Google+ Badge

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pussywillows again

I am not sure how long I have been cutting and selling bunches of pussywillow branches, but it has been at least twenty-five years. I have always been a follower of the change of the seasons and nothing signals the coming of spring like the emergence of pussywillow catkins.

Yesterday's warmth after a few milder rainy days urged me to visit Deerfield, Indiana, a small village in extreme eastern Indiana, about 70 miles from my shop. I discovered two large pussy willow trees growing there several years ago,and they are located close to the wall of a home there and the spring sun causes them to emerge early.
It is quite a long trip, but the high quality brings me back every year. The homeowners have been gracious and welcoming.

While on a ladder twenty feet in the air amid the lovely catkins, I heard and saw a flock of Sandhills fly over. This has always been a very evocative moment for me and I have experienced it every year. I really brings home to me the seasonal change from the drab depressing winter to the joy of Spring.

I wondered as the Sandhills went over if they wondered about me cutting pussywillows in the top of a tree signaled the same thing to them, but probably not.

I have cut back the scale and the time crunch of my efforts since I stopped supplying pussywillows for the Flower and Patio show, and it has made the experience more leisurely. I doubt if there are many people who are doing the same thing as me, but I have found that there are a vast number of people who have emotional nostalgic remembrances of pussywillows in the spring. My dad had a tree in his yard and I transplanted some to my home. I have fond memories of seeing them every spring in the midst of grey raw March days.

Today I will begin the less fun task of bundling. It is more repetitive. Harvesting and preparing fresh produce is always work, but it is honest and real. I will be rewarded by sharing these bundles with the public at the Fifth Annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace where I will sell them along with my handmade rustic willow furniture. I have been selling the leftover bundles in my shop ever since last year.

Last night my sweet little granddaughter was playing with pussywillows as she arranged her flock of Bundy ducks and my collection of bird carvings on the floor of my living room. She uses them as trees. She likes to rearrange them in the white birch holders I have made. It bring joy to my heart to see them included in her imaginative play.

On Sunday I saw perhaps a thousand Sandhills in numerous small groups going over Lapel and with the doors open I could hear their lovely cries. Grackles and redwings are everywhere now and the juncos are gone.

Post a Comment