Fred Kennedy

His Eye is on the Sparrow

This morning as I parked my car and headed into church, I heard one of my favorite, long-awaited sounds of spring. I know what you’re thinking . . . it must have been a bird, or a sparrow as my title suggests. Well, no. This was actually a man-made sound. It was the distant hum of a lawn mower engine. It is one of the three sounds I anticipate as we move from winter to spring: migrating songbirds, the lawn mower, and the first cricket . . . in that exact order. I’ve now heard two of the three. The third will still be a few weeks away, but I know that spring is well underway.

My title today, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” is a reference to what is a familiar hymn to many.  Unlike some of my friends, it’s not a hymn I learned as a child. In fact, I only recently learned this beautiful song during choir rehearsal a few months ago.  My heart soars — much like a sparrow — during the refrain:

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For his eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.

Last night I attended a Christian concert with some lovely ladies from our church. It was a wonderful night of friendship, fellowship, laughter and great music! The headline band, Mercy Me, led the crowd in an a cappella rendition of the song during their set. I was so glad I knew the words and was able to sing along. What a special reminder about how God cares for all of his creatures!

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? — Matthew 6:26

As we welcomed Song Sparrows back to our yard this week, I’ve also been seeing other signs of spring.

Our peach tree and Redbud are both blooming! The trick will be to keep the deer away — especially if we spot any tiny peaches in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

Julie now works at a local nursery and has been doing lots of planting at home. She started an herb garden for me that sits on the steps leading to our patio. The rosemary was beginning to wilt in the house so Julie re-potted it and is hoping to coax it back to life. She also planted parsley, tarragon, thyme and cilantro.

And finally, we are trying a new crop this year . . . strawberries! I may have to battle some of my feathered friends once we have some fruit on the plants. 😉

I hope you are enjoying some signs of spring around your yard and garden too. Have a blessed week!

Fred Kennedy

Bring on the Spring!

Now that the last of the snow has melted from our unexpected and unwelcome March storm, we are feeling optimistic that spring might finally make an appearance. The famed cherry blossoms of Washington, DC reached peak bloom yesterday (March 25), however, only about half the blossoms survived the recent deep freeze. You can read more about the blossoms and view some beautiful photos on the Cherry Blossom Watch website.

Neil starts his tomato seeds indoors in February. For the past two years he has also tried to graft several varieties, with some success. He does a lot of research during the winter months and continues to refine his technique. Last year several of the grafts survived and provided a nice harvest of fruit well into the summer. There haven’t been any survivors yet this year, but he is not giving up. Other fruits and vegetable plants are thriving! They are enjoying the sunny windowsill in our kitchen until they are either moved to the cold frame outdoors, or planted after the last frost. Our first Brandywine tomato is doing well, as are the butternut squash and cantaloupe plants. Neil planted some carrots and shallots outdoors since they will not be affected by any late season frost.

My life without Facebook continues to yield wonderful benefits. I finished Julie’s winter scarf just in time for the last few chilly days of March, much to her delight. I’ve also been spending more time just sitting at the kitchen table, watching some of God’s most fascinating creatures — the many colorful birds visiting our backyard feeders. If my nose had been buried in my timeline, I would have missed the flock of Cedar Waxwings visiting our birdbath during their migration, or the huge Pileated Woodpecker hammering on the dead tree in the wooded area behind our house. (If you’ve never seen the largest woodpecker in North America, check out this Audubon link!) Yesterday morning I visited our local Wild Birds Unlimited store and attended a presentation about using native Virginia plants to attract a wider variety of birds. The added bonus would be attracting more pollinators to our garden too. That would be a win for the birds and the bees!

Our temperatures soared into the low 80’s yesterday and it was a gorgeous day to be outside. After running errands, I took a quick a tour around the yard and caught the last of our daffodils blooming, and noticed our peonies are poking through the soil.  We are also getting ready to plant two blueberry bushes (pictured below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are all looking forward to spring! How about you?