Sunday, June 01, 2014


Coordinating tasks today is a challenge. The easy part is early morning: letting the chickens out doesn't vary. I'm up, they're out. And almost always I fit in about a half hour of weeding as I walk to and from their coop. And oftentimes, this early walk will inspire a photo, because the light is always better at dawn than it is at noon. Today, it's all about flowers.



Now then, it's Sunday. Famhouse cleaning time? No. Let's put that off until later. The weather's sketchy in the afternoon, so outdoor work should be done early. So, after breakfast...


...we (nearly) finish trenching the hose and I put in some Farm & Fleet plants. [We've created many wonderful new flower beds this past month, but we can't just stock these expansions with garden center blooms. We are often on the lookout for less pricy alternatives. You get to learn which big box discount stores care most about plants. Who knew, for instance, that Menard plants are terrible (from the perspective of a perennial gardener) but Farm and Fleet plants are quite well tended. Even if they do come all the way from Minnesota. Craigslist can be a good source as well. And of course, dividing your own garden is terrific, though it's a little late in the season for that. You nearly always do damage dividing plants at their peak performance times.]

Okay, now it's afternoon. We pause our outdoor work to scrub clean the farmhouse. And now comes the tricky part. The weather sites say storms later. What's the chance that they'll come earlier? -- Ed asks.
I check. Zero probability.
He goes out to finish up his hose work and immediately there is a loud rumble of thunder.
Of course, this deters me, but not him.


I glance at the sky. Threatening. Maybe not. Partly cloudy now. But might these be the makings of storm clouds?

And it is like this for the rest of the day. There may be rain. There is no rain. Thunder. One clap. Nothing more. An odd meteorological chase all Sunday long.

Just before dinner preparations, I find myself with a spare hour. Nice! Ed settles in for a nap while I drive down to the Flower Factory. You have to understand how soothing a trip there is for me. It's a 13 minute drive (I'm that close!) through pretty countryside.


Toward dusk, there are only the die hards milling about. I pause for a handful of minutes to discuss the idiosyncrasies  of the siberian iris with another customer. A Flower Factory worker joins us and we talk about the business of growing flowers. She tells us that people come to the Flower Factory for the experience as much as for restocking their gardens. Sometimes, she says, they'll bring a glass of wine and sit on a bench and just watch. I can understand that. I dont quite bring the glass of wine, but the place has that kind of an effect on me as well. And yes, I do pick up a plant. A yellow siberian iris. Absolutely stunning. It'll take me hours to decide what prime spot it will command!

In the evening, my girl and her husband stop by for dinner.


I hesitate about eating outside. It's really muggy now and then there is the storm question: will it or wont it? So we stay in and after, as they leave, the storms do threaten again and yes, the downpour comes, but this is of no consequence for us. All that remains is to lock the chickens in.

Simple, right? Lock the chickens in. We've been doing it rather on the late side, just in case the cheepers want to wander about a bit at dusk. But I have second thoughts now. Last night some animal was prowling around the barn and it was forceful enough to knock down and spill out a bin of chicken feed. And so Ed locks the brood in before it's completely dark, although again, who can tell if it's dusky dark or stormy dark. We're on the cusp of threatening weather again. On and off. All night and all day tomorrow. Storms, no storms, more storms. Passing through. Making the flowers grow.