Let’s Go Outside!

Blank piece of “paper” . . . all mine to do something with . . . what would the girlfriends like today?  Well, one thing for sure, we have to start with Birdsong; and let’s go outside!

It’s getting almost ridiculous around Martha’s Vineyard this year, we’re having the most beautiful spring; every day the sun is shining and all the neighborhoods are in bloom.  Up and down the narrow streets, huge old trees in cottage gardens are dripping in the softest Easter-egg colors of pink, yellow, and white; looking like the aisles of a flowery wedding.

And it’s not just us who are celebrating . . . this is the view from our upstairs bathroom window and that’s the happily married squirrel couple that lives in the old Linden tree.

Had to zoom in to show you how pretty these two are; we really have a bird’s eye view here . . . the ledge of this window is one of Jack’s favorite hangouts. These squirrels play like crazy; round and round that tree they run; up and down.  I would love to get a look inside that nest!!  I always wonder if they have my bird-feeder hanging hook that just up and disappeared a couple of years ago.

We have not been home this time of year for years . . . for some reason it seems like we’ve chosen March and April to go out to California — I’d never even seen the weeping cherry we planted a few years ago next to the picket fence garden (in the first picture) in bloom!  So I’m really enjoying this!  I almost forgot how beautiful it is.  There are wild violets in the lawn!  Makes me remember the quote by John Greenleaf Whittier:

The sunshine seemed to bless, the air was a caress. 

A caress.

Right down the middle of our backyard this deer sashayed, perfectly at home.  The nerve of some people’s children!  So smart, she looks both ways before she crosses the street.  Where’s she going?  I don’t know.

This picture makes me think of the blooming lane in the movie Anne of Green Gables, which really was a big inspiration to me when it came to planting things here.  It’s so amazing to look at something like that and think, “Anne of Green Gables doesn’t own blooming trees, I can have them too!”

And then there’s the forsythia that spatters sunshine yellow all over our neighborhood.  In the back of this photo, near the house, are three tall Linden trees in a row; still no leaves.  The squirrel family lives in the middle one.

We won’t be barbecuing anytime soon!

This is the place to take your blanket, your cardigan, your tea, and your book when a (caressing) breeze begins to blow up from the harbor and the petals start to fall.

Here’s the new dogwood we planted last year.  It’s full of buds now, but not in bloom yet; the lilacs aren’t out here yet either — we have so much to look forward to!!!

Outside our kitchen window we have three bird feeders.  Or should I say, squirrel feeders!  This is Harold.  His tail is a little thin compared to the others, that’s how we know him, and this is how he and his relatives entertain us . . . we don’t make it easy for them, but nothing really stops them.  We sort of like it anyway . . . it sends Jack to the moon!

When we make grilled-cheese sandwiches, this is what we get to watch while waiting for the cheese to melt.  I do wonder how this can be comfortable?  But Harold seems happy.

See the bird on the far right?  He’s skipping over to the next feeder, he’s in mid air.  You know what I love about this?  Anyone can have it.  All this beauty is waiting at the nursery, and year after year, it comes back as a benediction.

And then there is this.  Only about three more weeks until we go to England!  So much to do!  I think about what all I want to show you over there.  Hillsides of wildflowers and meadows of baby lambs; the grocery store, and the knitting store, and the old bookstores, and the houses!  I will bring the spy cam, and maybe get some pictures of English people’s cute shoes!  Table settings and teapots and desserts and linens in tea rooms, and old old OLD churches where people are buried in the floor; dovecotes, and gardens with roses tumbling over ancient stone walls, foxgloves crowding cottage doorways. I can’t wait!  Hope you’re all packed and ready to go.  The clock’s ticking!  

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396 Responses to Let’s Go Outside!

  1. Debbie Hallock says:

    Happy Birthday today !!! Hope you had a GRAND one.


  2. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    Love watching the Decorah eagles!! Thank you for the suggestion. I check in with them everyday when I get home from school.

  3. Gail Buss says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Hope it was your best one ever. Life is short so eat cake! Hope it was a great day from the moment you opened your eyes and will continue until you crawl into bed and close your eyes. Have fun! God Bless. Gail & Joe, Fl

  4. Annie from Sydney Australia says:

    They say it’s your birthday, happy birthday to ya! A little musica for you

  5. Darlene B (nyc) says:

    Happy Birthday Susan!!! May you feel the same joy and happiness (tenfold) that you so generously share and give to so many!!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!!xoxo

  6. julie says:

    Dear Susan,
    If memory serves, it is your birthday! (I remember it as today, but I may be wrong–in my mind your’s was one week before mine). Hope it was as lovely as can be! Thank you for giving me a little spot of happy-ness to retreat to every now and then. Love you~Julie Kentera (your never-met-girlfriend) <3

  7. Victoria says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’m sending You all my Love and all my Very Best Wishes for a Happy Happy Birthday!!!! You bring so much Love and Joy to me everyday! Hope you are having a wonderful day doing all your favorite things with all your favorite people, with lots of laughing, dancing, eating, singing and hugging and some relaxing too!!
    You make Every Day a New Beginning sharing all God’s Special Gifts with all of us!
    God Bless you!
    PS. …and Kisses to Jack all over his cute little head!

  8. Cindy Maulin says:

    ……a little bird just told me…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!…..cheers to you and many many more!!!! love, cindy……..(make a wish..oh wait..you did and it really did come true….Bon Voyage….happiness happens….and dreams really do come true…yay!!!) xoxox

  9. Enikö says:

    Oh sweet Sue, so sorry I missed your birthday! We’ve been away two long weekends back-to-back and then doctor stuff…whew! Glad to be back on-Island when it’s this lovely. Your squirrel photos are precious! Love the one where they are cuddled in the tree! Happy, happy birthday! Love you, girlfriend!

  10. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Happy Birthday Susan!!! Hope you had a special day, as you are so special!!! May God bless you with good health and happy days all year long!!!! You are like an angel sent from heaven for all you do for so many people!!!!

  11. Carolyn (SoCA) says:

    Dear Susan,
    I hope that your birthday was enchanting!

  12. Betty says:

    A belated birthday wish to you! What a lovely day for your birthday!

    We too are headed to England in a few weeks to visit our daughter, SIL and precious 10 month old grandson who live in scenic Marlow right on the Thames. We plan to spend time in the Lake District this visit. Perhaps we will bump into each other – LOL. Hope that you have a wonderful holiday.

  13. Judy Young says:

    Oh Susan, your blog makes me so happy! I am from England, was born and grew up there and arrived in America in 1971 having married an American in England. My parents moved to The Cotswolds shortly after my arrival here!! They live in a two story detached house on a Cul-de-Sac backing up to a farm!! Can you imagine the delight! They are old now and have never sent many photos of the area, so one of my dearest wishes is to visit them at some point. I work full-time and am almost 65 myself, so I don’t know if I will ever get to go. You just cannot imagine how thrilled I am that you and Joe are “taking us along” on your upcoming trip to England. I simply cannot wait to see the photos each day, you capture the essence of all that is wonderful with every photo you take. I know I cannot be as excited as you are to be actually taking the trip, but the feeling is a close second!! Have a wonderful trip, we are all going to be there with you in spirit. Don’t believe anyone has ever “done” this for us before, have they?? Love your website, Willard, books, everything. Thank you for being you!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank YOU Judy, so happy you can come along . . . where are your parents? Which town?

      • Judy Young says:

        Susan, they live in a small town called Wick, it is near Pershore, Worcestershire. I’ve seen a few photos of the town and it is absolutely precious.

        • sbranch says:

          If it’s in the Cotswolds it almost has to be!! How fun you have them there and all that to look forward to! I love it when my relatives move to cute towns! 🙂

  14. peggy says:

    we are stationed over here in England with the US Air force, I love it here and will miss it when we go. I have started a scrap book of all things British… I want to capture all the things that will bring back memories… the cottages, the phone booths, the double decker buses, the vivid yellow fields of rapeseeds, the black taxi, out side shopping malls… tea rooms…tea pots!!! I have a hugh collection started… The auctions, the people… my list goes on and on…. Hope you have a safe and great trip over seas!!!

  15. suzee branch says:

    susan B

    i couldn’t find a place to comment on the england blog, but polly tells me you are going soon for TWO months you big lucky!! you deserve it. just wondering if you will plan to try the cotswold way walk? you mentioned you might. you wouldn’t be sorry . . . . just sayin’! and if you do, i have great little tips. you know so so many people, though, you probably have all the tips you need.

    that walk is one of the top 5 highlights of my not few in number years of living!

    anyway, have a blast. don’t worry about your “children”, i think time passes in another dimension for our beloved animals of our hearts.

    suzee B

    • sbranch says:

      We have put all the links to this fascinating looking walk in our England file, I would LOVE to do it, but not sure if we can . . . What are the tips?

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