Sunday, June 19, 2016


On a day like this, a brilliant gardener retires to the hammock and reads a book, sipping lemonade. It's not wise to plant in the strong sun on a hot hot day. It's not wise to water then either: you lose so much to evaporation.

But I am not a brilliant gardener and since Ed again retired from his work just as the sun was rising (thereby offering to let the cheepers out), I do not get up to take advantage of the early morning to do yard work and so I decide to throw caution to the gentle breeze of a summer-like day and get going with my outdoor work. I plant, weed and trim and, too, I water. Some of the mature beds haven't needed watering this year at all. The rains did the work for me. But we're in for a dry spell and I have this one day when I can do my meditative hose spraying (I do aim at the roots) and so this is in fact how I spend my day.

(Planting in the big front road garden...)

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(Watering the day lilies. Photo by Ed.)

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When I come inside to get a cold drink (lemon sparkling water never tasted so good!), I confer again and again with Ed in the matter of Henny, our green egg laying young hen.

In the last two or three days, she has holed up in the roost, sitting sometimes on the eggs of the other hens, sometimes on nothing at all. All day long.

Ed claims she has turned broody. (This is when a chicken wants to hatch the eggs.) You cannot tell her that no amount of sitting on unfertilized eggs will produce a young one. You have to chase her down and make her rejoin the pack.

But I have a different view on this: I think she is terrorized by Scotch, the self proclaimed top hen (once herself terrorized by the white Butter, who in her older years has turned mellow, as if to say -- listen, I've seen it all... chasing power is not worth it...). Scotch chases Henny relentlessly whenever the little one wants to share in the goodies I spread for them. It seems to me Henny is hiding.

We talk about our chickens all day long: during our late morning breakfast...

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... during dinner too.

And in between, I tend to the garden. Oh, the bright lights and promises of nearly summer!

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(Phlox Carolina Miss Lingard, often called the "wedding phlox"  is the star in a solstice garden.)

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Of course, because it's Sunday, the young family comes over for supper.

(Snowdrop casts an eye to see if grandpa Ed is paying attention...)

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(I could just stand here and drink from my cup and watch the sun go down...)

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(Ed hurries in from watering the tomatoes. Snowdrop is already halfway through her corn. She will have eaten her ear and most of mine before the dinner's end.)

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(Playing games with her daddy...)

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Ah, but that all children could have the joy of looking up to their dads in the way that Snowdrop looks up to hers! Happy Father's Day indeed!

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Big week ahead. In good ways!