Spring Greens

I’ve been enjoying fresh and vibrant greens these past few weeks.  I always forget  how much I love spring greens and then can’t get enough of them when March rolls around.  My friend who has an allotment gave me some kale and purple sprouting broccoli, including the leaves.

Delicious steamed and tossed with butter and lemon.

I’ve had a lingering chest infection for the past few weeks and felt that these wild nettles from the Exeter Farmer’s Market would give me some fresh energy and deep nourishment to make the transition back into good health and Springtime.

I made Nettle Soup!

Nettle Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onions
  • Potato and/or carrot, peeled and chopped
  • Wild nettles, only the leaves *
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Double cream to finish

Sweat the onion.  Add the nettle leaves and other vegetables.  Pour in the stock.  Simmer until the root vegetables are soft.  Puree in a blender or food processor. Season to taste.  When serving, stir in a spoonful of cream to make a pretty pattern

Delicious served hot or cold.

* Steam the nettles for about 2 minutes.  This will take the sting away and make it possible to pick through the leaves and remove the stems.

Spring Green

The sun came out from behind the murk some time last week.  I walk past my favourite green-sided building on my way to work.  Come to think of it, it isn’t the green or the actual building that makes it my favourite.  There is a huge tree growing next to it.  The wall faces west, so that when the sun is shining, the tree casts a beautiful shadow onto the building by late morning, when I walk past, and into the early afternoon.  Last October, I was known to invent a 2 pm errand, just so I could go outside and behold the glorious shadows cast by the late autumn sun beaming onto the bare branches of this tree.

Last week, the sun picked out the achingly new, vibrant green leaves and traced their outlines onto the wall.

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A 90° pivot to the right provides the background of my favourite terracotta and charcoal multistory car park.  I love the contrast between the fluffy yellow green leaves and the delicate, airy fern green leaves set against the broad stripes of colour.

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I’m happy for the shining sun and the beautiful shadows it casts.  I’m happy to see the new leaves bursting and uncurling from branches which have been too long bare.  I’m happy that springtime has arrived at last.

Resurgence

We’re having a protracted winter here in the UK.   This has been the coldest March since 1963 and one of the coldest winters since records began.  Apparently, many of our Spring visitors haven’t arrived or blossomed yet.  A lack of certain insects will have a knock on effect on the animals and birds that feed on them.  Some people are worrying.  Is this due to global warming, the beginning of the end?   I don’t know.  I do know that I have faith in nature and the seasons.  Spring will arrive, it’s just a bit late in coming this year.

Many human UK residents are flocking in record numbers to warmer climes for an Easter holiday.  But some of us regulars have been toughing it out.   On this Easter Sunday, a jackdaw couple was out beneath grey skies.  But, look!  A ray of sunlight is coming through.

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A week ago, we went for a walk on the south side of the River Teign at Step’s Bridge, about four miles from home.  I love this spot where a fall of water from the rim of the Teign Valley finds level ground and flows for about 50 yards before joining the river.  It feels fresh and alive.  Wild daffodils and wild garlic grow at the edges of the running water.  This stream flowing into a larger river is called a tributary.  I thought about the meaning of ‘paying tribute’  –  making a gift  in acknowledgment, gratitude, or admiration.  This little stream feels like my everyday and ongoing actions, dreams and goals which stream into my ‘big l’ Life, the ‘reason why I am here’ Life.  It feels important and good to remember and acknowledge this from time to time.

I felt renewed just standing there and feeling the energy flow all around and through me.  It is Springtime and new life is returning.  We are all flowing into and with the great river of life.  I hope that you are celebrating the resurgence and renewal of Springtime in both your little life and your big Life.

renewal

Saying ‘Hello’ to Spring

I got up early this morning, washed last nights dinner dishes, had a hot cross bun with Nutella and walked to the gym for my twice weekly weight lifting session.  It’s been raining a LOT recently and today is cold and damp and grey.

It is difficult to see Springtime across the landscape

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or in the hedgerows

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but on the way home, I dawdled and peered to find signs of Spring’s return.

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Daffodil shoots

Raindrops on a blade of grass

Raindrops on a blade of grass

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Magnolia bud

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Hawthorn blossoms

Hawthorn blossoms

I was very cold and hungry by the time I returned home.  Steve was up, so we had a good old fry-up.  What a great start to our Sunday!

Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast