Tuesday, June 07, 2016


Walking the land -- you've heard me say it: Ed and I walked the land. Snowdrop and her parents walked the land. Snowdrop and grandma walked the land.

For me, observing the changes that take place around us figures prominently into this, but I do it, too, to take note of where interventions are needed.

This morning, after letting the cheepers out, I walked from back to front, taking note where a plant was dug out (thanks, young squirrels and chipmunks!) and of course, appreciating the blooms that are about to subside and in places -- beginning to emerge.

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When a sleepy Ed asks me -- what's new with the cheepers? -- I give him a report on the eggs (Scotch has stopped laying, so we typically get 2 - 3 each day), I tell him that the coop needs fresh wood shaving, and then I complain about my dug up and decapitated plant.

He responds -- but you have so many that are thriving! I remind him how terrible he felt when we found two tomato bushes destroyed by some animal. We had planted over 100 tomato plants, which is substantially too many for our needs and yet we grieved the loss of two! You get very invested in things you grow and though I have hundreds or perhaps thousands of plants that I put in, divided, started from seed, ordered from catalogues, picked up from the market, moved from isolation to prominence etc etc, I honestly know where each is and how it is faring.

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As I approach the new front road bed, I am surprised to see the cheepers, too, walking the land. It's one of their endearing traits: they set out as a foursome and they move in tandem, pecking here and there, completing a circuit. (They do this once, sometimes twice each day.)

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Me, I don't stay out long. It's cloudy and cool this morning (and still with no sign of rain).

I hide under the bed covers and study kiddie pools on the internet, thinking that when it gets hot, perhaps Snowdrop would love to play in one at the farmette.
Don't buy one. This from Ed.
I think she'd like it.
There'll be mosquitoes..
I can place it in a clearing.
I'll build you one.
How will you build a kiddie pool for a toddler?
With boards and tarp.

Sigh. Ed really does hate adding stuff. Use what you find. Don't add. I agree in principle. But sometimes what you find just isn't as good as a molded piece of plastic picked up from a big box. Do you stick to your principles then?

We eat breakfast inside. 58F (14C) would have been lovely at the beginning of April, but now we are spoiled. Too cool for a meal on the porch.

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And immediately after, Al and his wife come over to walk the land with us. They're bee keepers and they're assessing the farmette to see if they can place a hive in one of the farther corners. It's all about the availability of flowering material. They're intrigued by our buckwheat project.

It looks promising. Perhaps next spring.

I zip up my jacket and take out rosie the red moped. Brrr! It's a cold ride to Snowdrop's home!

When I get there, she is still in her pajamas...

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We go through the morning rituals, which include a bath and a lot of play...

(Two balls, Snowdrop?)

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(So many books, so little time...)

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... and then we set out for a walk to the park.

She uses the swing, surveys the equipment, but prefers the grassy fields for dandelion picking.

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At least at this stage, she'll pick a good romp over a good slide or climb.

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There are no children or people here today and I watch her in her solitary play and I offer my services as a "flower transporter" -- which basically means taking the dandelions and saving them for "later."

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We walk then to the coffee shop, she eats a bit of scone...

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... we go home.

And in the afternoon I am back at the farmette and the air is so cool that I am not at all tempted to be outside. I take a nap -- a rare but wonderful occurrence for me! And by the time I wake up, the sun is out and I am out there with it, giving water to the pots and crossing my fingers for rain this week.


  1. I don't recommend a kiddie pool at your property. The risk of mosquitoes too great and add Zika, it could be a disaster. Remember Zika is affecting pregnant moms and their fetus, but could also affect young children to the same destination of a having child with birth defects. How about the YMCA for some kiddie swimming. Or a guest membership at a condo pool.

    1. Toddler class at local pool sounds like a good idea. Snowdrop's dad enjoyed one when he was just about that age... splash, learn to float and swim, be with other kids.

    2. Snowdrop took a swim class last summer and has already started one at the community pool with her mom this month. The point of a splash pool is quite different: it's summer play for her when she spends longer periods of time at the farmette. She loves the outdoors. This allows her to stay cool and still enjoy the open air here. At this point, Zika is not at all a concern for people living in Wisconsin.

    3. How about running through the sprinkler spray :^)

    4. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/health-med-fit/zika-unlikely-but-not-impossible-in-wisconsin-this-summer/article_f2024a6f-ac4b-5b95-85cf-6ec7277aaff3.html

      I wouldn't worry about Zika in the northern tier this summer.

  2. We have gotten rain every day this week so far! Big storms and lots and lots of rain (so much so that some of my plants have drowned and become unplanted)! Wisconsin is so strange.

    My two cents on the kiddie pool-perhaps just a low plastic storage tub would suffice. At least at my house, we have lots of those! Alternatively, if you're purchasing things, I can't recommend a water table enough. Even on colder days, my kids were entertained with the splashing, floating and often standing in the table.

    1. Water table, eh? Hmm...
      For now, I settled on the low plastic tub thing. Cheap and actually with a molded seat. One reason -- readers would not know this -- the farmhouse does not have a bathtub! :)

    2. My nephew John used to spend hours at his Grandmother's big kitchen farmhouse-style sink. Maybe that's why he was later valedictorian?? But seriously now, children learn so much more than we realize just by digging and "walking the land" and playing with water.
      I know you know that! :) It was your suggestion, after all!

  3. Love your flowers every day! Yes, as you mentioned, I have been gardening for a long time, about 25 years. I like to see old favorites that I'd long forgotten (because "perennial" doesn't mean forever) on Ocean. Your lovely yellow and white Iris, I used to called "Butter and Sugar". Maybe that was her cultivar name or maybe we just named her. My son and I used to sit on the porch swing and rename all the plants. Yes, he was humoring me, but...it was sweet.

    1. It is butter and sugar! It's one of my favorites -- I grow it in three of my beds!

      Ah, we both have that love of growing flowers that come back (usually). There are people who understand this craving to establish beds. You are one of them.

      This year I discovered Oakes Day Lilies online. I spent two hours this afternoon studying their varieties. They send whole clumps of stems and they have a lifetime warranty. Perennials indeed!


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