Wednesday, May 06, 2015


A humid day -- first cool and drizzly then hazy and warm.

We aren't deterred. The bindweed has to be forked out of the ground, the tomatoes have to go in. The young orchard (apples, pears, cherries), surviving (for the first time!) a winter and spring of deer (Ed built sturdy cages), needs to be mulched, the melon, pea and bean seeds must be planted.

And so again we work in the rain.


We pause for breakfast...


... and then we return to it. (The cheepers are munching on their breakfast treat of a stale doughnut.)


I have to stop to meet my baby sitting commitments and this is a good thing, because it gives me a chance to take a few deep breaths and refocus. Yard-work can propel you from one task to the next and before you know it, you are dead to the world. Snowdrop requires a different set of skills, most of them Sherlock Holmesian: let me try to deduce what the baby wants now!

Snowdrop runs through her "exercises."  She sits. (Yep, she's blowing a bubble!)


She tries to crawl.


And when she has had enough of it all, I bounce her around and show her the thrill of being agile and strong. (A series of selfies follows.)


And she is that.


With occasional breaks of a restorative kind.


Because Snowdrop and her parents have an appointment this afternoon and because the three of them are heading out together tomorrow for a day away from home and work, I say goodbye to the little girl earlier than usual and for a longer period than usual (I'll see her again Friday).


But the fact is, my pause in Snowdrop care comes at an okay time. I have my yard work list to guide me through an intense period of farmette chores. I'm psyched for it.

Today, I weed, I mow, I transplant. There is that heady scent of lilac in the air. The crab apple is in its most glorious point right now. It's an intensely beautiful moment here!




(one more view of the daffodils)

By evening I am ready to sit down. Ed is out biking tonight. I reheat chili and take out my laptop to write.



  1. Your farmette is lovely, Nina. So many beautiful flowers and flowering trees. Looking at the pictures of it, I can feel myself relaxing at the sight of nature's beauty.

    The new orchard is very young. Good job with protecting those trees, Ed! DH and I have toyed with the idea of espaliering a few fruit trees along the back of our deck. It's supposed to be quite good for fruit trees, apparently causing them to fruit more heavily. For now, we have a couple of clematis and a porcelain vine there.

    Love the 'restorative' pic of Snowdrop, tiny fist at her mouth.

    1. The trees survived three years of animal abuse. Only one had total successful protection. It took us that long to realize that flimsy netting wont do. Deer mean business! As a result, despite our pruning efforts, some of the trees have quite peculiar shapes! But we're on track now! Phew! There's not such thing as easy gardening! :)

    2. I'm talking about the new orchard. The old orchard, probably as old as the farmhouse, is huge, overgrown and far too hard to handle. And the varieties are not hugely great. But beautiful to look at! Someday we'll have to cut them back and give them some breathing room, but we would need a way to get up high.... Another year, another project!

    3. Are the old orchards still heavy producers? We have a lot of orchards around here and I know that after about 20 years the commercial orchards take down the old trees and replace them with new ones.

      I have these visions of you being up to your armpits with canning jars of poached fruits and jams. ;)

    4. The old apple is hugely productive -- but the apples are, in my opinion, without a great taste. A neighbor comes by and collects the dropped apples for applesauce. The pear had pear so high that we couldn't possibly pick them. I'm not a canner. We just don't eat sweet jams enough to warrant the effort. We eat or give away what we pick. The one exception -- tomatoes. We freeze a huge amount for the winter. And pickles -- Ed is still working on the perfect pickle recipe.

    5. Right -- we spent considerable effort making pickles that we eat rather dutifully, while thinking wistfully of Tony Packo's Sweet Hots.
      If you have a big success, let us know! But pickle making is more alchemy than recipe, isn't it :)

  2. Your flowering trees are amazing! Worth all that yard work for sure.

    Life with babies is Holmesian for sure... when my kids were young, a friend told me that babies come with their own instructions, our job is learning to read them!
    SPoD... Bubbles. But Stretchie and Crawlie and Restorative are close runners up... I can save one of them for tomorrow :^)

  3. I like the crab apple buds and blossoms. I think the secret to appreciating life is to PAY ATTENTION.
    Look closely - that's something I'm trying to instill in my preschoolers. I've found a lot of wonderful books to help me - it seems there's been a publishing boomlet in science books for children, with exciting macro photography. The kind of book you could put together, Nina! variations on a theme: Small World Explorer.

    1. What a sweet, sweet idea! Why is it that I seem to have LESS time now that I've retired?!

    2. That's something that I was always good at, paying close attention to what goes on around me in nature. It definitely makes for a happier life, IMO.


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