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