New Word #105
There’s an old Italian couple living in a small house not far away from where I live. They have made their front yard a beautiful Italian garden. Since they live at the corner, their garden stretches from their neighbor’s hedges on the right hand side to the edge of the sidewalk on their left, which gives them at least half an acre of space. And here the lady of the house (I think the artist and the gardener is the wife) plants daffodils, daises, morning glory and other beauties that I can’t name. In between flowers, there are stone animals, stone boys and girls, a stone fountain, and a little trellis standing as if to create a passage way underneath. And the steps leading to the house are decorated by no less than ten flower pots of even more beautiful flowers. And the front porch is like a performance stage for flowers in pots, in wooden boxes, some hanging from the porch ceiling, and some on the window sill. It is a spring wonderland.
I wish I can take a picture and post it online, but probably that’s not the kind of advertisement they want to have. Even though Edison is an immigrant town and most of the previous residents have since moved out, this couple continue to live here for year after year, cheering us up with their exuberance display.
Tree, Flower, Lawn
verdure: the fresh green color
verdant: lush and green. It is usually used to describe grass or vegetation.
vernal: of spring. This is the word to use when you want to use spring as a adjective, but still the word is not often used. The most often used phrase is vernal equinox, when the day and night are of equal length.
Birds do twitter, chirp, trill, whistle. And suddenly they come back in the last two weeks and now every morning I hear their chorus.
birdie, birdy: a child’s term for bird
avian, aviary, aviation:
- avian: relating to bird. This word is often used in avian influenza which is bird flu.
- aviary: a large cage for birds, often in a zoo.
- aviation: flying an airplane. When one wants to be formal, one use aviation to describe the act of flying an aircraft and aviator to describe the pilot.
Kill two birds with one stone: achieve to objects with one action.
bird in a gilded cage: a person live in luxury but without freedom.
eat like a bird: eat very little
I know why the caged bird sing: It is a a poem by Maya Angelou. It is also the title of her autobiography.
Bees and Butterflies: There are not as many bees and butterflies nowadays. I remember years ago, in spring time, bees noise could be annoying when one passed a flowering tree, but now one hardly see a worker bee busying with a flower. For butterflies, it is even rarer to encounter one. I think for the last several years, I haven’t seen one butterfly flying around.
cicada: Cicada is very noisy during the summer time. I remember when we lived in a rural area where my father worked in the coal mine and my mother worked as a teacher for the adult college of the coal mine, the summer is filled with the cicada noise during the day and the frog noise during the night. Both are very loud. One has to get used to it at first. After one gets used to it, one doesn’t hear it anymore. In 2021, it was said cicada is making their come back for several weeks–they have a 17 year life cycle of living most of their life underground. However the cicada didn’t show up in Edison at all. I guess the trees in the township is not as numerous as other areas.
wasp: There are more wasps than bees here. I often hears wasp stories. One of my acquaintance even told me about her family adventure of trying to get rid of a wasp nest on a tree right outside of her window. Her husband used insecticide spray, and the wasps were enraged. It end up they both got stung badly.
Groundhog Day: This is said to be a Dutch or German tradition that’s especially popular in Pennsylvania. Groundhog is a rate like animal which lives in the wild, usually in a hole underground for the winter. Every February they would come out. And whether they come out or not on February 2nd is an important sign. If it’s a sunny day and they see their shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. Actually I am just parroting what google says. I have no idea what this means. I only remember when I lived in Pennsylvania, it is quite a show on TV. A lot of people gathering and a very overfed groundhog will appear on the TV screen, looking a little confused why so many people are staring and cheering.
thunder: In different cultures, spring thunders have different significance. However nowadays, due to climate change, thunders happen even in winter, at least twice or three times a month. Because of this, spring thunders have lost its importance.
flooding: In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, spring flooding is something to watch out for, mainly because the melting of snow in upstream locations. There haven’t been much snow this past winter, so it is not a concern this year.
wind: This year, the wind is more severe than before. At least I feel this way. There are more days with wind above 15 miles per hour than under 15 mph. And snow and wind squalls happen regularly, which used to be rather rare.
temperature swing, spring freeze: “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens describes temperature swing in “Great Expectation”.
April showers bring May flowers: A popular phrase used in the spring.
April is the cruelest month: This is a line from T. S. Eliot’s “Waste Land”, which indicates his misgivings about hope, which, according to a pessimist, will bring disappointment.