Monday, April 11, 2022

Capricious spring weather

Magnolia tree

 I almost didn't go for a walk yesterday, because it was Sunday and sometimes I give myself some time off. However, it was mostly sunny and gorgeous (even if cold) that I decided I had to take at least a short one. Of course as soon as I set out, dark clouds threatening rain decided to join me. It was indeed cold, windy and spit some hail at me, but mostly it was just fine. I was dressed for it. This picture captures the mood.

At this time of year, we are treated to numerous flowering plants and trees, and I always enjoy seeing these magnolia trees. There are many varieties of this plant, but I don't remember seeing such gorgeous flowers on trees in other parts of the country. Wikipedia gave me some fascinating information about them:

Magnolia is an ancient genus. Appearing before bees evolved, the flowers are theorized to have evolved to encourage pollination by beetles. To avoid damage from pollinating beetles, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are extremely tough. Fossilized specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and fossils of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae date to 95 million years ago.

I wasn't sure whether these are really magnolias, since I was so accustomed to seeing white flowers in other places I've lived. It turns out they come in white, pink, purple, green and yellow varieties. And they've been around for a long time, according to Wikipedia. Long before humans arrived to appreciate them.

 After such a nice day on Thursday, I wasn't mentally prepared for a return to almost-freezing weather in just a couple of days. And we will get down to temperatures close to freezing for most of the upcoming week. But with the strong springtime sunlight, it won't last long. I'll finally get around to planting my front porch flowers and getting some starts in the garden. I've been so lazy about it but I refuse to let myself feel too awfully guilty. Sometimes you just gotta cut yourself some slack.

I have been mostly staying away from the news, since it doesn't seem to help my spirits to see the carnage going on in Ukraine, and the politics in our polarized country also don't provide me with any sense of serenity. Fortunately, I'm still meditating every morning and that, more than anything, has helped me cope with current events. 

And I got my fourth Covid shot last week. Other than a sore arm, I didn't notice any real symptoms. I sort of hoped for a teeny bit so I'd be sure that it "took." Anyway, I'll assume it did. Both of us are now double-boosted, and we wear our masks in indoor settings when it's crowded. Although most people really dislike wearing them, I always feel more secure when I'm masked. It will take me awhile to be willing to drop them entirely. After all, what's the problem with skipping colds and flu, which have left me completely alone since I started wearing one?



  1. I'm worried that our magnolia was overly-severely pruned by our resident rabbit!

  2. That magnolia is magnificent. You can get an early start on your plants there. How wonderful!

  3. Our spring weather this weak has been nasty...high winds and highs just below 0. I wear a mask but I find they still fog up on me.

  4. That is a very pretty photo! We will get our second booster soon, I have been waiting a bit to get over my hand surgery. Such a little surgery sure made me feel rotten...or maybe it is the snow:)

  5. I totally believe in giving myself slack. Life is more fun that way.

  6. I adore magnolias and how I wish I could grow them successfully. I am glad that you got out. I am also staying away from the news. I can change nothing, and it hurts my head and my heart.

  7. We are having a very fine springy day, bu as I look ahead, it will be the best day in the next two weeks. Unfortunately.

  8. I had no idea magnolias were ancient! That's cool to know. They are so beautiful in their many forms.
    You make a good case for wearing masks. I hate wearing them, what with glasses and hearing aids. At least the K-N95 masks don't fog up my glasses much.

  9. Beautiful tree! Cold, windy and rainy here.
    I've been on a minimum of news, too.

  10. Dear DJan, I'm with you with regard to wearing masks. Others are vulnerable and I don't want to give them anything; I'm vulnerable, too, and I don't want to get anything.

    Thanks for the info on magnolias. Fascinating. Here in Missouri, we see pink ones. There is a tree in a nearby town that is glorious each year. Truly takes away my breath until I remember to breathe again! Peace.

  11. Good that you didn't get any bad side effects from your 4th shot. Beautiful flowers!

  12. I loved seeing your magnolias. They are such a welcome sight in spring. I’m glad you didn’t get a strong reaction to your 4th shot. I got the Moderna 2nd booster and was wiped out for a day and a half. Art was perfectly fine. Mom got the Pfizer and aside from a sore arm experienced no side effects.


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