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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

The NWS just extended a tornado warning to our county again.  There are six tornado-producing storms in the state right now.   Just heard on the news that a trained spotter has confirmed that the storm headed our way has produced a tornado on the ground.

Update:  I headed for the neighbors’ storm shelter but am back home now and able to watch the news again and check internet.  I’m hoping we’re in the clear for the night but will stay up until I know for sure.

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We just got into the house from a rare dinner out, and I heard my cell phone beeping that I had a message.  It was my neighbor, calling to invite us over to their storm shelter.  Arkansas is under several tornado warnings at once tonight, and the storms are tracking into the Missouri Ozarks.  I’m keeping our neighbors near and far in my heart.  For now, it looks like the storm is passing north of us, so we’ll stay put, but I am so thankful that we have near neighbors who are kind enough to offer us a safe place should we need it.

Update:  Tragic news is pouring in from nearby Van Buren County and the community of Scotland, where one death and numerous injuries are being reported.  This community is near the track of the huge storms that came through in February and May of 2008.  Readers, please keep our neighbors near and far in your hearts tonight, and if you have anything to give to aid operations, please do give.  (Updated 5-1 with better news, fewer fatalities.)

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Researchers learned years ago that one of the strongest triggers for memory is odor.  I remember once walking along in Boston and catching a whiff from a shop of something that smelled like my paternal grandmother’s house.  For the seconds I smelled the scent, I was transported to her place.

Seasonal fragrances are like that too.  I think spring odors are the most provocative for me, coming out of a seemingly scentless winter.  Here in the Ozarks we went from a cold, wet winter to the musty smell of damp leaves.  Then came the daffodils and jonquils, followed by apple blossoms and jasmine and then a warmer scent of pine straw mingled with azaleas.  Soon I know the heady fragrance of honeysuckle will follow.

I’ll never forget flying into Nashville and then driving home my first June after going north to college many, many years ago.  As we drove to my hometown, the scent of honeysuckle vines in bloom was almost overwhelming, even permeating the car.  It triggered memories of barefoot days of seemingly endless summers playing with friends through neighborhoods, woods, and fields.  It reminded me of dust between my toes.  The honeysuckle scent recalled puppy love and young summer romance . . . .

What memories do spring scents trigger for you?

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.

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A few days after I got out of the hospital some dear friends came to visit.  They gave my husband and me a break from each other and a chance to hang out with, shall we say, our own kind.  The wife of the couple walked around the yard with me, picking the spring flowers that I could not bend over to pick.  Our country yard is full of grape hyacinth, daffodils, buttercups, blue-eyed grass, and lots of other flowers I can’t identify, some wildflowers and some planted here decades ago and now naturalized. I’m reminded of Elton John’s lyrics:  “Lived here, he must have been a gardener who care a lot . . . .”  

My friend took some blooms home, and I added some forsythia and quince blossoms from branches that needed to be pruned to make bouquets.  As the flowers fade from both yard and home here, I want to share them with you.

quince with daffodils

daffodils

grape hyacinths actually smell a little like NuGrape

(Yes, Linda of Flourish Now, that’s an egg cup as a vase–told you I like using them that way!)

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Today I headed out of town in the midst of warm, humid weather.  I could tell as soon as I stepped outside that the skies were readying for storms.  At this time of year, storms are both blessing and trouble.  Here I am, half way across the country, and I see a big spot of red on the radar over my home county.  I hope that the warm air heats the ground and the rain soaks into the seeds that I planted the past two weekends (peas and lots of lettuces and other greens and turnips and so forth) but that the storms prove to be less threatening in person than they looked from afar.

(Signing off not from the Ozarks but from Phoenix.)

Update:  A tornado did in fact destroy a home in Pearson, Arkansas, last night.  It was the red and hot pink I saw when I checked the radar from Phoenix.  My thoughts are with that family tonight.  Word is that Arkansas may be on its way to be tornado alley again, thanks to a combination of moist air and a shift in the jet stream.

Update 2:

Apparently one man died last night and three family members were seriously injured in Pearson.  My heart remains with that family and the families in Center Hill and Benton who lost their homes last night.

(Signing off from Portland, Oregon)

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About twenty years ago, a bevy of swans made their winter home on the edge of the Arkansas Ozarks, after a storm blew them off course.  They are impressive

Matisse Swans, copyright Roger Head

as they gather on a local pond every winter, beautiful in their elegance and powerful as they trumpet.  Today, however, I admit that I was happy to see a pair on the wing, aimed north.  Swans do fly in a V formation (called “wings”), but they also mate for life, and I assume the pair I saw this morning was on

Swan Pair, copyright Roger Head

a practice run and therefore without the rest of their wing.  (My husband said it was date morning and that they just needed some couple time.) Perhaps spring is coming after all.  Safe travels, swans, and I hope we’ll see you next year.

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.  Short excerpts with full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader are welcome.  Photographs copyright Roger Head.  Please contact Ozarkhomesteader for permission to reproduce photographs.

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