Chilly Spring

Despite our yearning in Minnesota for a consistent warmer spring, Mother Nature has other ideas. Spring in Minnesota is fleeting. Between snow and warm days, the weather just can’t make up its mind. Last week had me making soups and comfort food as I dug out warmer clothes yet again. I make a terrific Butternut Squash soup. I can’t claim the recipe, I got it from a cooking class I took several years ago. It involved baking butternut squash in a pan with bacon strips across the sectioned squash, butter, and salt and pepper. I pulled the hot pan from the oven and after cooling it a little, I began to scoop the pulp out of the skin. I loved the bright orange and brown baked colors, so just had to sketch it!

Yes, once the soup did come together later that evening, it was divine!!

I also recently went to Lake Elmo Preserve. This is a beautiful natural area near my home. I love to go there, drive in, and walk some of the trails. Two weeks ago I marveled at bald eagles and swans on the lake and peeper frogs kept up a constant chorus. I love walking the trails, listening to the birds, and admiring the buds that are finally opening. A few days ago, it was sunny, and I set up a stool near a pond to capture a duck house. A full-sized dragon fly landed by my stool. It was green and sat a few minutes on the grass before flitting away. Here was my view:

I love capturing the fuzz on cattails. I also walked a few feet away near the rim of the rushes, soaking my shoes in the process. I sketched the cattails, sticks of dried leaves, bent over from snow. The wind blew through the pines near me, I love that sound. I looked on the ground and spied some pine cones, so decided to add that to my sketch as well.

Sometimes I am in a hurry for spring. Got out the grill, chairs, shopped for new flower pots. But a part of me enjoys the chilly spring stage. There’s satisfaction seeing fresh green shoots popping up out of the ground and buds that are barely open. What Nature shows me is hope and promise. Good things are already here, if I just sit quietly and look. And in this day and age, we all surely need that!

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