How nice it is to have such a big and showy blossom to brighten up the winter pages of this gardening blog. The amaryllis was even more spectacular in this morning sunshine. Since it has been so snowy and cold, I think you’ll happily indulge me sharing more than just one shot of it. By evening the second blossom had fully opened, but I’ll wait ’til morning to get a few more shots of that.
Having posted so recently, I don’t necessarily have lots to say. But I do have a few photos I haven’t shared with you yet and a few miscellaneous things to tell you about.
Last summer I discovered a great host of wonderful blogs and bloggers out here in the Internet. One of them, Large Tony, was a particularly bittersweet discovery. Tony’s posts were a joy to read: smart, funny, sensitive, dirty, honest, sexy. Lots of other adjectives, too. He mostly made me smile, and often laugh right out loud (but never LOL) but every now and then brought a tear to my eye with stories of life with his Granny, or his courtship with the Attorney.
The bittersweet part came in realizing that he had already made the decision to stop blogging at summer’s end as his fourth year came to a close. As August turned to September, Tony bid us all, and the internet, a fond adieu.
Or so it seemed. This week, however, I happened to click on the old link to Tony’s blog, in hopes of some update or perhaps news of a book deal or something. And there it was, the announcement of a whole new blog for this next chapter in Tony’s life, called West of Mayberry. It’s nice to have Tony’s voice around again…and I wanted to make sure you all knew.
Surf on over and check him out, won’t you?
In other news, my friend Heather recently reminded me that the impending start of February doesn’t mean only more snow and cold.
The turning of the calendar page will bring us that much closer to the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count, in which I do hope to participate this year.
The GBBC is a joint project sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audobon. For four days, February 13 – 16, we are all invited to do some bird watching. You can do it for just 15 minutes, or you can count as many birds as you can during the whole period, filling out an online survey report for each session/location.
This is an important effort, as the tallied results will provide valuable information about changes in migration patterns, the impact of winter weather and diseases on local bird populations and the different human landscapes which attract different species of birds, and plenty of other things, too. If you have the time and inclination, you should try to participate.
You can find all the information you need at the Great Backyard Bird Count website.
Here’s an interesting sidebar to the harsh winter conditions of our discontent. In the last week, two different ivory gulls have been sighted in the Cape Cod area.
Ivory gulls, which are the similarly-fated neighbors of polar bears, are generally only found in and on the pack ice of the Arctic Circle, so seeing one here is highly unusual and, as you might guess, local birders are all a-twitter. Heh.
I shall definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for them on subsequent winter beach visits. This time of year, winter storms often blow birds from other areas off course and I did hear that a number of dovekies (they look like tiny penguins, something I discovered a few years back when one memorably appeared outside work during the Christmas party we were hosting…) were found recently in the Provincetown area.
On a winter’s day around here, you never know quite what you’ll get.
NOTE: I had intended that the original post would end there…but then I had some troubles with my internet connection (it seems my cable modem may be dying a slow death…oh, yay…) and my time online last evening was brought to a premature and frustrating close. Grrr.
Still, I’m back now and I was at least happy – after restoring service this morning – to discover that the whole post draft had not been lost. And as it turns out, now I have a new photo of the amaryllis from this morning, with TWO blooms. Beauty, eh?