Sunday, June 4, 2023

A Day in June...

As I write this, I am looking through old buttons for something suitable for the Wild Jacket.  Yes, the jacket is finished now except for this final step of making buttonholes and sewing on buttons... and then it'll be off to the dye pot.

Earlier, when I was out and about, making my preliminary rounds of checking on the gardens, I surprised a doe as she was nibbling on one of the tomato plants.  She looked a bit abashed to have been found out, and gave me one of those, "what goes on here, stays here," looks.  I thought she was beautiful.  

We missed an opportunity yesterday for a good rain shower.  Dark clouds looked promising, but all to no avail.  We did, however, enjoy a drop in temperature of about a dozen degrees, which made for a most pleasant afternoon.

While the plants were in the mood for rain, I dragged out the garden hoses and began to water.  I hoped that every flower, bush, and garden vegetable would think it was rain falling from the sky, for plants like that kind of water best of all.  

As I moved slowly from here to there, my summer tanager alighted on his favorite fence post and sang to me.  I have read that the tanagers are quite shy, but it seems to me that they seek out company, or in this case, this summer tanager seems to seek out my company.  

There are several other summer tanagers here on the hill this year ~ possibly sons and daughters that have been born and raised here.  I often hear their sweet songs as Millie and I walk the trails, and on one day's trek, I saw both a male and female together.  The female is rather yellow green in color, but I do not often see her. 

I am happy to see that the Bee Balm (monarda) is beginning to bloom. The hummingbirds love it almost as much as I do.

I have begun to move a few plants into the new border along the old plank fence.  Monarda was one of the first things I planted there.  I have given it lots of space so it can do what it wants to do.  

And, now for those buttons......  

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wild Jackets and Wild Walks...


Plato says, "Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." 

I wonder if this wise man would include a mockingbird's song as music worthy of such praise.  My front door is standing open as I work for I am not wanting to miss a moment of our much adored Mockingbird's performance from atop the power pole in the front yard.  I feel sure Plato wouldn't have wanted to miss it either.

I am currently working on a jacket from a pattern I have drafted myself which has taken me much time, and is, in fact, still a work in progress.  I have used an old linen sheet for my trial-and-error experiments.  I now wish I had used a nice crisp piece of muslin, but at this point I will not start over.  I will have more on this later on but will just say that I think it is going to work.  And, if it does, I will eco-dye it, India Flint style, and wear my wild jacket over the hill with Millie.  

Here I am inside my closet modeling my wild jacket as it is today.  I am anxious to add the sleeves.  I hope my seamstress mom is looking down on me and nodding her head in approval.  I sewed on Mother's Day and thought of her.  

However, sewing may be taking second seat for a while for haying season is here.  It is quite dry here, so the weather is perfect for making hay.  Here's the first bale of the season.  

The gardens are coming along nicely after a slow start this spring.  I am looking forward to fresh roasted vegetables, but it will be a while before they are ready...hopefully by July 4.  

Here we are already on Walk # 411.  "Where go the days down that tunnel of time..."  (Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Same old song, second verse, but how sweet it is...

From last year's journal...

As spring grew nearer and migration was in full swing, I worried that the summer tanager might not make it back this year.  It is such a terribly long journey from central American.  Then one day, not long after I saw the first hummingbird, I began to hear a bird's song that I knew well.  It was several days before I actually saw the fine fellow high in a tree. Even though the male summer tanager is brightly colored, he is not easy to spot in thick foliage.  

First sighting 2023...


The past several days have been quite cool ~ cool enough that we have had a fire in the stove, and I have been wearing a coat on the walk over the hill.  However, one day I misjudged and wore too many layers, so I left the top one hanging on a tree.  Millie and I had to double back on our way home to pick it up.  

Even with the cooler temperatures, I have worked almost daily in the gardens.  I enjoyed creating a small potting area in the space underneath the hummingbird feeders.  The roof above provides a bit of protection from the sun for a few shade loving plants.

If I should choose a favorite perennial, Mirage, Cherry Red Salvia (Salvia greggil) would be high on my list.  It is a long bloomer which attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.  It is hardy in Zones 7 - 9, so some years it doesn't survive the winter here.  This year was one of them, but, fortunately, I was able to replace both the plants that were lost.

The clematis vines took a beating in our recent hailstorm, but have rebounded somewhat.  Who doesn't love these early blooming beauties?  

New calves are still being born almost every day.  A few of the Mommas like to play hide and seek with us.  The one in the picture took the game a bit too seriously we thought.  

Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post.  Friends are the best (even if they are far away)!  Take care.  Until next time...


Saturday, April 15, 2023

Memories from an old garden...

 Millie and I were at the old garden today. She ran about having a grand time, while I did a walk through, picking up sticks, etc., after which I mowed the grass.  I had lots of time to think, so I did just that.  This is the place where we raised our family, and where the grandchildren came to play.  Some of them even lived here for a while. 

This is the little guy who named the boulder on which Nell is resting, "Pride Rock" from the Walt Disney production, "Lion King."   

When I once told him that I had possibly created a monster here, he looked around to see if that creature might be hiding somewhere in the garden.  Actually, I could see the "monster" quite clearly, and it is still alive and well to this very day.  

The next grandson was all about fishing and insisted on trying to catch fish from the little garden pond.  

"It's all in the wrist," he used to say, which he learned from his favorite cartoon program, "Oswald."  I have used other quotes here on this blog from that little program such as, "Same ole bench, same ole squirrel, same ole giant bowl of spaghetti."  Maybe that's what this blog is all about.  

So many memories....  but now back to today and Millie and I in the old garden.  The white tail deer have browsed it mightily, but in the spring it is still a beautiful place.  The dogwoods have put on quite a show this year, following behind the Sarvis and Redbuds.  The Carolina Buckeye, growing between the branches of a flowering crab apple. is in full bloom now.  I have observed through the years that when its pretty little trumpet-shaped blossoms open, the hummingbirds will soon be here.  

I was excited today to find a young Buckeye seedling growing alongside the old driveway.  I had always meant to start one from seed, but since we left the garden behind the deer always get to them before I do. I plan to move this young seedling to my current garden (another monster in progress).  

I used to collect the buckeyes.  We all carried one in our pockets for good luck, and others were made into garlands to decorate the Christmas tree.  I drilled a hole in each seed and strung them on cord, jute or raffia, alternating with bay leaves.  The one below, even though it is quite old, has found a place on the dining room table. 

I need to be getting along now, for I've been here at the computer way too long.  Blogger has not cooperated with me at all today and refused to allow me to edit certain things on my first attempt to write this post.  I was refused an attempt to move or remove pictures in the draft which was quite frustrating.  

This new problem, along with the previous one of not being able to leave comments on some blogs, has me thinking that perhaps Millie and I should just walk off into the sunset.  

One of my favorite blogs ever, Day by Day written by a very talented lady who I have greatly admired for a number of years, wrote on her last blog post several months ago,   "...beautiful fall day...Bruce (her dog) and I should shoot out the back door and gather a bouquet of asters and greenery to brighten up the house...we are on our way down the back stairs..."  That's all.  She has written no more.

At the time she wrote this she was, as she put it, "in the nineties decade."  I can't help but wonder if this was just her way of saying, "Adios and goodbye."  Or...  who really knows?  I rather like to think she and Bruce still like to take a wander in her beautiful gardens and gather a bouquet to "brighten up the house."  

Perhaps, I should just say...  Millie and I are on our way out the back gate and heading up our old hill...

But before I do, I'd like to show off a few more pictures from the garden under the hill...all taken with my phone today.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

" I was here, I saw this, and it mattered to me." ~ Alain de Botton



inspired by Klee

Millie and I have reason to be celebrating today.  Another year of trekking over this old hill with Millie, (and without having missed a day, I am proud to say) is now in the books.  It's not something new for me this year, for I have been walking these trails since 2005. 

Three hundred sixty-five days is not our longest record for we once reached 1,314 days. And, that streak was broken because of the weather.  I wrote on February 14, 2021, "Our walking streak is broken! The weather is just too dangerously cold at single digits, and the snow keeps coming down, measuring more than six inches.  My boots are not high enough, so that my feet were sodden by the time I went through the back gate.  We turned around and came home."

Given my age now, I doubt that record will ever be broken, but Millie and I are going to give it our best. Getting out on those old hillside trails is not always an easy thing to do when the cold winds blow and the storms rage.  We definitely keep a close eye on the weather so we can plan for the best times to go. Walking in the dark of night is sometimes the best option.  Millie doesn't venture far from me on those late-in the-day walks, but I enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of them.

It's my favorite place here.... through the back gate and up the steep hill.  It is here that I watch the seasons come and go.  Step by step on the hillsides and across the fields and meadows, I know every tree and flower.  In the years to come, if you should see a ghost walking here you can be sure it will be me.

"I was here.  I saw this, and it mattered to me."  ~ Alain de Botton

Friday, February 17, 2023

Wild Dresses...

Wild Dresses

 I loved making this journal page.  Deb Lacativa's fabrics are such fun.  I really wouldn't mind having a dress like this for my very own.  Millie wouldn't mind if I dressed a bit wild when we walked our trails.

 "The sky appears broader now than it did.  The day has opened its eyelids wider.  The lengthening of the days commenced a good while ago, is a kind of forerunner of spring. ~ Thoreau from his journal Feb. 19, 1852

 "Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth.  He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.  He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it.  He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind.  He ought to recollect the glare of the moon and the colors of the dawn and dusk." 

~Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

I love this quote.  I can never quite get enough of this "particular landscape" where Millie and I tread every day.  Even though I photograph the same old spots over and over they are never the same.  Maybe it's the light or the angle or...  I just don't know.