spring will arrive early here

sunrise at home, 6:58 am, Groundhog Day
2.2.22 ~ Haley Farm State Park, Groton, Connecticut
cloudy, no shadows

We got our groundhogs out for a nice walk this morning. Meet Basil and little Basil, if you haven’t already. For those of my new readers who don’t know the story, Basil is named for my paternal grandfather, who was born on Groundhog Day, February 2, 1882 in a village near the city of Stanislav, now known as Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine. When Pop arrived in America in 1909, instead of translating his given name, Wasyl, to its equivalent in English, Basil, he started using the name William, by which he was known for the rest of his life.

fun in the snow
hiding in the stone wall
the path not taken
the path taken

After taking the pictures we decided to walk through a meadow, a path we hadn’t had a chance to follow yet. It was lovely covered in snow, still on the ground four days after the blizzard. But today the temperature got up over freezing so it is starting to melt.

Looks like Friday will be a mess with an ice storm. I was grateful for this lovely day.

the meadow was surrounded on all sides by stone walls

O barren bough! O frozen field!
Hopeless ye wait no more.
Life keeps her dearest promises —
The Spring is at the door!

~ Arthur Ketchum
(The Atlantic Monthly, February 1904)

a little snow still clinging to this tree trunk
path between the meadow and Palmer Cove

51 thoughts on “spring will arrive early here”

  1. Fun! 🙂 The park looks beautiful with the golden grass and forest in the snow. Nice stonewall, too.
    Groundhog day seems to be an objective one. Here in New England, I just figure it won’t be spring until 3/21 regardless. ;-/
    I’m not ready for yet another storm. Not sure where all that rain will go when the ground is frozen. Hopefully, there won’t be too much rain all at once. We’re planning on staying put both days at any rate. Stay safe!

    1. Thanks, Eliza, we’re going to do our usual food shopping this morning and then hunker down inside once again for this storm. Not looking forward to the freezing rain and sleet part. I love this state park for photo ops because of its countless stone walls. 🙂
      “When Caleb Haley owned and farmed the land in the late 19th to 20th centuries, he had a very unique hobby which can be seen throughout the park – the building of stone walls. Boulders found on the property were extracted and placed by an ox drawn stone-puller. The walls separated a number of pastures.” ~ ct.gov website

  2. I hadn’t seen Basil, and Little Basil before! How cute!
    I’m glad you and they got out for a walk in the meadow to see if spring was eager to arrive.
    The snow here is still pretty solid on the ground, the drives and walk ways were clear for my walk to the store. On the way back I came upon to Hawks eating their lunch, no photo’s they took off before I could get a chance.
    Spring arrives when it’s ready, always on time with it’s new fresh sprouts and buds…

      1. Oh but you have seen Basil before, Jeff! I don’t blame you for forgetting, though. 🙂 You commented on my post when I first introduced him eleven long years ago.
        I appreciate you, my friend, for reading my blog for so many years.
        That must have been thrilling to see those hawks up so close. Nature has its gifts to delight us in every season, and its share of storms, too, to keep us on our toes…

        1. Barbara,
          I certainly didn’t remember meeting Basil before! 11 years is a longtime as we age. Ha ha!
          Yes, I have new prospects of observing nature and wild life in my area which is an added pleasure.
          Stay dry and warm… Looks like no snow this weekend, light rain now washing the snow away while making mist.

          1. 🙂 When I think of all that has happened in the past 11 years, I cannot believe it’s been that long, but in other ways it has passed in a flash. It sounds like you’re settling into your new digs and finding nature and good food shopping close by. Simple pleasures are the stuff of life. Hope you enjoyed your misty day!

  3. Oh I love your groundhogs. Basil and Little Basil. First time I have seen them. I enjoyed all the scenery. The black rocks beneath the trees was pretty. We too are waiting for ice, freezing rain, snow and power outages here in the South – which we don’t get often in Arkansas. I liked the story of the family name change – quite interesting.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I was giddy with joy walking around in my boots in the deep snow yesterday; the scenery was a rare treat after all the dull drabness this winter has offered so far. I hope you are weathering your wintry mix storm without a power outage. Stay safe and warm! I think of you when I watch “Fixer to Fabulous” on HGTV — it’s filmed in Bentonville, Arkansas. Very pretty country.

      1. About an inch of sleet and snow here. wind is blowing madly and still snowing. No power outages in my area, but thousand farther South with no power.

        1. Thinking of you weathering the storm, Peggy. I hope all is going well and that you still have power. What a rough winter the south is having…

          1. So true. Everything is a sheet of ice here – roads impassable. This is our second day iced in. Still have power. About 11,000 power outages still in South Arkansas.

          2. Ice storms are so treacherous. I’m glad you still have power and are playing it safe by staying inside. I feel for those who don’t have power — I hope the outage won’t last too long.

  4. Love the Basils pictures! And the scenery also. Good work with the winter forecasting and I’ll hold you two to it!

    1. Thank you, Janet! The Basils have never been wrong and are much more accurate than the Farmer’s Almanac! 😉 We’ll have to walk here one of these days.

  5. How adorable! You are citizen scientists– making your own observations with your own groundhogs. 😉

    1. Citizen scientists, I like that! 🙂 I understand our groundhogs are at odds with Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast. 😉

  6. Well, now I’m melting with emotions of love for Basil and little Basil!

    This is such sweetness! One, that you know your family’s history; Two, that your grandpa was born on groundhogs day; Three that you have found your own way of celebrating your heritage playing with your groundhogs with the child who still resides within you, Barbara.

    I’m hoping that the call for an early spring are bringing you good thoughts and warming comfort.

    Also preparing for hard freeze, wintery mix with sleet for the next four nights!

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed the Basils’ outing, TD! My love of family history seeps into every part of my life. It’s an endless obsession. Pop died when I was 8 years old but as a child I was fascinated that he got to be born on a holiday marked on the calendar. I love all the seasons, but spring and fall are definitely favored. The light is best around the equinoxes. Stay safe and warm inside with that storm. It seems to be a monster stretching from New Mexico to Maine — amazing! I’m not looking forward to the freezing rain and sleet…

      1. So far, Yorkie and I are safe staying inside. I set up our bedding for theses next few nights in the living room on an extra large double recliner because it is the warmest room in our cottage. Fewer windows and interior area buffered by the walls of other rooms.

        When I set up the temporary bedding with the down comforter to take an afternoon nap, Yorkie had so much fun playing in it for about 20 minutes, then all of a sudden she was sound asleep! I took a wonderful hour nap, too.

        We are all settled in it again for the night. I prefer to sleep through the freeze and sleet which is arriving in the middle of the night. It’s already 32 and sprinkling rain. Yorkie is already sound asleep as I type this message reply to you. I think dogs must be on a faster track of life then humans.

        We will deal with whatever is to come as it comes… and will look forward to your future interesting and delightful posts, Barbara. So glad to have enjoyed your groundhogs’ playtime in the snow!

        1. Sounds like you know how to prepare for the worst, TD, and I hope things are going well for you and Yorkie down there. May you remain snug as a bug in a rug, as my mother used to say. Naps are always a great way to pass the time. I’m glad you have a companion to keep you company as the wind howls and the precipitation falls. Please keep me posted!

          1. We sleep the entire night very well; warmly snug as two bugs in our luxurious rug, Barbara! I often naturally wake between 4-5 to begin my day. We didn’t wake until 6:30!!!

            After our co-companion passed away two summers ago, Yorkie started insisting on taking a nap at noon. I have learned from her that the mid-day nap really enhances my energy and reduces my physical pain. Everyday noon naps is part of our life routine.

            I did not see myself preparing for the worst, Barbara. I saw myself as paying attention to the weather news people who offered their knowledge of what was most likely to come within a reasonable timeframe to adjust our routine.

            I had the appropriate food delivered on Tuesday when the weather was nice for the delivery people. Wednesday I adjusted by taking care of grooming and home chores. And Thursday, I felt relaxed (anxiety-free) knowing that I actually control very very very little in this experience that we call life!!! My resources are none. It’s just me, Yorkie, The Doodle, this cottage… and whatever is to come. Power or no power, roof leaking or no leaks, pain or temporary relief of pain. We deal with the present moment. Life is in constant motions of change. That’s a little bit about us and my philosophy (not handed down from generations) but learned from what I struggle and endure. I’m not in well health or wealth.

            Reading your blog helps pass the day and lighten some of my pain. So I appreciate you so very much!

            I’m about to listen to the last two CDs of the audiobook. Hard freeze again tonight. It’s winter here.

          2. Present moment awareness is the most helpful way I’ve found to deal with the endless changes that come with living. I’m happy that reading my blog helps! In turn, it makes me feel useful. With my own limitations it is often difficult to feel like I’m contributing much to society. Which audiobook are you listening to? I just finished “The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman. In the past I read “The Dovekeepers” at my daughter’s suggestion. I think I will try listening to some of her other books. I love being read to. 🙂

          3. I tried to answer your question, but it appears that my comment might have been too long or frozen by the snow. Short answer: “All the Light We Cannot See”. You might want to check your spam folder for my long windy answer. Lol

  7. My comments keep being eaten, Barbara, but I am making them anyway. Love Basil and Little Basil and your family history. Awaiting the big storm here, too

    1. Thank you, Timi! Hmmm… I don’t see any comments in my spam queue but I’m glad this one got through. I hope you and Delaney will stay safe and warm through the storm.

    1. Happy you enjoyed the groundhog photos, Donna! It’s still raining here, waiting for the temperature drop and the ice to be a problem… Yes, come spring!

  8. Glad Basil and little Basil got a romp in the snow and delivered the good news of an early spring! I loved the pics of bare trees and stone walls. Stay warm until spring arrives!

    1. Thank you, Anna! The bare trees and stone walls captured my attention, too. I was feeling surrounded by exquisite beauty as we made our way through the deep snow. Wondering how Florida did with the freeze…

    1. They are a most cooperative pair, Ally, willing to strike any pose we ask of them. 🙂 Agreeable companions indeed.

  9. Hello Basil and Little Basil. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story (and walk) with us. I do love the rocks and stones in your eastern neck of the woods. May spring come upon us before too long…

    1. You’re welcome, Kathy. In past years we’ve taken the Basils to the beach to check on their shadows and to a couple of Groundhog Day parades, but I think they enjoyed the chance to play on a stone wall for a change. 😉

  10. What a lovely walk, Barbara! Hello to the Basils. It was sunny here on Ground Hog’s Day so we’ll be seeing six more weeks of winter according to the local groundhog. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Robin! The Basils are still sitting on their chair watching the remaining weeks of winter outside of the sliding glass doors. When spring arrives they will return to their storage box! It will be interesting to see if our spring comes early and yours comes late. 🙂

  11. Aw, what a great way to keep your Pop nearby! Glad you’re getting some thawing — it’s going to be a long time before we clear out of this mess. Stay safe in what we’re sending your way. Hope your groundhogs are correct!!

    1. By the time your storm got here it was all freezing rain with just a dusting of snow at the end. Sigh… We’re getting more freezing rain today — it’s so frustrating to try planning walks between weather events! I enjoyed looking at your storm pictures. 🙂

        1. Me, too! Even though I’m basically a homebody I don’t appreciate being housebound due to the icy weather!

  12. Basil and Little Basil are cute and hopefully they didn’t protest when carried out to pose in the snow. 🙂 Today is your turn for rain and freezing rain Barbara and I hope your power does not/did not go out in this horrid weather. It looks like a nice walk, pristine with the snow – now likely glistening from the ice.

    1. No protests from the Basils — they were delighted and I think it was their best snow-covered Groundhog Day ever. 🙂 It was an extra-special walk and I think the memory of it will linger in this old brain for a good long time. We haven’t lost power yet this winter so all in all, a good winter. Except for the frequent freezing rain…

      1. Well the Basils looked happy for the snow. We are just getting dribs and drabs of flurries the next few days – yesterday was cold but beautiful, but today, the ice melt re-froze and I didn’t walk – maybe tomorrow. The freezing rain has been problematic – walking in snow or plowed roads is not an issue like the ice. Glad you didn’t lose power as you’ve been battered by these storms.

        1. Flurries are magical, the best! Flurries make me happy! 🙂 If it wasn’t for that awful freezing rain and ice wintertime would be enjoyable.

          1. I feel the same Barbara – I can bundle up – no worries, even with flurries, but ice – ugh. We are going to 40 tomorrow. It is fleeting and an inch or so of snow later in the week.

          2. We might get to 50 today and the snow melting will speed up I’m sure. But Sunday we are going into the deep freeze again… Will enjoy getting out while we can.

  13. I’m not sure, but it appears to me that my very long winded reply to your question may have flown into the freezing snow path. Trying again below.

    Barbara, Saturday late afternoon, I finished listening to “All the Light We Cannot See” poetically written by Anthony Doerr and fabulously read by Zach Appleman. I purchased the CD Audiobook along with 5 others years ago. Sometime after a hardship in 2015 that I was dealing with and before Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

    I use to love to stroll through Barnes and Nobles to see what fancied my interest. Sometimes I would make a purchase and sometimes not. I started doing this when I lived in Colorado with my husband of the time who seemed to always know exactly what he wanted to read and kept an outgoing list on file to be called when such book came available. Library’s never attracted me nor inspired my interest.

    Once there in my CO bookstore in my mid 40’s, I was intrigued by a title of one of a few hardcover books of which I purchased. I was 3/4 of the way through the book when I noticed that something I said was mentioned in the book. And yes, it was true. My eyeballs started spinning; OMG 😳; my younger brother of nine years was the author of the book! I had not even look to see who was the author. The book that I just took an interest in such a lovely title and the graphics of the cover.

    This chapter was actually about what he called his obsession to the diggings of his (our) ancestry. I vividly remember him asking me over a phone conversation about my memories of a cemetery that my grandmother and great aunt took me to when I was 12 on a vacation adventure with them. It never occurred to me the I was being interviewed as part of his research of a book. And no, he, nor my mother, ever told me he had written a book! My mother and my brother had disagreements about his ancestry research…

    Anyway, I looked up what you were listening to the last time I asked you about your current audiobook. And this author does sound like she has written many wonderful books! I also love being read to as it rests my eyes, and I have a very graphic visual mind ability, to listen, hear, visualize and then think about it all as the story comes together.

    Yes, I truly love your blog. I think we might be close to the same age; yet, our upbringing and journey have been so different,. And that intrigues me. I love learning about you and learning about what topics you enjoy photographing and writing about.

    Sorry, for the length of this reply to your question. But hopefully it will give you a smile. Today is our first day of spring here! The morning dove family (the triplets I call them) have returned to my oak tree in front. They left during the 4 day freeze and I worried about them. It’s sunny and a delightful 45-70’s day… all week!!

    Hope this one sends spring thoughts to you. 🌞🌷🐥

    1. Ah, I added “All the Light We Cannot See” to my listening list but couldn’t remember who recommended it. It must have been you. My brain gets things so muddled up these days…

      I used to love bookstores, too, and was very upset when our local independent bookstore went out of business. The problem with the library is that they never seemed to have the books I was interested in and I’d have to wait for an inter-library loan to come through, if I could find the book at all. I buy too many books! I keep purging and taking the excess to a huge used bookstore near here, The Book Barn. When our granddaughter comes to visit we let her use our credits there to shop for books.

      That’s amazing that you found yourself quoted in your brother’s book without realizing he was the author at first! Very strange that he never told you he had written a book. Although I have learned from my own research that most families have secrets. I still regret telling my grandfather about the scandal I uncovered involving his grandparents. Some things, I suspect, are better left buried in the past.

      Like you, when I listen to a book I can picture the story so much better. I always had trouble with reading comprehension, all through my school years, but I’m discovering I seem to do better hearing words than reading them.

      You have definitely made me smile this morning. I hope to get out for a walk, it’s been 6 days since the last one, too long! I adore mourning doves. They seem to bring messages from my mother. I’m glad yours returned and that you can enjoy their company again. 😊 🌼 ☀️

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