Crushed and elated

A year ago tomorrow, Ferndale was covered in snow.*  Today, temps were around 63F/17.2C with the sun playing hide and seek in the wake of a lightning-filled night. Near the university, all manner of things were in bloom such as naturalized daffodils, forget-me-nots and henbit. It’s not unusual to see those things west of the city either around this time of year. So, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect to see little violets or other sweets smiling in the dormant turf.

Wrong.

Combing the lawn, none but a tiny white weed flower raised its head above the damp.

DOWN HERE -- Tiny white flower of a forgot-what-you-call-it weed rises above the dormant bermuda. The flowers are less than .25 inches, or 6.4 mm across.

Daunted and  with eyes to the ground, the search for floral life continued. This time, it was not the eyes, but nose, that made the discovery. In a wilder part of the yard, the sweetest perfume drew me to a small shrub. The plant would be almost anonymous among the saltbush, small pines and jasmine vines, except for this burst of glistening white clusters and pink buds. Its blossoms were abuzz with pollinating flies and at least one honeybee.

It was a good day.

OPEN FOR BUZZ-INESS -- One of the sweet smelling flowers on this little shrub.
BOTH FORMS -- Branch showing both the blooms and the buds.

*See Many faces of a Ouachita winter’s day.

24 little hours …

Arkansas has enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures for late January and the first day of February. Highs today were in the 70s. Even the rock knockers were out this evening, singing their songs in the sunset.

Growing up in the northeast, where the first blooms were snow drops, eagerly awaited in February or March, it’s hard to get used to blooms in January and February. Here in central Arkansas, daffodils begin blooming in January and continue well into March.

The first day of February was a bright one for these blooms near the library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Past time pasttime

Little Rock’s first-ever Tweed Ride saw riders step back into a more genteel time. Friends Aly and Bryan earned the trophy for best-dressed. The lovely photos below are Bryan’s.

JUST CAPITAL -- Aly and Bryan prepare to quench their thirst at the Capital Hotel following the Tweed Ride.
DOGGED -- Tweed Riders "paws" with Amos, whose garment never goes out of fashion.