Frost glinted on the tawny grass of the front fields and shimmered on the garage roof as the strengthening sun became a cheerful morning presence.
Stepping out to the carport with food for the barn cats I noted that the temperature stood at only a degree or two above freezing.
I doled out the morning treat of tinned fish-smelling stuff for the clamouring house cats,
scooped coffee into the pot.
Clad in flannel-lined jeans, a light long-sleeved top and fleecy pullover, I stood watching the birds at the feeder while I waited for the coffee maker to go through its ritual of burbling and hissing.
[I acquired the taste for coffee rather late in life and allow myself only the one cup, anticipated more for its sugared and creamed warmth than for any imagined morning boost.]
It was the usual sort of morning for our "retired" lifestyle--leisurely breakfast, a token tidying of the kitchen and bathroom, laundry set to chugging in the washer downstairs.
I ambled down the hall, sat at my desk, intending to have a quiet hour reading blogs.
It seemed chilly in this small room which has a north-west exposure.
I considered adding a layer of clothes, but decided that going outdoors would be theraputic.
I've noted that the swath of naturalized daffodils just down the road are in full bloom.
I swung briskly down the drive, heading south into the climbing sun.
Sure enough, within moments I had opened the snap front of my down vest and lowered the zip on the fleece pullover.
A light dancing wind pulled strands of hair from my loose braid and sang in my ears.
I gathered daffs, holding the soft yellow petals to my face, sniffing the cool sweet scent.
I marvel at the proliferation of daffodils here, flowing in yellow tides along the roadside, rippling down an embankment, marching along a shallow ditch.
I understand how wild flowers spread; seeds are carried on the wind, scattered by birds; how have these bulb plants increased by the thousands?
Back home, I reached down a jug from the cupboard and plunked the daffodils in water with no effort made at 'arrangement.' The jug was taller than needed, but I couldn't reach a better one without climbing on a chair--and I wanted to be back outside in the windy sunshine.
I found my snippers and cut a few of the suckers from the base of the goat willow in the front yard, poked them in with the daffs.
Teasel [aka 'Mamma's Darling] immediately landed on the buffet to snuffle the flowers and
do her own bit of re-arranging.
By the time we had harvested the late garden crops it was too constantly wet to do a fall
tilling of the garden.
I have fretted about that!
Daughter G. and grandson D. rolled into the yard just as J. decided that it was
time now to "turn" the lower veg strips.
[We quickly learned that "turning the garden" is the correct terminology here!]
J. has a collection of 3 tractors at the moment, in various stages of rehabillitation.
This blue monster seemed a bit over-large for the job!
No matter the wearying labor of the previous season, no matter that some crops were disappointing or the weather uncooperative: this is a scene to inspire the gardener--sunshine on newly turned rich soil, the pungent smell of wild onion and green weeds churned by the tiller, the scent of cool, damp earth.
D. removed wooden stakes and oddments that had been languishing in the planting strips over the winter.
He is part of a select group in his AG class who have been involved in 'land judging,' learning to assess the lay of a field and the qualities of the soil.
He stooped to pick up a handful of soil in the time-honored manner, making sage considerations.
J. walks along the east edge of the upper fenced garden, decides that it is still too wet to till.
G. rescues a clump of parsley and a hibiscus shrub to transplant at home, just down the road.
Sunshine and blue sky, a wind that nipped down our necks, billowed the laundry on the lines,
and dried the turned soil.
Sunshine--and a cat who takes his role of overseer very seriously.