Monday, April 17, 2023

A Normal April

Sunday evening, the western sky a roiling of clouds. 

The day began with tentative sun and I ventured out to work in my flower gardens--moving a bit cautiously having spent much of the previous day with a heating pad on my back. 
Prior to my greenhouse shopping on Thursday I determined there was room for one more clematis along the wonky fence; a fine selection was available and I checked the descriptive details on the tags searching for a shorter growing variety.  Most were climbers capable of reaching 6-12 feet, more space than I have left.

I brought home 'Alionushka' described as 'non-clinging clematis, has 2-3 inch semi-nodding, rich mauve pink flowers.' It is petite with a mature height of about 3 feet, a nice fit for a short trellis at the end of the fence. It came wrapped around a hoop-shaped plastic support which went into the ground with the plant. This is a different type than those I am familiar with, so an intriguing experiment.

With Alionushka tenderly set in place, flat rocks arranged around to discourage exploratory digging by cats or raccoons, I moved to other tasks.
I pruned the sage plant in the front raised bed, then trudged around to the west side of the house to pull weeds and poke about in emerging perennials.
The wind was rising, the capricious sun disappeared.
Rain began to spatter down as I put away my tools, closed the open window on the west wall of the little greenhouse.
The day wore on with gusty wind, rain squalls, fitful bursts of sun.

I slipped out the back door and stood at the edge of the lower porch to record this moment of fading evening light. Within moments the sky was again a sullen steely grey.

The sun has beamed forth day-long on this Monday. The sky has been cloudlessly blue, the wind sharply cold, rushing noisily through the treetops, whirling through the grass of the east meadow in ripples of light and shadow. 

The hummingbird feeder has swung wildly on its hook beneath the east porch eaves. Flying in to feed, the male hummers cling to the rim, sipping as the wind flails them back and forth.

While sitting at my desk to read online a message popped in that Jim's expected truck parts had been delivered to the mailbox at the head of the lane.
I pulled on a light jacket, took the precaution of bundling my long hair into a clip and headed out. The force of the wind at my back tempted me to return to the house for a hooded jacket, but that seemed rather wimpy so I went along.

The mailbox was stuffed to capacity.
The anticipated small box for Jim, another item in a small slippery padded envelope, two boxes for me containing e-bay purchases, the credit card statement, the phone/internet bill, a local newspaper. 
Rather clumsily I managed to stack the boxes according to size, gripped the padded mailer and the bills tightly against the largest box and started the walk home.
The full force of the stinging wind was whipping me in the face, my hair was escaping its clip. I lurched along the gravel lane knowing that if I lost hold of the smaller envelopes they would be swept across the meadow. 
I made it almost to the house, clamping the smallest package under my chin. The entire stack of parcels then began sliding from my benumbed grasp and the smallest box fell to the ground. I nudged it up the slope of the drive with the toe of my shoe, keeping a desperate grip on the remainder of the armful. 
Jim emerged from his workshop, stood staring at me as though wondering what I was doing! 
'Pick up your package, and take this other one before I drop it!' I likely sounded testy, but it did seem as though he could see the dilemma!

Remembering that I chose paddle-type door handles for times such as this, I brought my elbow down on the latch, surged through the door and let go the tipple of boxes which slithered onto the table, startling the cats who had been dozing.
I decided a restorative mug of tea was in order.

I would have liked to do more pruning, but the force of the wind made outside work impossible. So, the desultory tasks--the preparing of a meal, tidying of the kitchen.
Matt and Gina stopped in on their way back from the produce auction, shared slices of the fancy cake they had acquired. 
Later J and I drove along the road to the Beachy's, J to pick up his half gallon of milk, I to select a 50# bag of unbleached flour. An unexpected treat was the purchase of two bunches of fresh local asparagus.

The wind began to subside as evening drew in. I went out with my camera to record the budding iris under the east facing lower level window.

The sprawling sage plant near the front door is displaying tightly folded buds.
The newest violas are settling into their pots.

Clematis Dr. Ruppel has a new blossom.

Seed-grown pinks along the west wall.

Today's blossom on Candida, caught in the last glow of evening sunlight.

I've been browsing through my April posts for the past several years.
Shift the dates a bit in terms of rain, sun, heat, frost and very little has changed.
I could repost almost any journal entry and the details would fit.
Sadly, as I re-read 'comments' I realize how many bloggers have disappeared, whether bored with blogging, resorting to some other form of social media, perhaps no longer living. These tenuous, long-distance friendships, however fleeting are missed.

An old cliche comes to mind: 'Nothing ever changes; nothing ever stays the same.'



  1. Another delightful read. At first I thought your story might end as ours did a few days ago with a terrific hailstorm. Plants, large and small, in the yard and garden lost some tender leaves, but the damage was not as great as I feared while I watched the storm rage through the windows. I am still thinking about Hildred and even went back and reread some of her early posts. What a magnificent writer she was.

    1. Mary; Standing at a window while storms wreak havoc outside is such a helpless experience. Gardens are a special part of our lives and plants we have nurtured almost take on a personality.

  2. I love to read to your blogs!

  3. You have been putting in some work! The strong winds here have me putting off a few things and I am so tired of wind advisories. A hummer finally appeared here a couple of days ago.

    1. Michelle; This has felt like the windiest springtime in our 13 Kentucky years. I've delayed in planting the assorted pots and containers for the front patio strip. Still checking for new growth on shrubs and perennials that took a hit during hard frost.