Yard Work In The Dark

7-26-2018

Home today. Although it is still high, the water in the creek has subsided considerable, as it tends to go up and down quickly in response to heavy rain. I decided to do some yard work today. Mowing and weeding the garden, both of which desperately needed some attention. I like doing the yard work. It keeps me active and outside even when I’m at home. It is also nice to see the fruits of your labor. The yard and flower beds look fresh, orderly, and manicured when I get done. The garden needed the most love, as it was completely hidden beneath weeds. Most of the seeds I planted actually got dug up and eaten last spring, so I didn’t pay much attention to what was actually growing within the garden fence. But I see now that some food plants are struggling for space and light. Although most of what is growing was not planted by my hand. Instead it has sprouted from the compost I put down as fertilizer. Weeding a garden this far gone will take a couple of days, but I made a significant dent in the weed population. I actually ran out of daylight while weeding and didn’t really want to start just because it got dark. Then realized I still needed to be all the equipment away and tidy some other stuff up. Yard work in the dark is another summer time phenomena in my world!

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Garden!

6-5-2018

Last week, I turned the soil in my garden and spread compost through it. A few days ago I raked it all smooth and today I planted the seeds. I decided no tot use a weed blocking ground cloth this year, mostly because I use the last of it last year and the stuff is excessively expensive. So I lovingly dug small furrows and hills to plant the seeds. This year I had sprouted potato eyes to put in the ground, as well as seeds for peas and cucumber to place along the fence line so they can climb. There are three kinds of lettuce and a whole row of carrots. I even planted tomato seeds, although I never have much luck with them because they don’t have enough time to mature. This year I decided to try planting the Three Sisters like the Native Americans used to do. For each hole. I put in some compost and a corn seed, a bean seed and a squash seed. I guess we’ll see what happens. Supposedly the bean plant can climb the corn as it grows and the squash leaves shade the ground to keep weeds at bay. Mostly it is just satisfying to dig in the dirt and enjoy being outside on a fine spring day.

Asparagus!

5-25-2018

Yummy, Yummy! Tall green stalks, dark green leaf buds on top, growing straight up from the dark fertile garden soil. Each stalk breaks with a crisp snap, water dripping from the broken ends. I crunch the delicious thick green shoots between my teeth, the taste of fresh picked asparagus bursting through my senses. After eating several stalks, I manage to pick and collect enough for tonight’s dinner vegetable for my husband and I. Eating the first fresh asparagus from the garden is a scrumptious spring ritual that I look forward to every year.

Last Garden Harvest

12-4-2017 Magic Moment:

A rainy late fall day, warm by December standards, but chill to the exposed damp skin. I decide that today is the day to pull the last carrots from the garden. Last spring, the slugs attacked the sprouts as they came up. Then later, other critters ate the green carrot tops as they tried to regrow. I had given up on carrots. In September, I noticed small carrot greens poking up through the weeds. Aha! Maybe there will be some carrots after all! Right now the ground has thawed from the cold snaps, and the rain has made the soil workable. Time to pull the carrots. The mud sucks at my fingers, pulling on the thick orange roots, not wanting to give up its tasty treasures. A couple break off mid stick and I have to dig down into the sticky clay laden earth. The prize is worth it. I am rewarded with several crisp, perky, bright orange carrots. The last harvest from my meager slightly neglected garden.

Last Daisies and Last Peaches

10-26-2017 Magic Moment:

Spent some time conscious and in an upright position today, walking around even. It is another perfect sunny fall day outside, windows open to the fresh air. There is a flower bed next to the driveway that has spring bulbs planted in it, but after they died back, the strip of fertile earth erupted in local wildflowers. I didn’t do anything with it all summer; it’s quite overgrown in that happy wild sort of way. At some point I will weed it out and put it to bed for the winter, but now there are daisies blooming. I have noticed that if the fall is warm, sunny, and prolonged into Indian summer, there are several late spring/ early summer flowers that enjoy a second bloom for the year. This opportunistic second bloom is never as abundant as the first one, but I like seeing daisies in October. These flowers are kind of like me in that I’m not ready for summer to end. We will all just ignore the shorter days and cold nights. The child’s happy yellow sun up there in the baby blue sky is just bright enough for us all to pretend that summer is endless, as endless as this moment right now can be! Knowing I’ll be weeding this patch of ground as soon as the surgery incision is healed enough for me to be comfortable doing physical labor, I decide to pick these daisies to put in a vase inside. After filling the vase, I check to see if all the small hard peaches in the brown bag are soft enough to eat. Oh yes! Some have started to get rotten spots. These little peaches from the tree in the yard that sprouted out of the compost pile 10 or so years ago get cut up into a bowl, every so lightly sprinkled with turbinado sugar with a dash of lemon juice. YUM! Peachy goodness! Summer sunshine in a bowel with smiling daisies on the counter. Life is good!

First Pine Cones

9-30-2017

We have a spruce tree out by the garden, that we planted it almost 20 years ago. It started out as a living Christmas tree. I like having the fresh trees in the house for the holiday, but loathe killing a tree just for decoration. We even used potted flowing plants at our wedding instead of killing flowers for floral arrangements. (Yes, go ahead and call me kooky)

Back then, when the baby tree came inside for Christmas, it sat proudly on the table in the front window, beautiful and evergreen. However, it liked being in the warm, bright house and sprouted its spring growth before the decorations came off. So, it had to stay on the table until the outdoor trees did the same thing much later in the actual spring time.

The next year, we got another living tree, and tried again. We only kept it inside for a short time and planted it before it sprouted, but it died. So we decided not to do any more living trees, they are expensive, and we do not have space to grow trees inside the house. So my husband bought a small tree; fabulously tacky metallic silver with color changing fiber optic lights. If you are going fake, it might as well be as fake as fake can be. No decorations needed and the light show is wonderful!

Now, that first tree, from our first Christmas together, is maybe 30 feet tall, robust, growing happily out by the garden. This year it produced open pine cones for the first time! This tree has grown from a small seedling into a full grown reproducing tree. We had the pleasure of watching the whole process, seeing the growing changes from year to year. Mother Nature at her finest!

More Summer Than Summer

9-23-2017

Feeling good today. Now that it is officially Fall, today is more like a hot, sun drenched summer day than most of the days we had up here in the mountains all summer. Go figure! I’m taking advantage of it by doing some necessary yard work. All the flower beds need to be put in order for the winter. Lots of weeds to pull out and bulbs to plant. I pull out the giant knee pad pad I made from an old discarded squishy foam pool float toy I pulled out of the creek a couple of years back. I put on a bikini top with shorts, slather the sun screen onto my back, and put on the trusty wide rimed floppy garden sun hat with sun glasses. Pop the ear buds in to listen to a book while I work, and I’m ready for a garden/ yard day that is more like summer than summer was! Enjoy it while it lasts!