My Town Monday: Put Another Log on the Fire…

DSCN8863Some days, a person might think Spring is here! On those days, a person can forget that just because there are 4 inches of green growth poking up from the winter-dormant bulbs, it doesn’t mean we won’t be getting any more snow.

If English isn’t your first language, I apologize for that double-negative sentence.
Please pardon me while I put another log on the fire and hum the country song with that title, and then I’ll get on with the rest of this stream-of-consciousness post. 

Yesterday, I drove to the grocery store at 5pm with the sun shining in my eyes and snowflakes falling on my windshield. It was a little bit odd, but hey — it’s March! Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, I was on a mission to purchase Guinness and heavy cream in order to make a Chocolate Guinness Cake which was fabulous: dark chocolate and dark beer making a black batter (but only after the stout cooked with butter, a smell I describe as heavenly), blended with eggs and sour cream to create a rich, moist, dark cake with a touch of tang from the beer. The icing on top — made of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and heavy whipping cream —  almost looked like the head on a glass of Guinness (it needed a touch of brown, I think… Guinness? coffee?) and was the perfect complement in flavors. While it was a kid-friendly cake (the alcohol is simmered on the stove before baking = doubly safe), I know my kids found it to be not sweet enough; they prefer Triple Chocolate Cake.

However, Chocolate Guinness Cake has nothing to do with the weather; I merely wanted to share the experience. (Click the link for recipe and photo.) You can thank KCINNOTX for leading me to the recipe. I’m definitely grateful!

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This morning, the wind chimes have been busy but the sun was shining and I went for a walk after breakfast. Bundled up in a winter coat and gloves, I noted that the wind felt neither warm nor cold.

Spring is coming 015 Ponderosa Pine grove

It was peaceful to step into a small grove of pines where the wind was stilled, the soft ground was thickly padded with long pine needles. and the birdsong was clearly audible though I could see no birds when I looked up.

Sometimes, a person just needs to stick her nose into the cracks in the bark of a Ponderosa Pine and smell the scent of butterscotch.

Ponderosa Pine tree bark (close-up)

Ponderosa Pine tree bark (close-up)

Spring is coming 005

The first little flowers are in bloom here in the park.

Look closely or you might miss them!

Look closely or you might miss them!

Spring is coming 021 Willow in pond

This old willow drinks deeply to fortify itself for a summer of use as a fort and playground for children.  I am told that many years ago the pond remained year ’round; as I know from the previous two summers, the ground will be dry by the end of July.

Boulders and berms help to keep motor vehicles out of the park.

Boulders and natural berms of rock help to keep motor vehicles out of the park.

By the time I reached home again, the battery was exhausted in my trusty old camera and the wind was most definitely cold. Now as I type these final sentences, flurries of snowflakes and bursts of soft hail are blurring my view out the back window, mixing with falling pine needles freed by the wind.

Spring is coming 026 March snow flurries

Spring is indeed coming, but it arrives in a “two steps forward, one step back” manner.