Saturday, February 2, 2013

Good morning from New York on February 2, celebrated by some as Groundhog Day.

Media teams gather in a few locations around the country, waiting to see if certain designated (and named) groundhogs come out of their burrows and see their shadows.  Shadows depend on available sunlight.  If shadows are seen, groundhogs see their own shadows, and therefore we are deemed to expect six more weeks of wintry weather.  If the designated groundhogs do not see their shadows, spring-like weather will soon be on the way.

It is a brilliantly sunny day here in New York with temperatures well below freezing.  You may draw your individual conclusions.

A while back we did already have some weather that was much warmer and I managed to get over to Central Park to take a few photographs of the pretty little snowdrops that were putting on a show.

There is always something so cheering about these sturdy little blooms.  I recall that the afternoon when I took these photographs was warm enough not to require hat or gloves.

Things have changed since then.

I brought some spring flowers into my apartment to celebrate the end of January.  When I purchased these daffodils, their buds were still tightly wrapped in green.

The daffodils are placed on a very cool and deep windowsill in my bathroom.  Meanwhile, in an overheated part of my little living room, I am still hanging on to some very dried-out ilex branches bought before Christmas.  I still like how they look next to a vintage Christmas edition of The Illustrated London News, a gift from some dear friends.

Let us take another peek at the daffs to see how those buds are doing.  The little green pitcher has to share space with my make-up containers.

Just behind the daffs, are these two towering paperwhite narcissus blooms, the final performers of some bulbs bought in early December.  Their scent is light, and the flowers are  delicate beauties.

This is also flu season.  I elected not to have a flu shot back in November.  Instead, I continue to wash my hands quite often, and have lots of vitamin C.  Clementines are a deliciously sweet way to add vitamin C.  I've also been trying to get lots of rest.

No rest for the daffodils!  Their transformation continues.

Aren't they lovely?

I wonder why some of the buds open up more quickly than others?

Here is a close up view of how sunny yellow spring symbols can be found indoors in early February.  I am cheered with every view.

When venturing outdoors, either to go to work, to do my neighborhood errand runs, or to visit friends, I bundle up in many layers.  My trusty down coat serves me well.

Indoors, on days off, I've been making soups, lots of pasta dishes, enjoying oatmeal with golden raisins for breakfast.  Carbohydrates feature prominently.

Lots of knitting is going on as I continue to attempt to create items for a possible Etsy shop.

Daylight grows longer every day and I seem to stay very busy, always meaning to post blogs more frequently than I seem to manage.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.


  1. Daffodils, even the name is cheery! They never cease to delight, especially in the bleak mid-winter as they poke their little heads out of earth that is covered in snow. . A week ago, I planted the 300 bulbs that I FORGOT to sink in the fall. But, to have them smiling at you from a vase in your home is the best! Thank you for having tea with Valerie and me, it is a pleasure to meet you! My son is doing his residency in NYC, as an Emergency Doc. He loves New York.

  2. Today is my husband’s birthday, but he is not a groundhog. We will go to lunch at a Greek restaurant and he will see his shadow since it is very sunny here. I love your daffodils – what a great idea to bring them indoors! Frances, you should use them for one of your paintings. My husband’s cousin in Atlanta told us that it has been so warm here that his tomato plants are still producing tomatoes – in winter. The airlines are having a spring sale – now I am going to spend the next few days wondering whether we should go back to New York or instead go west to San Francisco? Hum…

  3. What cheery daffs!

    It has been fair and bright... so I think winter will have another fight here in England.

    Happy Candlemas Day Frances! :-)

  4. I enjoyed reading this very cheery and upbeat post, we all need a shot of sunlight right now.

    What a small world this blog community is, two friends here already!

  5. The daffs are gorgeous, a proper shot of winter sunshine in a vase.

    Good luck with the planned shop Frances, and meanwhile, happy knitting :D

  6. I've always been a little intrigued by the origins of groundhog day, and think it's rather nice that the ritual has persisted!
    I do so identify with your wanting spring bulbs at this time of year, Frances. I'm just back from a summery Cape Town and like you find cheer in the daffodils and narcissus that are abundant now in supermarkets and nurseries - they really do brighten up these chilly grey days!
    I wish you a happy February with the promise of spring xxx

  7. Hello Frances:
    Oh how our hearts skipped a beat at the sight of those brave harbingers of spring, the snowdrops, pushing their way through the frozen ground. Their courage and zest for life is, we feel, such a lesson for us all.

    And, the sight of that burst of yellow is surely enough to gladden even the stoniest of hearts. They do open terribly quickly but in their blooming they really do lift the spirits.

    We do so hope that you will avoid the flu as it is so debilitating. Happy weekend!

  8. I really can't imagine anything coming out of its burrow at this time of year; in fact now that I come to think of it I might very well choose to go and live in a burrow where, with a Beckettian change of nightwear once a fortnight, one could reduce ones outgoings practically to zero and so add considerably to ones income. The only drawback to a burrow is that almost certainly it would be damp. How do rabbits manage? Why do they not get trench foot? Or groundhogs, for that matter. I suppose such animals don't live long enough to get rheumatism or even bronchitis. Another drawback of a burrow would be the darkness which would be a handicap when it came to reading or watching daffodils unfurl. I too have eschewed the offer of a flu jab.


  9. I have three glass vases full of Daffs in my living room, just the sight of them cheers me up enormously at this time of year when the light isn't so good.

  10. I enjoy your posts so much. If you do start an Etsy "shop", I really hope you'll include some of your water colors. I would love to have one!

  11. Daffodils. Very Welsh of you. The other pictures are great, too.

    Note to Frances: those Groundhogs know the square root of nothing about weather. If you want a good weather report, check with a Bear. Spring begins when Bears quit hibernating. You can trust me on that!

  12. What a cheerful post, full of scents, colours and mood! You are absolutely right - we can create Spring around us, before its "official" arrival. I should make something on that matter!:)
    The flowers are really beautiful!

  13. Hello Frances,
    The snowdrops look lovely and the daffodils certainly brighten up the gloomy grey days. I enjoyed seeing the progress , from bud to flower. Still chilly and wrapping up with layers, gloves and hats is very much needed here too.
    I understand your wish to do everything possible to stay warm and healthy, eating well and fresh air and exercise , seems to have kept me free of colds and flu. Hope you survive winter healthy, soon be spring.
    Lovely to hear you may open an Etsy shop. I have seen others using the Pom Pom maker and your knitting looks so nice. I used to send for the Jamieson and smith wool to Lerwick many years ago, it arrived in hanks , wrapped in brown paper . I have bought Kate Davies book and hope to knit something from it in their Shetland wool, maybe a hat as I am a bit rusty in my knitting skills. Have you seen it? Want to order some wool, the colours and choice are really nice.
    Keep warm. Happy Knitting. x

  14. Beautiful close-ups of your world, Frances. It reminds me of the time when I lived in a small, almost tiny place close to Li├Ęge. I've been in the garden for the first time this year, yesterday. It is la chandeleur and the light will increase this month by soo much. I had pancakes from our neighbours to celebrate it. Good luck with your Etsy shop!

  15. I was wishing we had Groundhog Day on dvd last night and then we could have celebrated Candlemas day in Franco-American style.

    Sporting results were very satisfactory for us English rugby fans yesterday thank you. Enjoy the Superbowl! I gather from Pinterest that you are supposed to eat lots of dips while you watch.

  16. Your daffodils cheered me, there are none here yet in these parts.
    My life is all layers and porridge too, roll on Spring.
    I have a trusty down coat too Frances, I call it my duvet (I am never cold in it!).

  17. Hi Frances,

    And......were the first groundhogs spotted in the US? I just told my daughter your story and this was the first thing they asked :-)

    I promised to email you about Flevoland. I hope fleur gave you the answers you were waiting for.

    Love the spring flowers in your house. So very cheerful!

    Happy new week,

    Madelief x

  18. You have reminded that I must get some daffodils for the house. They don’t last long but they provide such a wonderful reminder of spring which, i hope, is soon to come.

    I love your quiet and peaceful way of life, filled with such gentle pleasures. I am sure I have said it many times before, sometimes I wish I could have your life, not that mine is a bad one.

    Our doctor wouldn’t let us get away without a flu jab, not this year, not any year. It is true that we haven’t had the flu for years, just the odd cold.

  19. We loved your Daff's as we go a bit
    daffy from too much Artic air here
    in NYC ,We have never found a truthful ground hog, Of course in NYC it's the politicians that pick up our local fuzzy friend when the TV camera's are on.
    I always look forward in the film "Dr.Zhivago" of the wide screen camera panning over the beautiful field of Daffodils which after the ice bound house scene says to the audience Spring is finally here.

    Regards , M & K of Tin Pan Alley

  20. Our snowdrops here in Norfolk in the UK, seem to be a week or so behind yours as they are not at the fully open stage just yet. Mind, that may have something to do with the inches of snow they were buried under last week! Since the snow left us, we have had rain, but predominantly a lot of strong winds. This week is set to be very windy with gale force winds, and wintry showers, and Very Cold again.
    And aren't daffodils the cheeriest of flowers? We have hundreds around the garden, green shoots several inches high promising a good show again. And the aconites, bright buttercup yellow, are brightening up a spot under the laburnum.
    And I agree... definitely carbohydrate weather!

  21. Yes, your daffs are bliss!
    I haven't had any yet this year!
    and super to see the snowdrops
    surely spring's most reliable harbinger.....
    but damn cold today!

  22. Such a cheerful post, and so lovely to see your bright daffodils coming in to flower! We have had some bright days with a hint of spring in the air, but now it's cold and windy again here. I hope you enjoy your knitting and soon have enough to open your etsy shop.
    Wishing you a very Happy February, Frances!
    Helen x

  23. Beautiful daffodils! I thought of you just now as I read a wonderful piece in the current "New Yorker."
    It's by the late Joseph Mitchell and is titled "Street Life." His obsession with the city is beautifully expressed in some of the longest sentences I've ever read. Makes me want to come to NYC and start riding buses and looking at everything.

  24. that is very exciting about a shop frances, i love handmade and etsy. love the stages of blooms, what a gift to yourself. i almost always buy flowers and wine every thursday here (farmers market). it's always a treat.

  25. Frances you are managing to post blogs far more often than I am. Lovely to catch up and beautiful spring flowers, the daffodils outside the pottery and along the road side are starting to sprout.
    Are there really such a thing as groundhogs??

  26. woooow! lovely daffodils! I hope you are staying warm...saw the blizzard news...take care!

  27. Hello dear Frances, I do hope you are safe and well, know there is quite severe weather conditions in US.

    Lovely photo's of your spring flowers Frances, I have always loved the daffs, so cheery.

    Best of luck with your Etsy shop, look forward to visiting.


  28. I hope the daffs have sustained you through the snow that's swept across you there. I very much enjoyed seeing the photos of them coming into flower. I'm now longing for some sunshine and some warmth and yes, a glimpse of snowdrops like yours.

  29. Dear Frances,
    How lovely to see some snowdrops in Central Park and your daffodils are wonderful.
    How nice that you have met Lotta, a talented lady - I have some of her beautiful fabrics.
    Stay warm!
    xoxo Ingrid

  30. Oooh, love the daffys and all the spring bulbs. Such a cheery post!

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  32. hello frances,
    when you have a moment please come for a visit to my blog.
    :) lori