Saturday, May 09, 2015


For a brief second, I worried that spring was moving too fast. Are we already in the last month of this season? How did that happen?!

And then I remembered: spring isn't really a full season here, in Wisconsin. The first month should properly be called "the waiting period," where, to the naked eye, nothing much happens. Spring, too, is the shortest of the four season. We often go from a period of cold air to a brief showing of moderation, then straight to summer. It all can happen in the course of a couple of weeks.

This year is unusual. Our spring is glorious and full -- stretching from early April onwards. I'm not surprised that I fret about its passage: it's been a nearly perfect season!

Morning. It isn't hot, but it's good enough for a breakfast on the porch.


Looking out, looking in. It all looks grand!


I do very little work outdoors in these early hours. Snowdrop, her mom and I have our regular Saturday morning date -- a walk to the downtown farmers market. Here she is, getting ready to head out. Always a little serious when she settles in, deceptively so because I have never known her not to like a stroller excursion.


We're on the square. Her mom checks in on her. The girl's doing fine!


We pause at a farmer friend's table. Asparagus is probably at 25% of the market stalls, but we buy from Matt (Blue Valley farm). George, the guy to the left helps out and he too, is a friend. A writer friend. It's his first in-person encounter with Snowdrop. He smiles down at her.


She smiles right back.


And so we continue.

The day warms and by the time we're back at Snowdrop's home, her sweater is no longer needed. She is eager to play, but I leave her with her parents today. A good grandma is one who knows not to linger every single day.


Besides, I have work to do at the farmette. Ed is already immersed in weed removal.


Scotch sees me and runs along the path now decked with flower petals. Hi Scotch!


I look around. What's blooming today? Well, the newer Icelandic poppies.


And in the rock garden, these guys are up and running.


But my attention is focused on the new flower fields. I weed them and cover them with chips and of course, none of this can be done quickly. Guess why...


And now I am in my gardening mode. I dig, I mulch, I water. I munch on emergent milkweed buds (taste like asparagus!). I plant pole beans, string beans and two types of peas. I finally, finally, put in the nasturtium seeds and, too the cosmos. I don't exactly finish anything (left over plants, seeds, etc). I have too much before me. But I made a dent.

To me, that's all that I can ever hope for -- to make a dent. A beautiful, warm, late springs dent!


  1. Do you get monarch butterflies there, Nina? If so, please share some of your milkweed with the monarchs. :)

    Scotch is a very curious hen, isn't she.

    I was thinking of planting some cosmos when we get the back fence up, but I might do Love-In-A-Mist instead. Hmmmm. That's going to be a hard choice. In its favor, cosmos is quite colorful...

    1. We do get monarchs and that's why we have so much milkweed -- it grows in great amounts in the back fields and orchards and we actually mow around it to preserve it for the butterflies. If it didn't serve this important function, it would be quite annoying because it has seriously strong runners. But, we love it for what it is and recently, we read about its culinary possibilities so now occasionally we nibble on it, just for fun.

  2. S in her ruffly hat with her asparagus, kitty and dazzling smile is precious. That would be my favorite Snowdrop photo today. But I love how you're surrounded by Cheepers as you garden. I instantly thought about me and my cats as I try to do anything.

    1. Yes, they never leave you alone! But their attention to my movements is actually quite charming! Last year, I found it difficult to get much done when they came running. Now, I smile, slow down and work around them.

  3. I so envy you the Madison Farmers Market! Especially for the local asparagus right now... wish my farmshare pickup was underway and full of asparagus but alas not starting until June. SPoD... Smile with Asparagus. She is going to be such a little locavore!

    1. Oh, Charlotte -- you hit it right on the head! Snowdrop the future locavore and friend of the farmers! So perfect!

    2. Locavore! A new word for me, how exciting! I'm a literavore (yes I did make that up) and it's rare to encounter a word that's new to me. What fun, thank you, Charlotte!

    3. Literavore... love it! Count me one too!

  4. I like your musings on spring. It was always way too short in MN. It is so lovely that spring is lingering for you this year and that we can enjoy it with you through your words and photos. And you have planted two of my favorites - cosmos and nasturtiums.

    1. It's been a beautiful spring -- as you well know, it's not a given that it should be thus. So.... when is your next trip up to the Midwest? I think you've fit into your year-round home so well that you may never want to head north again! Except to DC! :)

  5. A pleasure to confirm in-person the generational cute-itude of Snowdrop at the market Saturday. She is going to be a real tigerella (heirloom, of course, and a good one) tomato lover.


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