Monday, May 2, 2016

Green Darkness

A gaggle of geese visit from their home across the road.
We noted that the family once included six goslings; the four remaining young seem to have reached a point of stability.

All three of B.'s female barn cats have produced kittens. 
The two white/calico mums are very shy--I've not been able to approach them. 
This one hunts in the strip of pasture that faces the road.  I warn her that going into the roadway wouldn't be a wise exploration.
Today B. reported that she has located  two litters of kittens--both tucked away in the barn loft.
The grey and orange mom-cat tends hers in a bin in the main aisle between goat stalls.

We have had rain for some part of each day or night during the past week.
The rain was needed after a dry early spring.
It has come in brief but torrential out-pourings, rain that pounds noisily on the roof, accompanied by rumbling thunder.
Between showers I venture outside, noting the damage to the iris, realizing that to walk through the veg garden would be to leave squelching footprints which would quickly fill with water.
Trees, weeds, wild plants, rough grass--all are agressively green, glowing vividly in the mid-day darkness that accompanies a rainy day.

Intermittently, the sun appears, shouldering its way through billows of pewter clouds.
The cats come out of hiding and pick their way along the timbers of the raised beds, keeping their feet dry.

Bobby sits on the cement landing below the side porch steps.
He is afraid of thunder.  At the first rumble he asks to be let into the house, where he takes refuge in the windowless downstairs bathroom, wedging himself behind the laundry basket. 

A few moments of sunshine, casting shadows.

Therese Bugnet.
In my former garden, Therese sent runners from the perennial strip into the edge of the lawn.
I rescued several from Jim's ruthless sweeps with the mower and potted them.
They survived our first winter here heeled into the rocky soil of the rough garden.
Last year I gave them a home in the end of the timbered perennial strip.
The blooms are soft, blowsy, with a classic rose scent.
The first blossom has opened in the rain.

I enjoy the fuzzy pale buds of a classic achillea nearly as much as the warm golden yellow of the opened flowers.

I am petitioning Jim for timbers to line the remainder of the fence which separates the garden from the rough, shady ground that falls away to the little brook.
Weeds are leaning in from the back side of the fence.
My new clematis, Duchess of Edinburgh, is planted in front of the trellis with bricks on either side to discourage the indiscriminate digging of cats.

I attempted to prop up the rain-battered iris, but they flopped as soon as I turned my back on them.
On Thursday--which was beautifully sunny--we visited two of the nurseries in the South Fork Mennonite community.
We came home with three blueberry bushes and a flat of strawberry plants.
The rough garden isn't an ideal growing area but it is what we have available at present.
Jim used tractor and tiller to turn the ground.
I scrambled about 'picking' rocks.
We put down a weed barrier fabric and set the plants in place--just in time for another rain shower.
I picked rocks here last year, by the bucketful.
It appears that whenever I lack for something to do I can continue to gather up rocks.

The brook that runs beside the lane is full, swirling noisily around the clumps of willow.

I discovered the strange leathery green toad on the windowsill of the back porch when I was pegging out laundry.

Buds are forming on the coneflowers.
The ones I started from seed and set out in the fall are catching up with several nursery transplants.

As I look at my recent blog posts and scroll through the photos I've taken, I see that my subject matter doesn't differ from day to day.
I strive to capture incremental changes, documenting stages of growth and the progress of the season. 
For several decades travel was a part of our business--Jim's years of owning and driving a semi, then the busy time of building in Wyoming when we so often traveled hundreds of miles out of state to buy materials. 
It was exciting to be a part of that, but I am a home-lover by nature.
I am content to trudge  down the lane, to venture along the road and across the field, to pick my way along the edge of the creek.
Walking along the lane, a retinue of cats at my heels, I pause to listen to the drilling of a woodpecker, invisible in his chosen tree on the side of the ridge.
Sparrows twitter in the hedge and the scarlet of a male cardinal flashes in the branches of a sweet gum tree.
As I approach the house, the damp air is laden with a spicy scent of  rain-splashed 'pinks,' mingling with the freshness of grass, new leaves,  a fainter hint of recently turned earth, of animals.
The green darkness of rainy days hangs over the farm, invades my quiet kitchen.
As I close the door, rain begins again, a steady drumming of sound on the metal roof.
I park my wellies by the door, ready for the next break in the weather and another stroll around my green and growing acres.


  1. We love to travel, but like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ I often repeat there's no place like home.

  2. Janet; I am grateful for the experience of travel in the US and Canada, as well as Mexico. I would have liked to visit places in Great Britain--ancestral locales and those that figure in my favorite books. 'Package tours' wouldn't be my thing--I like my own pace!

  3. I love to read about your strolls around your green and growing acres.

    Your header is spectacular.

    1. Lillian; I asked Jim to stop the car when a bend in the road brought us along side the field of brilliant flowers. I realized it was a clover relative as soon as I walked near--Crimson Clover--as I found via a google search. Evidently a practical 'cover crop', but what a stunning display before it is turned under or harvested as hay.