The Fresh Breath of Spring


This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

It’s time for planting and all around us are farms with tractors making rows and planting seeds. The smell of the fresh dirt never ceases to make me feel good – a deep earthy scent that you know will soon yield crops.


We have many Amish farms in our community and we see them with teams of horses and discs as they prepare their own fields for planting. It’s like being in a time standing still but I’d venture to say a lot more work than the farmers using machinery.


We’ve been planting, too. Last year my husband planted a wildflower garden for me just like one my mother had at our farm when we were young. It was such a good feeling to see and smell the flowers and watch them sway in the breeze and open up to the sun. This year we cleaned up our rock garden at the lake and totally planted all wildflowers. I can’t wait to see it bloom. Our tulips are up and beautiful as are our daffodils. Some of last year’s flowers are popping up through the ground and each day they get a little taller.


Ralph has planted his favorite (hollyhocks and sunflowers). Last year he had twelve, eight, six and four foot sunflowers that were grand. They are majestic and this year he planted all the seeds he took off the heads, plus more packages. We may end up with a back yard full of sunflowers!

When I was a young wife and mother I loved putting up food for the winter, but I wasn’t so good in the garden. The want-to was there, but I didn’t seem to have the know-how and a lot of my plants died. Thank goodness for a mother-in-law who grew a huge garden and gave me lots of fresh vegetables and fruits to can.

I’m lucky to have a husband with a very green thumb. We’ve given up planting vegetables and fruits and switched to flowers. I do a lot of the prep work and I love raking and clearing the spots for seeds to be sown. I even got to plant a few seeds of my own, with Father Nature standing over me, of course.

Now all there is to do is wait. Flowers, vegetables, fruits – all reaching to the sun and begging for gentle rain. I can’t wait for the corn to be ripe because in our area there are big corn roasts almost every weekend when it’s ready. Nothing better than getting an ear of corn from the roaster, dipping it in a can of melted butter and standing around with friends laughing as the butter drips down your arms 0nto the ground.


I’m ready to enjoy summer (already have a hoarde of books to read, writing, knitting, coloring, journaling and sewing). We are moving to the lake lot next week and won’t move back home until October 15. What I most look forward to in the summer is the sound of loons on the lake, geese returning home, red-winged blackbirds, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, cardinals and blue jays all chattering at the bird feeder, plus the squirrels and chipmunks yipping and gathering peanuts in their cheeks. Throughout all this gentle patter I sit on the deck, watch the lake, and listen to children laughing as they  play in the water while I read. Ah, the glory of it all!

Hummingbird Feedermale cardinal




L.Leander is the author of the Inzared series (available on Amazon):


Inzared the Fortune Teller

and books for authors (also available on Amazon):

10 Extreme Tips to Publishing an e-Book

10 Extreme Tips to Marketing an e-Book

She may be found on these locations:

L.Leander Books on

L.Leander on

L.Leander on  Amazan Author


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Check out L.Leander’s book videos on

Critters by S. J.

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This Blog by S. J. Brown











As part of an A-z blog challenge I was asked to base my blog on the letter C. I took some time to 1Coloradoconsider what to write about. I could have written about my trip to Colorado. It was an interesting experience with a Wedding, a Pop up town, blue people, and yes wildlife. No matter where I am I seek out wildlife to photograph.


I also considered blogging about creativity. We all have a creative side and I could talk about mine. The many creative endeavors I approached over the years would make a good blog. I ran a ceramic business, dabbled in stained glass, and sketching and of course I write. However it just seemed natural for me to blog about critters. I photograph them, I write about them, and hang out with them whenever I can.

A critter is defined as being a living creature. I use the word critters a lot to describe my target 2chipmunksubjects when I am photographing. Critters come in a variety of sizes, shapes and temperaments. All of them fascinate me.


Some critters don’t live in areas I have access to so I have to visit them in zoos. While the challenge of finding my subject doesn’t exist in zoos there are other factors like fencing, fellow visitors and angles to contend with. Having a captive subject doesn’t always guarantee great images.


Wild critters are the real challenge for any wildlife photographer. They aren’t acclimated to people and tend to be where they want to be, not always where they are easy to find. Occasionally I get lucky and a critter magically crosses my path.


Most however need to be searched for, then not all of them are co operative. Others love the camera and will hang out with me for quite a while.


Some critters that are commonly seen can be quite difficult to photograph like the cabbage white6cabbage white butterfly. They flutter around and only pause for a brief few seconds. This leaves me with a very small window of opportunity to get them into the frame at desired angle and click the shutter button. Generally it takes several attempts even when I ask them to hold still.


Canada Geese are another critter that is easy to find and photograph. Since they hang out in groups or flocks I can zoom in on one or two and click away.

7canada goose

Larger critters can be easier to photograph, but few of them begin with the letter C. So I will end with one more critter who’s name begins with the letter C. This is a very popular critter who adorns holiday cards, symbolizes relationships, and vitality, and often visits my yard.


Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my thoughts on Critters.

You can find me on facebook at


Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013

Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website

A to Z Blog Challenge Post A-to-Z Road Trip