Sunday, May 29, 2016


Picture this: partly cloudy skies, a brisk wind, temperatures hovering in the seventies F (mid twenties C).

Isn't that the perfect set up for a day of outdoor work?

I'm up with the cheepers at 5:30 and though I fully intend to get back in bed and continue the countdown to a good night's sleep, I cannot walk to the coop without noticing something that needs to be done in the yard and once I start working, I keep on going.

Initially, I work by the driveway (such a perfect place to watch a sunrise!).

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(It's the week of the heaviest bloom  for my Weigela shrubs -- my variety is aptly named "wine and roses"  and it is just such a stunning border plant!)

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I weed the new bed by the front of the farmette as well. It'll be a while before it  fully fills in, but there's a certain dainty loveliness to it even now. Here's one heavy bloomer:

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The cheepers follow me, but I tell them that the main road is no place for chickens. If anyone were to drive by, they'd be surprised to see free ranging chickens without the barrier of a fence to keep them away from the traffic, but I never worry that they would run out onto the pavement. Why does a chicken cross the road? That's not a question that worries us at all. I need only say "chepers!" loudly and they'll move to wherever I want them to go.

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By late morning I force myself to switch attention to the farmhouse. Sunday is cleaning day and I've been away from that obligation too long.

Finally, a late breakfast. On the porch.

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Ed and I talk then about things that really need our attention outside. I'd clipped off large limbs that were blocking light. I'd weeded, I'd cleared the ever-spreading raspberries from paths, I'd transplanted errant cosmos. What next?

Ed has to clear some honeysuckle from the side of the property -- a very unsexy but necessary task. We both need to finish mowing -- he, with the big mower, me with the hand pushed little guy that will work the tight corners.

All the while, I feel so happy with our efforts. I look around and I recognize the imperfections, but I know this to be true: we did all the work ourselves. All the chipping, the pruning, the planting -- on and on -- we gave it our time. It's immensely satisfying. We don't quite keep up with it in the way that I think we should, but we do alright by this land.

(Ed asks: are the peonies supposed to be this big? I say -- no, but this year, they are!)

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In the late afternoon I take a walk around the lesser lake with Snowdrop and her mom. Oh, is she full of enthusiasm for this venture!

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This love of outdoor walks is surely born of her adventurous spirit.

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Today, she insists on holding both our hands even as she is in the stroller. For a brief second, I am reminded of pushing her stroller in Paris as the rains came down and I struggled to keep an umbrella over the both of us. One hand pushing, the other -- holding an umbrella, or today -- her trusting hand.

They say this grand weather will continue. Really? I could ask for nothing more.