At 8:30 the phone rang--husband's older brother's wife calling to say that their second daughter's husband was in critical condition--sudden severe illness. Not expected to make it, apparently. We've heard nothing more all day but have of course sent prayers to all involved.
Here the day continued beautiful, though the last ice didn't melt off the pond until after lunch. I fought my way through dozens and dozens and dozens of emails and blog comments and so on, trying to get to them all, and work on a story, but by early afternoon was crazy to get outside (inside all weekend at convention is fun, esp. in bitter weather, but not a substitute for being out on the land.)
So I grabbed camera & binocs, bundled up, pulled on the (uncomfortable old) rubber boots and away I went. Sure enough...the first elbow bush had made it "out". Flies had discovered it, along with one very worn American Lady butterfly and one honeybee. Tomorrow it will probably be humming with bees. One of the thicketing plums has swollen buds all up the stem and tip--a week at most before it breaks into fragrant white bloom, by which time at least three more elbowbushes will be going. Our elbowbushes vary in their bloom time by several weeks, which means we get to enjoy the sight longer, and I spent more time with the camera trying to photograph small fast-moving insects after the pollen and nectar. Flies first--except also one cucumber beetle--and then bees and then wasps and moths.
Making a good day in the field better were my new glasses--I could see at a distance and--because I popped for the fancy "Transitions" lenses I'd seen ads for--I could do so without squinting in the brilliant afternoon sunlight. When I lifted them to see how bright it was "outside"--very, and I had to squint. Yet in the pre-dawn darkness, driving M- to the station, I had no problem seeing the instrument lights or the road ahead. Very much Wow!
When I got back to the house, R- had picked up the mail and I had my copies of the Orbit edition of Oath of Fealty...and some bills. M- called to say he was on the express bus, but thought it might be late. It wasn't late; we were there just in time, like some fancy inventory/supply system. Gorgeous sunset on the way home.
Good Tex-Mex from local cafe for supper, and I'm almost ready for bed again. Tomorrow, surely, I'll rise full of energy and attack the rest of the backlog and make bread. Maybe another soup.