Feels like Spring


Today I’m writing to you from and entirely different world compared to two weeks ago. The snow melted away in no time, and suddenly it feels like spring. The spring bulbs in our garden are bursting into flower.

It’s not just crocuses and snowdrops, but also winter aconites,

and dwarf irises, yellow and blue.

It’s so lovely to feel the warmth of the sun, hear the birds sing their hearts out, and enjoy the flowers and the buzzing of the first bees.

And yet… there is this gnawing feeling.

It shouldn’t be like this in February – it’s unseasonally warm. The highest temperatures ever measured in this month for 5 days in a row. I don’t want to be a spreader of doom and gloom, but I can’t just ignore such signs of a changing climate. I’ve heard that it affects different parts of the world differently. Here in the Netherlands the climate has changed noticeably even in my lifetime (less than sixty years!).

Seems to me that if we want to leave our children, grandchildren and their children with a liveable planet so that they, too, can enjoy the beautiful signs of spring…

… we urgently need to learn how to be good ancestors.

Speaking of ancestors, on Sunday we visited a lovely place our ancestors left us. It’s a country estate that for centuries belonged to a wealthy family and is now owned by a nature conservation organization.

The 17th century house with stepped gable, surrounded by a moat with a bridge leading to the front door, is no longer there. The only buildings left are five tenant farms. These are the stables of one of them, now converted to living space.

The estate is part woodland,

part pasture (the cows are still inside at this time of year.)

Like many other farms in our region, the farms on the estate all have their own little baking house. Can you see the small white rectangle on the wall of this baking house?

Let’s zoom in – it’s a face! A person with a high forehead, no nose to speak of, and an elegant hairdo. Is it just a decoration, a household deity, or the likeness of somebody who used to do their baking here?

Going for a walk here, is like traveling a century or so back in time.

Apart from going for short walks, enjoying the garden, worrying about the climate and the pandemic, and generally doing what I need to do, I’ve also done some knitting. My blue Panel Debate cardigan is nearly finished and I’m knitting swatches and prototypes for a pair of fingerless mitts.

The yarn I originally had in mind for them didn’t behave as I thought it would. Looking for an alternative, I found several skeins in my stash that were meant for something else, but will be just perfect for my mitts.

I want to make a single colour and a 2-colour version. It is hard to capture the colours exactly. There is an off-white undyed cream, a dusty blue and a warm cherry red. What shall I do? Cream and blue for the 2-colour version, and red for the single-colour one?

Or cream and red for the 2-colour version, and blue for the single-colour one?

What do you think?

I hope you’ve enjoyed the flowers and the walk, and would be grateful for some help with the colours. I’m in doubt. Is the blue-and-cream combo nice and subtle or too bland? Is the red-and-cream combo nice and cheerful or too Christmassy?

Thanks and take care! xxx

14 thoughts on “Feels like Spring”

    • What lovely photos, Marijke! Don’t we all love the signs of spring? And yet you’re right, we must meet the challenge to be “good ancestors.” I hope we are up to it.
      Oh, and I’d go with the blue and cream! Love the red on it’s own!

      • Thank you – I’ve really enjoyed crouching down in the garden and looking at the flowers close-up through the lens of my camera. And thanks for the colour feedback!

  1. Lovely pictures! Spring is on its way here in Stockholm also but less advanced. I have some of the small yellow flowers in my little garden. The Swedish name is vintergäck. The verb gäcka is somewhat old-fashioned and rarely used nowadays, it means fool or play a trick on.

    I share your concern. We had a heat record for February yesterday, 17C.

    Regarding the yarns, I think I prefer the white and blue combo and red on its own. Blue and white look so crisp together and red can always pull off a solo.

    • I love learning new words, and I’ll try to remember vintergäck. It looks like it’s related to our word ‘gek’ (foolish). And 17 degrees in Stockholm in this time of year, oh my! Thanks, also for your thoughts about the colours!

  2. Hi Marijke,

    Beautiful pictures of the spring flowers . I’m worried about the high temperatures as well. Climate change is a major problem and it concerns all of us.

    As far as the yarns……I defenitely prefer the blue/ white combination!


  3. Your crocus pictures have made my heart happy today! Spring is almost within touching distance now!

    As for your colours question, I like the blue and cream together and the red on its own. Blue and cream happens to be one of my favourite combinations too! Donna

    • So far, everybody is unanimous on the blue and cream. Thank you! Long ago, I did some language research at a school in Darlington (not so very far away from you, I think) and one of the teachers was wondering whether the plural shouldn’t be croci ?.

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