The white wisteria are opening. It’s glorious to be alive. The bees are ecstatic. They live for the wisteria to bloom. If you want bees in your garden, plant wisteria.
This morning I read a quote by George Weymouth, conservationist, horse enthusiast and bon vivant, who recently passed away:
Yes, I love good living. Why have a bad time? It’s such a beautiful world, and every day is my oyster. No one has had more fun out of life than I have.
When you pass, may you be able to say, “No one has had more fun out of life than I have.” May we all be able to say that. Indeed, why have a bad time, especially when the best things in life are free?
Walking out to the pond this morning, I spotted a flock of purple flamingos. The iris have sent their flower stalks high into the air when I wasn’t paying any attention. Their purple buds look like purple flamingos, craning high to see what fish are swimming in the pond.
Seven year old Billy enjoys spring more than winter. An old rooster, sunshine and warmth suit him much more than cold, windy, rainy days.
I may be one of the lucky few who have a mob of chickens racing over a bridge to see if I have any treats to spare. Lucky may not be the right word to use. Hearing the clatter of sixty chicken feet racing after me makes me wonder what they’d do to me if I fell down. Billy is too far away to rescue me.
BFFs? Hardly. Himawari-hime, on the right, is sitting on eggs which should hatch around May 8. Last year, she had a brood in early June. Ungetsu-hime, on the left, insists on laying an egg in the same nest. Fortunately, I marked all the eggs when Himawari-hime started sitting, so when she is off, I can remove the additional eggs Ungetsu-hime keeps adding.
The shallot buds are plump for picking. This is what good earth tastes like, delicious plants springing out of the ground. Garlic shoots are ready for pulling too. They have been growing all winter and are thick and juicy, perfect for chopping up to season dinner.
My garden has a sneaky way of absconding with my tools. A few days ago, while putting up a trellis for peas and beans, a bed of greens hid a pair of pliers so well, I haven’t found them yet. But I lucked out today. While preparing a bed for planting, the folding yardstick I’d been looking for since fall showed up. It pays to weed. You never know what precious item the garden stole, the garden will decide to give back.
Five year old Cognac looks as beautiful as ever. She’s still laying beautiful eggs as dark as her neck.
The kale are blooming. Some have sent flower stalks seven feet up toward the blue sky. Seven foot tall flower stalks properly don’t come to mind when you buy kale in the produce section, but this is kale’s destiny, glorious blooms lifted high into the sky.
All is well when potatoes are growing. Potatoes are among the most beautiful of vegetables. I’m surprised city parks don’t plant beds of potatoes. Not only would the plants grace the parks with beauty and flowers, at the end of the season, city parks could have potato digging parties.
All is well when you have interesting beans to plant. These are Jacob’s Cattle Beans, so called because their color and patterns reminded New Englander’s of the Biblical story of Jacob and the spotted calf. Legend has it that they were a gift from Maine’s Passamaquoddy Indians to Joseph Clark, the first white child born in Lubec, Maine. I’ve also read that they were brought to New England from Germany. Other names for them that I’ve found are Trout bean, Anasazi bean, Aztec bean, Cave bean, and New Mexico appaloosa bean.
All is well when Cognac, our five year old Maran lays an egg. Hers is the dark one on the right. She laid an egg a few days ago too.
The summer-like weather has the lilacs in full bloom. It’s impossible not to smell them. The slightest breeze, and their heavenly scent floats inside. In a few weeks they will be gone until next year. Now is the time to smell them.
A spider has made a home inside a bunch of white lilacs. You can see its slender legs. Does the spider sense what a beautiful place it lives? Or does it just care about the hapless insects which come by? While it waits, does it caress the lilac petals and sigh at their softness? Spiders smell through their legs. Maybe that’s why it dangles its feet over the petals. Perhaps it finds the fragrance of lilacs as tantalizing as we do.
The warmth has the asparagus shooting high. The beauty of having an asparagus patch is that you can pick them at different lengths. I find the ones that are just starting to branch out especially delicious. Those are not considered salable and they’ll never find their way onto store shelves. For the next few weeks, asparagus are practically a staple here. For the home gardener, they are an effortless vegetable. Year after year they come back whether you want them or not.
Bicycling home from the Bow Post Office this morning, I came across this mysterious sight on the climb up Bow Hill. A rock, a pair of boots, and a half-drunk latte. The boots and latte cup were laid too neatly to have tumbled out of a passing car. Maybe the shoes are those of someone who rose into the heavens when the rapture happened during the night. Out of everyone one earth, only one was raptured, which is why the only person who noticed it had happened is me, who came across the evidence while pedaling up Bow Hill Road. Though, if the shoes are of someone who was raptured, where are their clothes? Maybe their soul was so pure, they sensed the momentous occasion was at hand, and set out before the crack of dawn, wearing only their shoes, knowing they wouldn’t need clothes any more.
But the rock? What to make of it? It’s a mystery. Probably a puzzle I will take to my grave. I moved the boots, rock, and latte cup further away from the road.
Further up the road, more evidence that something momentous has happened. A hieroglyph of a fish god on the road. It’s actually a mark pointing to where the Olympic Pipeline, an oil line, is buried underneath the road. But it does look like an Aborigine from ten thousand years ago time traveled to Bow Hill during the night and painted a hieroglyph on the road.
All looks calm and peaceful with the peonies’ mouths wide open. But along the edge of the pond the struggle for life and death plays out. A garden snake has caught a fish.
It’s an effort for the snake to swallow the fish. It takes a long time, swallowing a scale’s width and waiting until its jaw can stretch a bit more to get the next bit of the fish down its throat. How did it nab it? It must have been waiting at the water’s edge, hiding among the cattails to snatch the fish when it swam by.
Away from the pond, it’s calm and peaceful. The peonies are in full bloom and the chickens are enjoying the late afternoon sun.
I don’t have wings like a chicken, but even I can see how good it must feel to spread your wings in the bright, warm sun. Sunbathing is a favorite pastime of chickens. They twist themselves into humorous contortions as they soak up the heat of the sun. Chickens need their time in the sun as much as they need nests, water, food, and roosts.