Before it freezes again...

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Fox Squirrel
Much to the surprise of friends and family alike, we cheerfully escorted Emily to the airport last week and with goodbye hugs and kisses let her fly off to Washington DC - for four days and nights without us.
Sure, I stepped up my prayers a notch or two or three, but goodness...we had no doubts that she would make wise decisions. Remember Rwanda? Because of a scheduling oversight, all the other ladies on the team flew out of Rwanda together a day before Emily, leaving her behind with a handful of men on the team for one night in Rwanda and another night in Amsterdam by herself. The frequency and intensity of my prayers were raised multiple notches that trip, but if Emily could handle that scenario with maturity and grace, then surely she could fly just up the east coast without us. And so she did.
Caloosa Winter Retreat Best
Rosemary Barnes, granddaughter of Dr. R.A. Torrey, recently spoke on "hope" at a winter retreat for the ladies in our community. Women from several local churches led praise and worship, sang, danced and conducted workshops on a variety of topics. The church that planned and sponsored the event offered hospitality par excellence - from the floral decorations to the fabulous quiche brunch. It was a joy to be in fellowship and to worship in unity with many Christian women from our little community that I have come to know and love over the twenty years we have been living on Pollywog Creek.
The painted buntings have been spectacular this winter - coming to the feeders 3 males and 3 greens at a time.
Gavin spent the afternoon with me yesterday. We watched the buntings and cardinals and bluejays from the porch, and glanced through the bird books I keep within his easy reach. Gavin loves to help me fill the feeders and appears just as interested in the birds as I am.
Three year old boys can be so cute. At dinner, Kristin asked him what he was doing when he kept turning around in his chair. "I'm looking for something. I can't see them," he answered. "See what, Gavin?" "The birds. I can't see the birds." Gavin is likely to always associate me with birds (remember this) - a legacy I never could have imagined even five years ago. I suppose there are worse things. I'm blaming the painted buntings.
We had a squirrel crisis yesterday while Gavin was here. One of the gray squirrels, who prefers to eat from the bird feeders rather than the very same feed plus peanuts that I leave out in a dish for all the squirrels, managed to get his back leg caught in heavy wire while sliding down to one of the feeders. He twisted and turned and gnawed at the wire in an attempt to free himself, but nothing seemed to work. There didn't appear to be any way that we could safely help him either. Emily's thoughts were "if he got his leg in, then he can get his leg out". At first, he growled at Emily when she approached for a closer look, but then he hung from the wire and whimpered. About the time I thought we might have to put the poor thing out of his misery, he managed to break free.
Maybe now he'll eat out of the dish. Some of us just seem to learn things the hard way.
Tuesdays with Gavin
When Louis asked this morning what my plans were for the day, I told him I intended to begin spring cleaning. He wisely advised me to wait a couple of weeks. The pine pollen is the thickest we've seen in years, and efforts to remove the layer of yellow dust from every horizontal surface is a never ending task.
"There's a little yellow flower growing between the pine trees by the shed." Louis informed me a little later. Having abandoned any thoughts of spring cleaning, I headed outside with the camera, in search of the little yellow flower.
Yellow flowers, white flowers, pink flowers, purple flowers, two black snakes...and dozens of photographs later I was grateful for the gritty pollen dust that put spring cleaning on hold and the little yellow flower that inspired me to explore...before it freezes again.