Sunday, March 4, 2018

When Everything Turns Green

Copyright (c) 2018 Renee Alter
On March 1, everything began to turn GREEN. Overnight! The birds began celebrating with song and gathering nest material even though Spring doesn't officially arrive until March 20. I just hope this doesn't mean Summer will kick in early, too!

According to the 2018 Groundhog prediction:

"Bad news for warm-weather fans: beloved groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow, therefore predicting that winter will stick around for another six weeks in 2018." (Click on the underlined words to read more.)

The trees are bursting with new buds that will sprout into leaves. A squirrel in the tree outside my window was entertaining me with its acrobatic feats while feasting on these buds. (BTW, this is the same tree that has the broken branch I wrote about in a previous post.)

Here's a photo of a large bush further down in the creek bed that is blooming WHITE.

Copyright (c) 2018 Renee Alter
Which do I believe? The Groundhog prediction or what is blooming in my backyard?

I always marvel at how Earth knows when it is time to reawaken after a long winter of hibernation... just like bears do... and sometimes just like we do.

If you have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) you may have been hibernating all winter. Lack of sunshine means low Vitamin D which can lead to depression, and people who are depressed tend to sleep a lot more than a person who isn't. I hibernate just because I don't like it when it is cold... and everything looks so dull. I've also hibernated during extended times of illness, depression, and fibromyalgia flares.

In years past, I didn't realize it wasn't forever and often felt hopeless about never feeling better. With the help of untwisting twisted thinking (cognitive distortions), I realized my "conclusions" were false and with the "Law of Attraction" kept bringing more illness and pain vs. solutions. Then all kinds of solutions presented themselves in all kinds of surprising ways.

The downside of living in Central Texas is that it rarely snows. Now, I don't REALLY miss the snow... the shoveling... the effort it took to de-ice and clean off my car before I could go anywhere (like work or driving my son to school)... the danger of falling while on foot and skidding into things when driving... or someone else skidding into me... but I do have some pleasant memories of building snow forts in our driveway. My brother even built a huge snow dragon one year.

All winter (and I live right by a creek) everything looks so incredibly DULL. Everything looks very DEAD. The only nature I was interested in looking at was community cats, deer, and squirrels, that often provided a boost to all the dullness. I wonder if they even notice how dull it gets. (I have photos on my Renee's Photography Facebook page.)

Then you wake up one morning and it had all sprung to life GREEN. Hill Country becomes a place you can't get enough of. Soon all the wildflowers will be blooming everywhere and tourists will fill the area so they can take pictures of their loved ones in fields of these wild-flowers.

Here's the link to Texas Highways Wildflower Drives: Texas Highways

As for the broken branch, it will soon be covered over with leaves but a plastic bag that blew in the air got caught at the end of a branch and will linger. I wonder if I can find a really long pole to remove it with. Plastic is an entirely different matter and I cringe at how much I am still contributing to the landfills while some of it is ending up in the creek... in the lakes, rivers, and oceans... on the side of the roads... in the parks... and in the trees.

On the plus side, I want to give a shout out to a new Toastmaster member, Michelle Pace, who started her own business called The Green Plant, a residential and commercial composting service in Harker Heights. Hopefully, the concept will catch on and she'll be able to expand into more cities and rural communities.

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