1356. The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within. ~William C. Bryant

yellow jasmine and
daffodils too have I seen
springtime harbingers

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poppy progeny
grows where seeds fell from dried pods
as summer drew nigh

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tulip foliage
as well as anemones
break ground ‘neath the oak

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new leaves appear on
roses that survived the first
hard, too early freeze

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This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat…” ~Excerpted passage from Isaiah 18:4  ✝

**All but two images taken by Natalie; collages created by Natalie; haikus written by Natalie

1128. One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds. ~Dan Bennett

Gardeners are artists,
 their brushes a tiny seed,
an ever changing picture emerges from their deed.
~Author Unknown

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Watching hands transplanting,
Turning and tamping,
Lifting the young plants with two fingers,
Sifting in a palm-full of fresh loam,–
One swift movement,–
Then plumping in the bunched roots,
A single twist of the thumbs, a tamping and turning,
All in one, quick on the wooden bench,
A shaking down, while the stem stays straight,
Once, twice, and a faint third thump,–
Into the flat-box it goes,
Ready for the long days under the sloped glass:
The sun warming the fine loam,
The young horns winding and unwinding,
Creaking their thin spines,
The underleaves, the smallest buds
Breaking into nakedness,
The blossoms extending
Out into the sweet air,
The whole flower extending outward,
Stretching and reaching.
~Theodore Roethke

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2  ✝

1098. How can I stand on the ground every day and not feel its power? How can I live my life stepping on this stuff and not wonder at it? ~William Bryant Logan

A garden is the mirror of the mind.
It is a place of life, a mystery of green,
moving to the pulse of the year,
and pressing on and pausing the whole
to its own inherent rhythms.
~Henry Beston

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After the autumnal equinox passes sometime in late September the days begin to grow shorter and shorter so that light blesses the soil less and less. Soon with each new cold front that blows in temperatures start dropping more and more from the feverish pitch of their summertime highs. Then as the year’s last child draws near its end, the first freeze comes and the garden starts to wither and unravel. Soon afterwards another freeze arrives, harder than the last, and then another until the stage is set for ice or snow or frost to layer the land. With each onslaught winter’s sting strikes deeper and deeper at the remains of the garden. However, after the winter solstice occurs, the process of “pausing the whole” slowly but surely begins to reverse itself so that day by day there’s a little more sunlight and a little more and a little more until somewhere in all of that movement of the sun and the earth and the stars, the divine mystery and its miracles spark children of the soil into being once more. Faithfully in hidden wombs beneath soil or in bark, embryos have been growing and waiting for the elements to create the right catalytic mixture to push tiny tips upward or outward into the light of day. Following the first emergence of new life, earth’s sacred rhythms, which had been faint as we traversed winter’s veil of grief, become louder again until buds, nurtured by water, warmth, and sunlight, grow large and ripe enough to come into their time of blossoming. So it is that the “pausing” at last comes to an end, and spring’s first comers to press upward, outward and onward burgeoning into flowers and the “mystery of green” that’s a garden. And then in the mirror of my mind I can see clearly the countenance in the Face of all faces because as Robert Brault says, “As a gardener, I’m among those who believe that much of the evidence of God’s existence has been planted.”

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. ~Psalm 85:11  ✝

755. “I’m glad I am alive, to see and feel the full deliciousness of this bright day…” ~William Allingham

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In June, as many as a dozen species
may burst their buds on a single day.
~Aldo Leopold

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By 1890, San Antonio, Texas, was a thriving trade center with population of 38,000.

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In 1891 a group of citizens decided to honor the heroes
of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with a Battle of Flowers.

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The first parade had horse-drawn carriages, bicycles decorated with fresh flowers
and floats carrying children dressed as flowers.

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The Belknap Rifles represented the military.

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The participants pelted each other with blossoms.

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Today it’s the largest parade in Fiesta and is second in size nationally
only to the Tournament of Roses Parade.

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It’s fiesta time again in yard too!

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Whenever I look out the windows, especially this time of year,
I think of these hispanic fiestas which are always so very colorful.

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So I hope you enjoy this frenzy of oranges, reds, pinks,
yellows, blues, whites, and purples.

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I don’t often post two entries in one day, but it’s getting awfully hot here
and some of my pretty blossoms don’t last too long in the heat.

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This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” ~Isaiah 18:4   ✝

696. Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth… ~Bernard Barton

Listen, can you hear it?
Spring’s sweet cantata.
The strains of grass pushing up.
The song of buds swelling on the vine.
The tender timpani of a baby robin’s heart.
Spring!
~Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

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In the glow of the dawn,
Welcome a new day,
Greet the golden sunlight or rain,
Nature in all its subtlety.
Whip of the wind,
Earth unfolds,
Softly falling rain,
Growing plants and buds blossoming.
Visions of the earth, with glories of nature,
Beauty of the daffodils,
Sunshine and rain from a rainbow,
Awe! Nature in full bloom.
~Blanche Black

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. ~Isaiah 35:1-2 ✝

And so spring begins in my small nook of earth with a smattering of roses and a new piece of yard art.  I took this photo early this morning of a portion of the north quadrant of my back yard.

683. Whatever we are waiting for – springtime, peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~Edited line by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields
has power to move you, if the simple things
of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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Spring is teeming. Even in areas where snow still covers the ground, much is happening in the hidden realms at this time of year; tight buds get looser, nutrients begin to nourish roots in the sunny corners of the earth, and the hibernating creatures among us start to awaken. ~Excerpted and edited lines from Gratefulness.org

Out of His (Jesus Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ~John 1:16   ✝

**Image of Pink Ranunculus via Pinterest

673. Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

There be delights that will fetch the day about
from sun to sun and rock the tedious year
as in a delightful dream …for a garden is Arcady
(a region of rural simplicity and contentment)
brought home.  It is man’s bit of gaudy
make-believe – his well-disguised fiction
of an unvexed Paradise – a world where
gayety knows no eclipse…
~Edited lines by John D. Sedding

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Shhhhhhh! Do you hear it? Okay, okay, try again. Listen carefully! Did you hear something this time? Did you? If not, did you see anything different? Surely with the vernal equinox only 4 days away, you’ve heard and seen the come-hither voice of springtime and the early signs of it that daily grow more visible and audible. In my yard and elsewhere birds are aflutter and atwitter as they bring nesting materials to birdhouses; colorful crocuses, upright and abloom, chant lovely, little ditties; green perennials whisper quiet anthems as they rise from wombs beneath the soil in search of light and warmth; iris spears that were cut back in the fall now stand tall again offering up gladsome refrains; busy, buzzing bees scurry about in search of nectar and pollen; swelling buds on cherry trees whisper pretty, pink ballads; and on and on go the sights and sounds that make the human heart leap as the faithful promise of Spring materializes once more.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Psalm 6:11   ✝