I discovered these pallid little day lily shoots this weekend while raking. Everything else looks dead. Even the grass is the color of dried straw. This is a wonderful time to celebrate texture, before we begin to celebrate the color of spring.
Take your child outdoors and see how many different textures you can find. Touch things and see if you can describe how they feel. These dried hydrangea flowers feel papery.
Oak branches are gorgeous, encrusted with silvery and green lichens.
Some carpenters have left heaps of sawdust all around the house. I love sawdust. It is so fresh and clean. It is wonderful to sweep it across the floor, gathering up drywall dust as you go.
I found this tangle of grass roots on the edge of the beach, where the stormy winter sea ate away at the dune.
We found a beautiful silver driftwood log a couple of years ago. My husband has been turning it for me to weather it evenly on all sides. We brought it home a couple of weeks ago. It is going to be something, I don't know what yet, maybe a mantel.
I was amazed the first time I saw clever seagulls breaking clams on the rocks. They fly above the rocks or the road with the clams they have found and drop them from up high. Dinner's ready!
Look at the detail which goes into something as tiny as a feather.
I love the variety of stones on New England beaches.
These grasses grow in the briny wetlands. Their soft plumes look dazzling in the sunshine.
I have been puzzling out these markings on an old cedar log. My guess is that an insect tunneled under the bark long ago and laid some eggs. The larvae ventured out from their home in a radiating pattern, chewing little trails. What do you think?
Look how the water in the salt marsh carves the sand.
When you are holding a baby who can't crawl yet, take her outside and let her touch bark and leaves. That is what I did with my babies. I felt sorry for them, always looking at plants and trees from someone's arm, or the sling, or the stroller. They probably don't know what to make of an oak tree until they get to touch it. Suddenly, it is not just a picture, it is solid, is is scratchy. You can flake little bits of bark off with your fingernail. It has tiny mountains and valleys. It is not just gray. It is black and brown and silver with dustings of sage green. Let them touch. They will learn so much by exploring texture.