The five little things that made my week…
1. These two. Mischief makers in the garden.
Early spring can feel like a game of garden roulette: sunny and warm one week, tempting you to transplant all those tomatoes you’d started inside, then wet and cold the next week, reminding you that frost isn’t entirely out of the picture.
If you’re itching to get outside but the unpredictable weather is reigning you in, there’s still plenty you can do around the yard before (and aside from) sowing seeds or putting tender seedlings in the ground. The name of the game in March is “clean-up,” and this checklist will walk you through all the sometimes forgotten (or intentionally overlooked) tasks to help you tune-up your garden for prime planting season.
Late winter to early spring is one of my favorite times to be in the garden: the days are longer, the weather’s warmer, and the air is thick with the heady fragrance of flowers from our orange and mandarin trees. When I’m feeling pulled in multiple directions and need to decompress, even for just a few minutes, I simply stand under the canopy of my citrus tree and breathe it all in. It’s like having my own aromatherapy session; the scent is delicate yet overpowering all at once, and slowly I feel my spirits start to lift.
I have a love/hate for Daylight Saving Time. On the one hand, I’m thrilled that the days are about to get longer and I can get a little more work done in the garden, finish my bike rides while it’s still light out, and not feel like it’s time for bed when it’s only 8 pm.
On the other hand, “losing” that hour of sleep makes me feel off kilter for weeks as I struggle to nip my late-night habits in the bud. Research has shown that our circadian rhythms never fully adjust to Daylight Saving Time, and the transition is especially difficult for night owls. (Not to stray off topic, but I am firmly in the “let’s abolish DST once and for all” camp. Or maybe I should just move to Arizona.)
When I think of slot canyons, I think of the stunning water-carved walls of Southern Utah and the tall narrow gorges of Northern Arizona. I think of iconic slots with telling names like the Subway, the Zion Narrows, and Secret Canyon. What I don’t picture, however, is a slot canyon just outside of Palm Springs, California, a land more known for palm trees and art deco hotels than its geologic wonders.
In fact, you wouldn’t know this treasure of a hike was only a few miles off the road. It’s not the type of hike you find on a two-lane highway meandering through dramatic mesas or bucolic farm land; on the contrary, it’s accessed by urban freeways through industrial areas full of mines and windmills.
But it’s there, hidden in Mecca Hills, a protected wilderness formed by the convergence of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. You may be more familiar with one of its most prominent features, the San Andreas Fault — in fact, the active fault line runs right through Mecca Hills.
In her first year of life, Gemma camped in the snow, hiked the Cascades, explored the Colorado Plateau, and visited a variety of terrain from sea level to 12,000 feet above. Through it all, she remained a happy, healthy baby and simply adores being outside, rain or shine.
What’s your secret to bringing a baby outdoors? other parents want to know. And while they think my answer will be one of the many pieces of gear we’ve acquired since becoming parents ourselves (we definitely don’t travel lightly!), I always tell them it comes down to one thing: layers.