Here is another easy recipe with fancy results!
Red efts are a familiar sight in New England in muddy, soggy spring, but the first glance of one brings excitement indeed! I tweeted two weeks ago that the Red Efts were crossing, as they make the journey from the muddy woods to the ponds. The Tudor family has long known this is a sure sign of spring, one of nature's many clues to us that winter will soon be banished for a few months of glorious Vermont summer.
Over the years the clapboards and shingles on Tasha’s house have darkened from sunlight, rain and time. Winter brings a moment of rest and peace to the land, gardens and house as it sits in the quiet landscape. Christmas is here, as is a cardinal not indifferent to the sunflower seeds scattered around the back step and under the lilacs. Balsam needles and melting snow from the newly set up tree have been swept from the floor, along with bits of paper left over from wrapping presents now under the tree. Indoors everything is alight in reds, greens and gold.
To the north of Tasha’s house where the bee balm blooms red in the summer and beech leaves rattle in the winter wind sits the old birdfeeder. It rests atop a cedar post about six feet high, and has for many years, been the center of activity for chickadees, blue jays, and red squirrels. It was even used as a scratching post by Tasha’s one-eyed cat Minou, who preferred canned sardines to birds. The feeder is a six by fourteen-inch platform with wooden sides six inches high on each end and a glass roof, and there are even two narrow strips of wood running the length on each side to keep the birdseed from blowing away.
Tasha was fond of chickens, especially the rare Spitzhauben breed. She said their combs did not freeze in winter, as they had a topknot to keep their head warm, and that they were especially intelligent. “The intelligence of small children and chickens is often underestimated,” she was fond of saying.
Between autumn and winter there is often a type of weather that lasts a few hours or as much as several days. This pause between the seasons often accompanies the big storms that spin off the Atlantic and bring snow, or rain, or wind, and often all three.