Thursday, March 20, 2008

The First Day of Spring and Full Moon Rising

After days of torrential rains, the blue sky and crisp fresh air that we woke to this morning lifted our spirits to no end.

Yet we remain mindful of the devastating floods in the counties to the east and south of us. Our heartfelt prayers go out to the hundreds of families who have lost so much, some their entire homes washed away. We have been so blessed and have made a commitment to help them any way we can. There are homes that sit nowhere near a river or lake, yet have several inches to two feet of water in the basements. The ground is so saturated that the heavy, steady rains flow down hills by way of the lowest point.

We live on the crest of a ridge so have not experienced flooding, but if Noah and the Ark pull into the driveway we'll be climbing aboard! Our grounds are so soaked that it is like walking on wet sponges. Excavation crews in the nearby ravine have been removing tree stumps. Because of the moisture surrounding the roots, the stumps come out like boots slurping out of deep mud.

The first day of spring does not guarantee that the cold weather and snow are done for the season. But the buds on the trees would have you think otherwise. Our little tree in the front yard has a scientific name, I'm sure, but 'round here they are just called "reds". By the pictures below it is pretty obvious why they are called "reds" and the leaves will be a bright burgundy. These are the first colors of spring.

I was lucky to find a couple of ladybugs on the branches. A sure sign of spring, this little guy was skittering from one cluster of buds to another on the branch. As exciting as it was to see these little critters tonight, when cold weather comes again next winter they will be swarming around the windows by the hundreds to get warm. The saddest thing I saw after we moved here was hundreds of ladybugs on the patio and in the window wells. But for now this little guy has his job to keep the aphids away.

To add to the beauty of the day, a full moon was on the rise as the sun was setting. In a few hours this moon will be a spotlight shining through our bedroom window. I love to keep the blinds open when the moon is bright. During the quiet of the night I look at the moon and think of all my family and friends around the country looking at the same moon. It helps me feel connected with those I miss so much. Then I say a prayer for all and go back to sleep.

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