Saturday, April 11, 2015


Even as I write this, I can hardly grasp the reality presented to us today: the day is so beautiful, so stunningly clear and calm that the itch to work outside, to be outside, comes on strong, even before breakfast.



But by 9:30, we needed a break. We had been doing such mighty work, that I hardly noticed that the thermometer is at a mere 45F (7C). It feels pleasantly warm! I've shed my jacket long ago. So is it warm enough to take the plunge with breakfast? Yes!


Breakfast on the porch is perhaps the finest of the farmhouse meals. Yes, it's just April, yes, there's a chill in the morning still, but somehow it feels right to do this today. We bask in the wonderfulness of eating outside.


And then we return to our yard work.



The cheepers follow us, as they always do. Oreo behaves and then he doesn't behave. [To the commenter who wondered if I project a dislike for him -- well, no. Because he is so erratic, I mostly forget about him. I get very engrossed in what I do outside. And sometimes he goes along with the rest and at other times he gets that gleam in his eye and then he pounces. Will he do it to others? Oh sure. The only one he completely accepts as his superior is Ed. Still, the most unpleasant aspect of his behavior is the element of surprise. Otherwise, I can certainly ward him off with any number of sticks, brooms or shovels. I suppose we both think that his injured leg looks so awful right now that he is bound to succumb to his maladies in the not too distant future. The question is whether I can tolerate him that long.]

By the early afternoon, I complete the better part of early spring work. Oh, I could fill every hour for the rest of the season making improvements, but the bulk of preparatory ground work is behind me.

And so we leave the farmette to take a walk. Ed suggests the Arboretum. It's a brilliant idea. Here, the displays of spring are both visible and audible.

We take one of the many the forest paths...


...and then veer off toward the wetlands.  The marsh is remarkably loud. Young crane? Frogs? Crickets? What? We pause to listen. Among the spent reeds, we spot a nesting Sandhill.


Ed wants to move on. He hates to disturb the privacy of a bird.

At the edge of the wetlands, we stop again to look around. We live close to endangered wetlands and we often go to meetings and public hearings to give support for their preservation. But it's when you stop and look straight in the eye of this fantastic ecosystem that you come to appreciate the dynamic interplay of its diverse elements.


We leave the wetlands, the forest and meander among the grassy knoll with its many maples, magnolias, hickories and of course, forsythias, now in full bloom.




This is the kind of April you dream about all winter long.

In the late afternoon, I go to Snowdrop's home. She is, as ever, a joy to play with...


...though her mom (and perhaps she?) is raring to be outside and so I take another walk, this time with the two of them, doing the little lake loop -- a distance of just over three miles.

[Again an answer to another commenter: Snowdrop is starting the whole teething thing and so she uses all her might to get anything and everything into her mouth. Not so much a thumb -- more like the whole fist.]


We walk by the big lake too and here you can, perhaps, appreciate the deeply blue sky that is with us all day long.


It is so easy for me to spend most of the daylight hours outdoors on a day like this. I'd forgotten how grand it is to switch one's focus from what's inside your space to that vast world just outside your door.