants that my daughter gave me from her yard in Portland when she moved. I was afraid it was too late to get them in the ground but as I planted them I decided it was okay. So just realize that Spring IS on its way to you. Soon. I'll wish it your way. Maybe that will help!

Bridgett said...

I love, love, love the old remedy containers! Awesome.