Not that we ever had a real winter this time around, mind you, but that's another story.
However, speaking of winter, Astrid loves to bring Mother Nature inside the house when it's cold outside. It's soulful to her...and to me, because I get to see, smell, and take pictures!
If it's not hyacinths, it's narcissus bulbs, as in this case, on our koffie table a month ago.
The Dutch call daffofils narcissus!
They stand so tall without any support whatsoever. How is that possible?
And even though these aren't the typical yellow daffodils, they are still...daffodils.
And of course, Astrid's orchids grow all year 'round, no matter what the season.
We both feel like kids in the candy store when they bloom like this.
But now...to show what weird weather we've had this winter...
these hyacinth bulbs on the balcony, planted last fall, shouldn't be up till April.
But what can you do in temps from 40-55 F! They're doing what they should do.
There's nothing we can do but enjoy them now.
This pink one is blooming today; the other colors will come later....
All that without stepping outside! Astrid's green thumb is such a joy for us both.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Once we do step outside, which we did last weekend in earnest, oh me, oh my! Spring really has sprung!
As soon as the sun comes out, the Dutch are raring to go.
You can get an entire family of 4 or 5 on two bikes. Seriously.
You know it's spring when the stork is in its nest.
It still tickles me to see the nests atop so many churches...as a wee sermonette?
This is the Dutch Reformed church in Ottoland 7 miles from our apartment.
It even has a postage stamp made of it.
Those fastidious storks really do bring children into the world!
Speaking of children, how's this for a spring fling!
We waved to the little girl when she drove past us, to which the man said,
"She's not allowed to wave because she has to hang on!"
(They went from one driveway to another...and not in horrendous traffic, of course.)
See what I mean about the Dutch going outside when the sun shines!
We LOVE driving the back roads...and stopping for ice cream whenever the farmers have it.
Did you know that ice cream on a Dutch farm is some of the best-inspected anywhere in the world.
We never say NO to that.
Now pay attention...and get your education with me!
While I was processing these pics, I suddenly noticed how NOT REAL these swans are.
You can see how far away they were, picked up by my new camera.
They're totally fake because they're giving the message to real swans that
THIS PLACE IS ALREADY TAKEN.
The neighborhood probably has children who are two young for angry daddy swans
who can get real aggressive if mama swan is trying to protect her babies.
Another sign of spring is the renewal of thatched roofs.
Another education for me!
Weathervanes, water towers, windmills...all year 'round. Old hat, right?
But the spring flowers do tug at the heartstrings, don't they.
Happiness really IS an inside job, isn't it, sometimes helped along by SPRING.