The week has brought us rainy nights, misty mornings, hesitant sunshine,
quickly swallowed by billowing clouds.
On Monday afternoon it was clear with a biting wind.
I bundled up and tackled the pruning of fruit trees and blackberry canes.
I was wearing a ragged but warm 'hoodie' under my coat, with the hood pulled up and snugly tied--a good thing as the blackberry branches snatched at me relentlessly as I crawled along the row.
Sally and Sadie, the tortie barn cats wove in and out of the blackberries, getting in my way. Sadie created a nest in this length of black tarp, warmed in the afternoon sun.
The visiting Marmalade Tom kept watch from a respectful distance.
Later, he allowed me to stroke him as he wolfed kibble from a dish in the carport.
His demeanor, wary, but not unfriendly, suggests that he has interacted with human-kind before.
The sun slid down in the west leaving the garden suddenly chilled.
Golden after-glow warmed the woods east of the creek across the road.
Tuesday brought more clouds and sunshine, more blustery wind.
In the sky over the cornfield crows wheeled, calling in hoarse tones.
Rain again on Wednesday night. I woke and heard the whoosh of wind and the scratching of shrubby branches against the sides of the house.
At 7 a.m. when I opened the curtains a chilly mist swirled about the dooryard and whitened the
more distant view.
The view south with pasture, old barn and neighbor's cattle invisible in the white shroud.
The sun rose beyond the creek, bird voices rang in the thick warming air.
On the front porch Willis the barn cat was still curled sleepily in his sheepskin rug.
The mist burned off to a blue sky day, temperatures warmed to over 70 F.
This maple tree in the back yard is more forward than the others.
Although I know it is still too wet for real gardening, the cold soil clutching at the roots of weeds and precious plants alike, I wanted to be at work outside.
I brought out a garden fork, three-fingered digger and snippers,
and tackled the tangle of creeping weeds which have invaded the flower strips during this mild winter.
Above me the wind sang; across the road by the creek 'peepers' trilled their spring chorus.
During a lull in the gale I heard the cronking voices of sandhill cranes and lumbering to my feet went in search of them, wondering if a flock had perhaps lighted down to glean in the corn patch.
I didn't see them, not on the ground, nor in the sky, but stood listening as their cries faded.
Pulling away matted weeds, I sought two clumps of columbine.
This strip of garden, backed by the garage and facing east, has altered since it was made in the spring of 2010. In laying it out I didn't leave adequate room for the lawn mower to pass between this strip and the two which run perpendicular to it. Sod has been allowed to grow back narrowing the strip. The three Double-Red Knock -Out Roses have grown and spread. Mint planted beneath them has sprawled and tangled. The clumps of spice pinks have established. I found one columbine,
nearly over-taken by the pinks.
Although I worked through weeds below the third rose, I didn't find the other columbine.
By that time the sun had disappeared behind the garage and the damp of the ground was making itself felt.
I was delighted to find this clump of catnip, fragrant and thriving near one of the roses.
The catnip I dried last September for the resident felines is nearly gone.
The daffodils which have held their buds tight since January are at last daring to unfold!