Almanac

If the flowering cherry tree could speak, she wouldn’t tell of her own beauty.

Words could never capture it.

But with her powder soft voice, she might sing of the garden: banksia rose spilling over with fragrant yellow blooms; copper mobile, whirling beneath the redbud; foxglove, swooning from the tender kiss of the nectar-drunk hummingbird.

She might sing of bluebirds or violets or kissing in the rain.

Or maybe she does.

Yes, can’t you hear her? Voice like a siren. Sultry as a whisper at the nape of your neck.

Listen. 

She serenades the squirrel babes, blind and naked, whose mother built their nest with stuffing from the neighbor’s patio cushions.

At twilight, she hums low while the pregnant doe clears a row of tulips sweet as candy. 

Sunny jonquils harmonize with whippoorwill — Look-at-me! Look-at-me! — but the deer moseys onward.

As cherry maiden stifles laughter, all the world sings back.

Carrot Bloody Mary (Serves 4)

Ingredients

32 ounces carrot juice

8 ounces vodka

6 ounces pickle juice

juice from one-half lemon

5 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 teaspoons crab seasoning (more for rimming)

3 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons dill

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons horseradish

2 teaspoons hot sauce (modify by your heat preference)

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a pitcher, then stir until combined.

Slide the flesh of a lemon around the rim of each pint glass, then place the rims onto a plate of crab seasoning to lace them.

Fill pint glasses with ice, then pour the carrot juice mixture over top. — garnish with pickled vegetables, celery, or tomatoes. Enjoy!

While the Azalea’s Still Blooming . . .

Plant the eggplants, beets and melons! Pumpkins, squash, green beans and peppers! And if you’re looking for a down-home summer — the white bread and black pepper type — sew the cukes and maters in the soft, cool earth.

Asparagus Season

Greek myth tells that spring is when Demeter, mother-goddess of harvest and fertility, celebrates the six-month return of her beautiful daughter, Persephone (goddess of the Underworld), by making the earth lush and fruitful once again.

But what on earth did she do with all those tender green shoots of asparagus? Quiche. Soup. Risotto. Frittata. Asparagus custard tart . . .

In the spirit of Easter (Sunday, April 1),
how about a festive beverage to serve up with that asparagus-studded brunch?

And don’t forget all those garden parties
this month.

The ancient Celts looked to the trees for knowledge and wisdom. According to Celtic tree astrology, those born from April 15 to May 12 associate with willow, an enchanted tree that symbolizes love, fertility, beauty and grace. Creative, patient and highly intuitive, willow people are mystical by nature. They are most compatible with birch (December 24 to January 20) and ivy (September 30 to October 27) signs.

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