They are the first sign of color after the thaw. A common flower that you can find all over Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Canada and in many parts of our own country every springtime. But even the common can be precious, and so it is to us. They are very delicate; their glory fades quickly but other colors follow close by.
We call them rosehips. They are wild roses that grow profusely on the Flats. I have written about them numerous times, but I did not realize how beautiful they are in bloom; I have seen their fruit in the fall and have never had the good fortune to witness the summertime bloom. Our yard is a garden!
Now I have made a connection, you see. The Beauty and the Beast: our rosehips and the nasty Alaskan mosquitoes. These pests have irritated us all month. But now, whether by coincidence or not, they have inexorably swarmed our community in perfect harmony to the exquisite glory of the rosehip. They literally chased me back into the house!
They say you can make tea and jelly out of the summer blooms and later out of the fruit. We have other flowers in our yard, too, although I do not know their name. Our garden is wild. I like that best of all.
Here I am in pleasant San Antonio!
The Alamo. Heroism. Patriotism. Overwhelming odds. Fight to the death to defend your freedom. You cannot use your cell phone in the Alamo, nor your camera. And you must not wear your hat, in honor of the valiant who died within those walls.
The live oak is a grand old tree. Children can easily climb it and walk its limbs.
Snow began falling early Monday morning, lightly at first then heavily as the day wore on – all day long. No problem, we are all snow lovers here! It was our first day of Carnival, our week of outdoor fun and games. School closes at 1:30 pm all this week and everybody, young and old, gathers at 2:00 pm for an afternoon of dog races, sleeping bag races, bubble gum chew-offs, foot races of all sorts and for all ages, dances, sled pushes and more. There are monetary prizes for nearly every winner regardless of age. This is something I don’t understand; I am not comfortable with money becoming the object of everything, even our fun. But even as I write this, I know that emotional release is the real object, not money. Now we put to rest Winter’s icy breath and greet the warm arms of Spring which lies only weeks away. It is time to play!
Last year’s rosehips laughed off the feeble cold to cheer us on the first day of Spring. The ancient Egyptians, Druids and Mayans commemorated entire edifices to the vernal equinox, one of only two days a year when daylight and darkness equally share the clock. This year the first day of Spring fell on March 20 and old Dave didn’t build an edifice; in fact, he gave the day not one little thought. But old Dave had already noticed the signs of Spring. They were with us early and already cheering the heart after the long winter. The sun rides higher in the sky now and you can feel the daylight lingering on. The old snow has become granular, the snowpack slippery. Winds now frequent the Flats and sculpt the remaining snow. Early birds like the redpoll and the gray jay have returned. Spruce branches are tipped with new blue green growth. And the ravens, who quietly winter over with us, have begun to chat again amongst the spruce. Spring is here and our world is awakening.
Snow-go tracks disappear across the frozen Yukon. When I walk out there I stay on the tracks for safety. We have had quite a lot of wind lately, and you can see how it has sculpted the top of the snowpack and ice. Carnival begins next week and the icy will become the venue for dog races and games. Late April, early May will bring to an end Winter’s icy grip and grant release to our river.