Dec 18, 2012

Waiting for Winter

Our autumns seem to be getting milder. I avoid saying Global Warming, but as a lifelong resident of the Mid-Atlantic, I do sense more pleasant Novembers and even Decembers than in my growing up years. We continue to enjoy long walks without being bundled to our noses. My husband still occasionally runs over the grass with the mower! 
   Of course one of the downsides are the lingering insects that trouble our lives. Ticks are almost a year-round issue now a days. To treat our pets, Frontline and Revolution are  line-items in our family budget. And those pesky stink bugs have become like unwelcome relatives, creeping on our walls, hiding in curtains, sunning on windows, in general a part of our daily lives. I have discovered though that I can pick them up without being sprayed by grabbing them by their antennas. Then I take pleasure in tossing them into the fireplace. I'm a nature lover. Really I am. But this subspecies are invasive and causing all kinds of problems, particularly for our apple growers. And they have one of the simplest but most effective defenses I've ever encountered. You can't squash them, flick them, or even gently scoop them. They will spray your hands with a stench that will persist through several washings. And finding cups to catch them in isn't always  convenient. But if you grab them by the front, like a bull by the horns, or a snake by the throat, they are powerless to anoint you!!  Their pollutants just squirt uselessly into thin air. Haha!
   I'll save my thoughts on ticks for another post.  I'm getting too riled up!

  With inspiration from the Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge, Mei and I took a few minutes (indoors; don't tell Barb!) and just gazed out the window as well as challenged our memories to list the changes that were taking place, mild temps notwithstanding!
We played a spontaneous game of turn-taking to build our list. Mei will be green; I will be pink:
"Geese Honking"
"Geese flocking on the pond"
"Our tall [ornamental] grasses have turned yellowish."
"Our lawn has, too!"
"No leaves on the trees."
"Colder" (well, it IS compared to a couple of months ago!)
"[Horseback] Riding in the indoor arena"
"More geocaching" (the nasty, thorny weeds are dying back)
"Horses huddling, wearing blankets, furring out--or becoming "furballs" as she preferred to call it, feeling friskier"
   You can tell where her interests are....
   The exercise of paying attention to the changing seasons keeps us from complacently going through our day unaware of the hand of God and the world He holds in it. Thanks for the nudge, Barb!
  You can get your own nudges from Barb by downloading her latest newsletter. The December edition is all about weather! Subscribe to Handbook of Nature Study and get it for my favorite price: free! Then check out others participating in the Outdoor Hour Challenge blog carnival happening at the end of the month.
    In the meantime, we'll still be waiting for winter!





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