stopping to enjoy in just spring

Submitted by Susan Miller on Tue, 04/18/2006 - 10:23.

I have a laptop. (A slow starter/late adopter you're thinking.) It was a holiday gift that was meant to free me from my house. I can get out and write, correspond, research anywhere I can get online. But the cold weather and my deep appreciation for my home environment and my dogs have kept me in the house. Now, however, I sit most days in the sunny breakfast room of my 89 year old Cleveland Heights home and write surrounded by windows.

    The redbud tree is beginning to bloom in front of me. Leaves begin to unfold on the mock orange to my right. Sparrows have been stopping by, their beaks carrying straw and bits of detritus for nest building. A pair of cardinals rushes by at regular intervals; their business I can only imagine. The large silver maple pushes off its blooms to make way for the delicate leaves of its spring foliage. I have turned the compost, moved the firewood from the wooden back porch, and made my journey of discovery around the yard to see what is pushing up.

One day last week with the windows open, no screens to divide me from the outdoors, I realized that soon my backyard can become my office. I make a mean cup of coffee, and it is way more affordable than the local purveyors. Ah, spring. Ah spring with technology! Ah, small footprint. Life is swell.

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Redbud Bee

In California there is a certain species of bee which cuts perfect 1/4 inch circles out of the new redbud leaves.  It then flies back to its bee hive where it stuffs the leaf circle neatly down on top of the newly laid bee egg in the hexagonal cell of the bee hive.


When I was a kid, I thought all redbud trees just grew with those circles - until I gave it a little more attention. 

2.22.12 update 

The leaf image above is from Tropical Texana


The  image below of the leaf cutting bee is  from Galen Herz on Flickrof the bee 

Now I need to provide the Latin name of the bee and obtain images of the stacked leaf circles in the dead wood burrows into which the bees put their eggs at the bottom with the cut leaf circles filling up the rest of the burrow.   

If anyone has images of the bee holes in dead wood please email me with a link.   Thanks to image providers.  


REALNEO's spring office is Whiskey Island

I called Ed Hauser on the cell this afternoon and it turned out we were both near Whiskey Island, so we spent the afternoon meeting and making calls from there - paradise. As soon as the Bourbon Street Cafe opens we'll see about getting wifi out there... even without, I have cell data access so I'm at work and home with my laptop (and now Treo... next thing for you to check out, Susan), now at Whiskey Island, thanks to Ed Hauser.

Let's see some pictures

I've been driving around town more than usual and am awed by the great flowering trees right now, found in unexpected places... even a little crabapple down by the N&W tracks in the Flats. I didn't have my camera for that one but will make sure to capture some of the best srping sights and get them up here... so let's see that great Redbud (and if you have problems posting pictures email phillip at realinks dot us). ASAP we'll upgrade the image modules here and better organize rich content like this - for the time being, consider this a scrapbook

"consider this a scrapbook" - Norm Roulet


I want to say how appreciative I am for realneo as my scrapbook, soapbox, library and portal to the world. The post above was my fourth post at realneo. I sure was a novice back them, taking a long time to consider and lots of time to figure out what all these bells and whistles mean and do. I am still miles behind you and the Jeffs and Laura and many others, but 4 pages of blog and a 29 story building later, I am taking time to say thanks for your extraordinary vision and for the gift of realneo. It is not easy turning a disadvantaged area into a wellspring of sustainability. It all begins with an idea. Thanks for having this one.

white petals everywhere

Garden update from Berkshire Road - practically the entire lot is strewn with white petals from the Mock Orange today. Bees are busy at the Spiderwort. Ferns turn and bend in the gentle breeze. The lawn is sparkling as the sun rounds the corner of the garage and hits the grass and clover (OK and plantains and dandelions and other non grass things that I “allow”). Still in the shade at this hour, the Hydrangea stands taut, sporting old green and new green along its branches. A riot of Violets, May Apple and Solomon's Seal surround the base of the Redbud tree outside the window. The Clematis has burst into royal purple blooms as it winds its way through the fence. The Paniculata has climbed to the second story porch this year. The meadow around the base of the old pedestal sink/birdbath has risen in a chorus of green – the delicate Queen Anne’s Lace apparent amid the vigorous bridal veil. The Trumpet Vine is quiet this year – next year they say it will “jump” and run along the fence (and everywhere else I’m warned).


This is June on Berkshire Road. The whoosh of traffic on Lee and the rumble of the trains rolling through University Circle can be heard through the quiet accompanying the birdsong. New teeny grapes have begun to show themselves on the arbors. Apples are working on the branches of the apple tree. It looks as though we'll have fruit this year. The front yard remains an experiment with the additions of Hosta, Ferns, Partridge Berry, Stonecrop, sandstone and bark filling in the dark brown section under the thirsty Silver Maple. Hours have been spent and more will be required to remove the bumper crop of maple seeds that fell there this spring. The remains of the oak flowers continue to drift into the house on a shoe or cuff. The house is littered with them as well as the new addition of the Mock Orange petals (oh yes and the ever present clouds of dog hair that float along on the hardwood floors).


Last night the entire second floor was a pleasant sleeping porch with sashes thrown up and casement windows open wide. No fans necessary during the cool evening. The temperate climate is in its heyday this week. Hot days, thirst quenching drinks of rain, cool nights – get it while you can I’m thinking. My son sleeps in the quiet of the cool morning – get it while you can I am thinking.