When I was small, I kept a few exceptionally large Pussy Willows in a little found nest on my dresser. I think I imagined them to be micebirds or something equally magical. I cut a small piece of felt and made a blanket for them, and kept a little water in a bottle cap should they get thirsty. I petted them, talked to them, loved them.
To this day, collecting Pussy Willows is one of my most favorite rites of spring. Each year I celebrate "Pussy Willow Day," a sunny Saturday or Sunday in late February or early March when there's still snow on the ground, and warmer weather brings a waft of the sweet smell of mud on the breeze and I know... they're ready!
I gather my children, friends, neighbors, and dogs (anyone who will come) for a walk in the woods, and pack up some wine, fresh cheese, and a great round of bread. Formal attire includes... Read More