Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday: even warmer!!

We reached 68F (20C) this afternoon. Perhaps we passed it. In February, I can't count that high. (Just to give you some perspective, the previous record for this day was set in 1991 at 50F, or 10C.)

I know it is the last day of our "heat wave." I know, too, that it's a little disconcerting to jump to extremes like this. But if I can put aside climate worries just for this one day, I will let myself drink in this incredible gift of over the top weather! Sort of like being told that just for one day you can be a genius writer, or a child without cares. Reap the rewards, because surely there will come the days when the storms will bring hail and your writing will flounder and the responsibilities of life will overwhelm you.

What would you do with a morning of such beautiful, warm, sunny air?  Ed and I turn our attention toward the garden. We are driven to experiment, to dream up new ideas, to plan big.

And so, immediately after a sunny breakfast...

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... we go outside and Ed begins work on what we will playfully call the strawberry fence. The idea is to plant strawberries in the air -- out of reach of our groundhogs and chipmunks. We had a bumper strawberry crop last year and every single berry was eaten before it had even ripened. What if we had pots of berries up high, suspended from a fence? (Ed's idea.)

Initially I protested: they'll need frequent watering, so they have to be near a hose.
Okay, I'll build it near a hose.
The winds will knock it down.
I'll make it sturdy.
I must admit, it would be lovely if Snowdrop could pick a berry fresh off a stem...
We have all the bushes in the ground. Let's move them up higher.

He gets to work.

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The chickens watch, intrigued.

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I can't help much and so I rake and weed the beds. Yes, it's the middle of February and I'm plucking out creeping charlie! This dreadful project when done in the heat of the summer is delightful when accomplished in the middle of February.

I stop when it's time to pick up Snowdrop.

There is no doubt that this day is perfect for a walk to the park. She is just so happy to be there, happy to run to the swing, happy to be coat free, carefree, happy to be!

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(The greatest joy: to be on the swing munching on a corner of leftover cheesy croissant.)

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After, I bring her back to the farmette.

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Yes, she does have a brief (ever so brief) period of play indoors...

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... but once she spies ahah working on the strawberry fence outside, she clamors to be out with him.

She is free as a bird, in ways that I haven't seen in a long while. She prances, she coaxes Ed into games...

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she tries her hand at raking the lotus seed pods...

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she sees me on my iPhone and she takes out her own version of it, sitting down on what she calls "my small bench..."

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We show her how to help with filling the pots with dirt. It's not easy. The soil is heavy, the spade is awkward. But she is great at it!

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Really quite fantastic!

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Trying to lure her back indoors is hard. Okay, Snowdrop. One more chore. Let's get the mail. It's a task she loves and this time, emboldened and feeling mighty strong, she herself pulls the wagon to the mailbox, toughing out the soft soil, the inclines, all of it.

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The day moves forward so quickly! Snowdrop naps, Ed lights a fire to the huge pile of lotus seed pods I had raked. This is the second time we've had to burn a stack. The lotus trees are enormous and their pods are equally oversized! Were I to let them alone, the yard would be littered first with their unsightly debris and eventually, with sprouts and saplings.

Evening. Snowdrop is awake again and she is so happy to be told that she can eat her corn on the cob snack outside, on the picnic table, alongside ahah.

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The fire burns. The air has the small of campfires, of sunsets, of the outdoors.

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I'm sitting next to ahah. Hi there ahah. (that playful slap on the shoulder...)

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Hi there Snowdrop. (that gentle pat on her arm...)

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So this is our day. Our glorious beautiful February summer day!

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