We have returned from a stormy weekend in Shasta County. Tempestuous March madness came in the form of marble sized hail and toddler tantrums. Sometimes we laughed and danced in celebration and much of the time was spent developing creative ways to plug one’s ears while driving. It’s a wonder her sopranic screeching didn’t break any windows. Sunday night we watched a movie, and I wanted to adjust the volume before I realized that the wooshing noise and mosquito serenade was actually the pressure and tinnitus in my own head.
Despite new and trying moments of motherhood, we were heartened by little bursts of Spring wherever we went. The first of the wildflowers were up, and like the trailer for an epic movie, the tease leaves me with high desire to see more. Meanwhile, we are back in the city and ready to get our Spring on. A friend is coming over for waffles and egg dyeing this morning, and I’m hoping to make this. Here are some visions of my particular brand of Nor Cal life force to wet your vernal whistle, and a very happy Equinox to you indeed.
We jumped off the road and straight into the Turtle Bay museum.
The museum displays my favorite kind of mundane magic. The understated beauty of Shasta Co. is brought into focus with a literal window into the Sacramento River watershed and education on the natural history of the area. I applaud them for making the Redding community aware of the indigenous presence that is still struggling to be recognized by the federal government.
Inali the Grey Fox is one of the many rescued animals that reside at Turtle Bay.
We have been to the museum many times before, but were drawn in by what seemed to be a sure fire exhibit for Fern.
It was interesting for adults, but surprisingly fell flat for kids.
Manzanita blossoms were in abundance and full of sweet edible nectar.
The young leaves of Poison Oak are the most potent. The oils leap off at the slightest brush.
Hound’s Tongue. I feel drawn to take the flower essence.
Poppy gnome hats.
Sometimes I feel like a cliche of myself. My treasure was three books…Eat the Weeds, a vintage redwood forest wildflower ID book and a pocket guide for identifying berries.
The day before we scored these moon/snow boots for Fern while thrifting.
One of my favorites. Johnny Tuck (sometimes called Butter and Eggs).
Someone was stoked for splashing at the creek, despite the cold.
Redbud was in glory everywhere. More about this plant on Friday.
I have yet to ID this tiny beauty.
We returned home just in time for the heavens to open.
Marble sized. I wasn’t kidding. They bounced enthusiastically when hitting the ground.
Anything to stave off another melt down. YOU try getting her to wear shoes.
The horse in the front pasture was very Eeyore-ish about the whole thing.
The birds, however, were full of beans after the hail stopped. If I were to translate it might be something like:
Sakes alive Myrtle, have you ever seen anything like it? I think I lost a tail feather. Jenny, how are your eggs, any cracks? Wait, those aren’t eggs…that’s ice! Get off the nest you ninny. Has anyone seen my mate?
After the thaw, everyone went on about the business of being happy to be alive.
At night, recuperation was the focus. I stepped out under the clouds and stars our first night, and was greeted with a sound that I ache to hear. From the pond on the hill, and the creek down the lane, came the orchestration of Spring Peepers. Emerging from their winter shelter of dark hiding, they sing of cleansing rains and jubilation. Tender and vulnerable, they go forth seeking companionship and a season of new life. I am reminded to do the same.