Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring is Sprung, No Grass is Riz, But I Know Where the Birdies is!

I saw snowdrops blooming today!  And the "dawn chorus" of birds isdefinitely swelling.  My neighbor is planting peas tomorrow - he has real soil and the air temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s.  I am going to try some "Tom Thumb" peas in one of my containers, we have quite literally 3 inches of topsoil over gravel and I will try to plant perennials, but I am not doing a full fledged garden..  I guess we are having an early spring.

I got some Yunnans from Upton's and today's is their ZY47 China Yunnan Imperial Gen Ben Shi.  It is billed as a "classic" Yunnan.  The dry leaves are very crinkled, mostly black, with some gold buds.  It has a deep, nutty, woodsy smell, with a bit of roasted eggplant thrown in.  I brewed it for 5 minutes with boiling water, which yielded a very dark brown brew, which again smelled wonderfully nutty and toasty.

The tea has some spice in it, as well as the nuts and toasted/roastedness.  There is also a definite vegetal edge - almost an autumnal edge to it.  It is hearty, but delicate, you really have to close your eyes and concentrate on the subtle nuances.  This is a little difficult to do, as it is a very smooth tea.   It is only when I held the tea in my mouth for a bit that I noticed there was also a bit of astringency - just enough to be piquant.  An altogether very nice tea indeed.

My cousins are coming for a few days and I need to really scrub my house - one is quite allergic to cats and we have 4 of the little darlings.  Wouldn't you know that the kitties who never sleep in the guest room, have all gone in there to sleep all this week?  Cats, who can figure?

A very old church in Ravenna, Italy, which has the most creative parking I have ever seen.  If there is a space, no matter how small, use it and climb out the roof.  If not, park in the sidewalk.  Our hotel room, including the nightstands and all the doors was beautiful pink veined marble.  No window screens, but NO bugs.  Why are we so blessed with bugs?

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

I also have experienced this "chorus" of birds.

Yesterday I went birdwatching with a couple of my close friends, and we drove to a nature preserve...and as soon as we got out of the car, we were surrounded by a very loud chorus of birds, raucous at times, which continued nearly the whole time we were out, through a variety of habitats. I saw a number of first for the year, including an Eastern Phoebe, bluebirds, and tree swallows, as well as Ring-necked ducks (which migrate through PA around this time of year, often stopping in small ponds). It was pretty exciting.

Even in the city I've been hearing a lot more birds singing in the morning, including carolina wren, robins, and cardinals, in some very urban areas. Mockingbirds are also singing again.