Sunday, March 25, 2018

Snowy Daffodils

On the second day of spring we awoke to snow-covered lawns and big flakes swirling in the air. Most of the early spring flowers had opened at least a week ago. Now the daffodils and hyacinths hung their heads, struggling under the weight of the snow. It looked as if a pastry chef had swept in overnight and sprinkled our gardens with a heavy coating of sugar. It was magical but also distressing. Across the street lives a stately old magnolia, whose big pink flowers had opened a few days ago. Petals were shriveling and dropping almost as fast as the snowflakes were falling. But the daffodils will be okay.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Evergreen With Spiderweb

I saw the glimmer as I walked past the Christmas-tree-sized spruce that stood near the sidewalk. It was a spiderweb, nestled low among the silvery-green branches. Droplets of rain shimmered and glinted in the breeze. Nature's embellishments are sometimes half-hidden and often fleeting, but that adds to the delight when you discover them.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Flooding Along the Little Miami

When the Ohio River began to flood, the water also flowed out into the tributaries. Even as it all began to recede, there were still long stretches where the trees, normally well away from the banks of the Little Miami River, stood knee-deep in the water. Luckily, houses are not allowed to be built along the flood plain. During dry seasons, this swath of land may seem to be wasted, but in times when the river rises, those trees are a reminder of why we must allow, to some extent, for the natural ebb and flow of a river.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Two Cheese Coneys

The first stop for many returning Cincinnatians is their favorite chili place. Ours is Skyline. Two cheese coneys, no onions, please. Cincinnati is home to a host of chili parlors, all serving a concoction very different from what most of the nation thinks of as chili. Although there are disagreements over who invented it, all the versions have a fine, almost soupy texture and include a hint of cinnamon in the mix of spices. Ideally, the hot dogs are Kahn's and the American-style cheese is shredded and piled on so generously that you can barely see what's under it. A recent foodie trend is for what is sometimes called Ugly Delicious. These messy, aromatic coneys definitely qualify. And what, you may ask, are those oyster crackers for? They are for nibbling on while you wait for the cheese to melt enough for you to be able to pick up the cheese coney, of course.