Sunday, April 29, 2018

this is what we wait for...

Days like today make us love the Upper Midwest! Warm but not hot, sunny, inviting, gloriously delivering the beauty of a new growing season. Perennials are rapidly getting fatter, fuller, taller, tree buds have popped their swell, giving us the lovely fresh green of spring.

It could not be a finer day!

But we don't immediately start in on farmette work. We have animals to care for. The stray cat comes for her morning visit (we do, in fact, call her Stop Sign, as per Snowdrop's request). To feed her, we must chase the big hens away. They're all buddies, but Peach would love to sample some cat food and we have to be clever in distracting her from it.

Then there are the little chicks. Little, my foot! We think they're feathered enough that they can withstand even the cool air of this morning and so we place them in the playpen in the garden.

Only then do we sit down to breakfast. I comment to Ed how quiet it is now that the cheeping girls are outdoors for the whole day!

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There are countless small things to attend to outside, but my big goal is to plant the dozen pots with the annuals we picked up a week ago. But we get distracted! Feeling somewhat heady with spring, we decide to open the gate and let the little chicks roam free.

To say that they love it is an understatement. Happy, happy girls!

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Too, their interaction with the big hens is quite good. I have to credit Java, who will forever be my very favorite hen, for her calm grace even under adverse circumstances. Yes, there is a pecking order, but Java's idea of teaching the little ones that they must be followers rather than leaders is to gently lean toward them with her beak. She doesn't jab at them: it's more of an air kiss! They understand.

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The threesome explore, but not too far and after a couple of hours, they know to retreat to the pen for a rest and refreshments. I close the gate then. Enough for one day. Besides, I have pots to plant! These tubs of flowers will carry the garden all spring, summer and, too, a good bit of fall. Their enduring beauty ties the garden together for me.

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And the giant willows sway in the breeze and the crab apples look graceful and young and the birds sing their spring songs all day long...

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... and the daffodils burst with their sublime butter faces!

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In the evening, the young family comes for dinner. Snowdrop had her first soccer game today!

Did you like it? -- we ask her.

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What did you like best?
The coach!

Well that's a good sign! As in dance, Snowdrop is probably the youngest on the team. And yes, it's a team. This isn't soccer 101 -- the kids actually play against another team. For Snowdrop, there are a million firsts in this. I've heard many of the newcomers to the sport simply choose to stay on a parental lap all game long. Not Snowdrop. She doesn't quite have the game under her belt yet, but she is out on the field, chasing the ball with the rest of them.

Dinner. An Asian stir-fry today...

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And after -- well, the young family should be heading home... It's a school night, it's getting late, but Snowdrop so wants to see the little chicks...

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And she is determined to pet Java...

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And the sandbox! Is it really accessible now??

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The cart --  don't forget about the cart! You can ride in it...

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...or push it! Either way...

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All that play!

We save it for tomorrow and the weeks ahead. Days of spring, weeks of sunshine. All noble, all just before us.