Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sailing into spring: savor it in Montana, San Diego or wherever in the world you are!

The violet blossoms of the jacaranda trees are brilliant. 
 Imported from Mediterranean cities such as Barcelona, they number 
in the thousands and are found in all neighborhoods of San Diego.

THERE'S NO more hopeful time of year than spring -- wherever on the planet you are.
Whether you're strolling the streets of Rome, sailing San Diego Bay or planting the garden in Nye, Montana, spring is the time for optimism. Colors seem more vivid.  Scents seem more intense (here in the Beartooth Mountains, we just had a week of rain and the earth smells rich and loamy.  The wild roses and dogwood are blooming and the sage, peony and daisies are leafing out.) The long pre-solstice days mean light until nearly 10 p.m. in the northern Rockies!
I'VE SPENT spring in Texas hill country, wildflowers up to my
 Kate Sessions Park in San Diego is loveliest in spring.
middle.  I've spent spring exploring the ruins in Delos and sipping wine in Santorini, prowling the rain forest in northeast Australia (where spring comes during our autumn), and sailing the swells of the Irish sea with loved ones. Lately, I've gotten a pleasant upward tilt, staring with delight to admire the wild lavender blossoms of San Diego's signature jacarandas. Thousands of these trees were in their glory as I departed that lovely city. A picnic in Kate Sessions Park was a perfect afternoon's end.
Filling the bird feeders is a spring ritual
on the first day of Cookie's return to Montana.
IN MONTANA, where I'm newly arrived to savor the most glorious time of year here, the hummingbirds were zipping about as I began arranging and fertilizing seven dozen bedding plants.  I spotted three varieties of this magnificent and ever-thirsty tiny bird: the rufus (largest and most aggressive), the ruby-throated (with its glorious crimson scarf) and the caliope (the smallest bird on the hemisphere). "I'll be right back," I told them. "Stick around." I took a quick trip inside to cook up a batch of nectar (four parts water, one part sugar, plus a dash more, boiled for four minutes). The hummers were buzzing about waiting for me when I returned with a fistful of feeders.  They literally followed me to the aspen tree where one of the feeders -- the most popular -- has hung for at least a decade. Filling these and a dozen bird feeders took a couple hours.  Already I have customers:  chickadees, finches and buntings so far.
 "Cap'n Keller'' sails out of San Diego Bay.
Spring came earlier in San Diego, and sailing was divine. Of course, spring is more dramatic in places like Montana, where winters can be long and harsh and the ground is often snow-covered for months. Spring is proof that winter is not endless.
 Rome's fruit and flower stands herald spring and lure shoppers.
Now that we're settling back in to rural Montana life, we'll be inserting more posts about this neck of the woods.
Whether you're sailing, planting, hiking, biking, jogging, touring or just plain savoring the season of rebirth, enjoy your spring and remember to explore, learn and live!

COMING UP: Future blogs will feature a sprightly 92-year old San Diego Jazzercise icon, former big band girl singer and a "rock star" inspiration to women 40, 50 and 60 years younger. How does she remain forever young, engaged and an encouraging role model to youth? (With still sexy legs!)
A lifelong love of sailing took our explorers on
the Jada recently. She's a jewel and you can
enjoy her too thanks to an enterprising owner.
And want to sail San Diego Bay in a vintage boat with personalized service, commentary and delicious food and beverage? Find out about the classic Jada here.
We'll also explore San Diego's glider port, exotic birds and the new San Diego Repertory season. It's cutting edge. Plus we'll give advice on getting the most out of precious time in Europe. And we'll share tips on traveling with pets. We'll also walk you through the trials and triumphs  of getting a first-time driver's license in California!  All at "where is Cookie." Remember to explore, learn and live!
Our posts appear Wednesdays and Saturdays at

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