Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Kentucky spring weather continues to be capricious.
These photos are from Sunday--a lovely day to be outside.
Change is noticeable each day--the shimmer of emerging leaves in myriad shades of green, or in the case of the maples, having distinctive rosy sheen. 

 I invented reasons to be outside--tidbits to be taken to the barn cats, the return of a jar which had held goats' milk, scraps to be tossed on what I call the 'compost pile.'

The redbuds have their glory days, providing flamboyant color after winter's somber hues.

I could endlessly watch the baby goats.

Isn't she cute?
Her nose is dangerously close to the electric fence which B. put up to confine the little ones to their grassy area off the back entry which served the Amish owners as their wash house.  A small roofed area has been converted to a straw-lined bed where a heat lamp glows through the night.

The youngest goats--triplet doelings--were brought out for the first time. They were quick to realize that they had space to caper and run.
Inevitably, the baby goats must learn that contact with the electric fence is unpleasant. When an inquisitive nose touches the wire, or an airy leap brings a small hoof in contact, the kid yelps and bounces away, quickly developing a healthy wariness.

Not so with one of the little does. At her first 'bite' from the fence she flung herself into it rather than away, thrusting right through the four strands of wire, then, compounding her misery, turned and bolted back through, bleating piteously. 
She repeated this maneuver three times, crying.
F. climbed into the pen, cornered her and held her against his chest until she quieted.  When he set her on the grass she was ready to play. 
The baby goats love attention and there is always the possibility that a human approaching the pen may be bringing their food.
Until they are all more wary of the fence I've tried to admire them from a little distance not wanting to see them jostle each other against the wires.

Sally, who has developed an 'attitude,' is determined to nap in large plant pots.
I intend to take out some plastic cutlery to poke into the soil as deterrents. 

I tore myself away from the goats and decided I was ready to tackle some gardening chores, although I'm still favoring my back a bit.
The rugosas planted by my predecessor have put out yet more runners where they are not wanted.
I grubbed with a shovel, trying to follow the stout stems back to the mother plant. I found several sturdy volunteers had emerged in crevices between the concrete steps. Even a small length of woody stem left behind is capable of generating another bush or two.
I scraped out places in the gravely soil of the steep bank behind the retaining wall and poked the largest of the shoots into the ground. Several transplanted there a year ago have taken root.
The roses are pretty and sweet-scented and can do no harm if they should spread along the side hill.
Keeping the remaining ones within bounds will mean continuing vigilance.

I climbed the fence into the pasture where I had hastily interred a clump of double orange daylilies 2 years ago. I divided the roots and set them out below the concrete landing at the foot of the side porch steps. The creeping phlox which bloomed there during our first spring in residence has 'died out' allowing dandelion and other weedy things to flourish.  Knowing that 'ditch lilies,' as they are locally called, can multiply and bloom in adverse situations, this seems a likely place for them.
I rummaged out some plastic containers and planted a few seeds: tomato, muskmelon, viola, achillea. These are in the east facing windows of the sunroom and pantry. 
A few viola have pricked through the surface of the soil and one venturesome muskmelon has poked up a sturdy loop of green stem. 
Four packets of seeds arrived in yesterday's mail: two additional varieties of achillea that I covet, a pink butterfly weed [asclepias incarnata] and Camelot foxglove.
I shall no doubt once more over whelm myself with plants!
I have asked my daughter to be alert to any large planting containers that may appear on the yard sale circuit.
It was nearly dark when I gave up and creaked inside for a hot shower and a comforting mug of tea.

Clematis Candida has more than a dozen buds.
Rainy days and chilly nights are predicted for later in the week.
Exasperating--we had spring in February and now a relapse!


  1. We have SUNSHINE today. I am drawn to the beach, but now that I feel better when we get back I will get Heith to help me put the plastic greenhouse up (Tam got me a new cover). Like you, I find it hard to stay inside when it is so lovely out. The leaves are tardy on our valley trees as it is 9/10 Ash, which is always the last to come into leaf.

    I would find it hard to watch the goatlings learning to respect the electric fence too - especially the twitterpated ones who leap INTO it instead of away.

  2. Always good to read and see photos in your posts. That poor little doeling and the elec. fence.

    It looks and sounds like spring is happening there for you. I hope your next bout of rainy chilly weather will do no damages.

  3. I enjoyed your puttering very much! That picture of the redbud tree just speaks of early Spring in the country to me. Hope your back feels better soon!


  4. I know what you mean about capricious, every time I think spring is solidly here we have a frost or freeze warning.
    The goats are adorable!

  5. Refreshing pictures! I can just smell your fresh air! Your cat is so silly in that pot! ha. Andrea