Ice bird carving in front of the hospital lab.

The sun rose at 7:43 this morning and will set at 6:22 for 10 hours 39 minutes of daylight. Spring may not be here officially, but sun on snow was almost too bright to look at Sunday. My snow stake agrees with the official snow depth: 20”. That’s actually not too bad for this time of year; not so much that it will take forever to melt, but enough to insulate the ground from getting any colder. Regretfully, I’ll be back to “sun will rise” next week—this post goes live at 8 am my time, and daylight savings will once again put sunrise before I get up. Only for the one week, though. We’re gaining 6 min 45 sec a day, and by March 19 I’ll again be getting up after sunrise.

It’s been on the cold side—temperatures above zero in the middle of the day but well below zero at night. No sign of melting yet, and I’m going to try to photograph the ice sculptures before they start thawing this year. (Watch for tomorrow’s post.) They are, however, beginning to accumulate snow. Never very much at a time, but we seem to get a fraction of an inch a day rather often this year.

The commonest real birds this time of year.

I ordered my bean and squash seeds yesterday. Rocdor (yellow) and Gina (Italian type), both of which I know do well up here, and are actually earlier than the regular green beans, are my bean varieties of choice; Gold Rush and Contender for zucchini. I enjoy visiting the local greenhouses too much to order seeds for herbs and flowers I know will be available as starts locally. Besides, I try to avoid pesticides indoors, and my seedlings almost always get bugs if I try to grow too many.


My goals for March were:

1. Learn to use at least one legal method of getting images other than photos I’ve taken on my blog. (I’d love to have some shots of Africa on Jarn’s Journal, for instance.) Progress? Mostly looking up creative commons on Google, and finding a few pictures I’d like to use. I’ve also talked to a friend about using some of his African photos.

2. Continue to blog at least 5 days a week. (I’m doing 7 now, but I’ve signed up for a number of adult classes in March.) Progress? So far I’ve blogged every day and have posts lined up for 10 of the remaining 26 days.

3. Edit Chs 2 and 9 of my WIP to give more showing, less telling. Progress? I think I have Ch 2 done.

4. Participate in at least one Platform-building challenge–hesitate to commit for more without knowing what they are. Progress? I accepted the first Campaign Challenge and posted the result. Not sure if achieving this goal in February counts, though.

And I received notice that my second novel, Tourist Trap, is a finalist in the Reader Views Literary Awards contest! So I’m on track, at least.