Monday, April 30, 2012



Yes, I need a manicure after digging in the dirt this weekend and getting my warm season crops planted, but it's my beautifully manicured farm that I'm thinking of as I type. 

Central Park has nothing on this property this morning.  Biltmore?  No contest.  After weeks of flower bed maintenance and watching spring awaken our mini farm, buying chicks and bringing bunnies into the house to cuddle and play, it feels today like it's really happened.  That all that is ahead is summer and the tropical scent of sunscreen and the feel of cool water rushing over our heads as we submerge in lakes, pools, and rivers searching for relief from the relentless afternoon sun. 

I can feel it already when the house heats up to almost 80 even after I've shut all the windows to trap in the cool air from the previous night.  Soon, when the mountains remain tepid through the night, even that won't be enough and I will start counting the days until fall's arrival.  I'm pretty fickle that way. 

But's spring!  Springy, lush, dewy.  I have been so busy bulldozing through life inside this house and focusing on the beautiful people that make up my family that I hadn't even noticed that the mountains are all fuzzy, filled out with leafy branches that make them look "normal" again, rather than sad and cold and shivering in the winter winds.  I watched the daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinth, when they first started to emerge, much too early if you ask me.  The nectarine, quince, Ann Magnolia, and forsythia blooming in our front yard didn't go without notice.  I've learned to look for signs that they are flowering so I won't miss the short annual show they put on.  But I barely paid attention to the dogwoods flowering or even the lilac shrub that I wait every winter to see branch out into purple, perfumed clusters of tiny flowers.  Now they are gone, too.  But roses.  Here they come, next in line, ready to do their thing and in a few weeks their buds and fully opened blossoms will be standing out from vases in every room.

It all seems more glorious this morning because I can actually see the plants that bloom in succession.  Our grass, which was getting long enough to wave in the spring winds that blew across the mountains this week, has finally been tamed, for the most part.  A friend of my husband's had offered to mow when he found out that he had been ill but rainy weekend after rainy weekend prevented this kind fellow from being able to come out and get the job done.  It's not like we have so much property that a tractor is required to keep the grass maintained, but there is enough cleared, hilly land that keeping it trimmed is a pretty big chore.  This weekend, however, my husband did some spring maintenance on his riding mower and found that he is strong enough, now, to do the mowing himself.  And he felt better when the job was done than he usually does, much less tired and overheated even after trimming, another indication that, as we suspected, he has been unwell for years. 

Now the carefully tended foliage pops out from shorn grassy areas and I am so happy to see how lushly the perennials, shrubs, and trees I have added to the barren landscape over the years are growing in.  I have been out in it since just after sunrise and have been wondering if cooking and cleaning and teaching and blogging could be ignored in order for me to "play" outside until sunset.  But life goes on indoors, as well, so while we can take our lunches and lessons outside in the sun later on, for now I must enjoy the manicured view from the open windows and get down to business.


A little snake sunning himself in the garden.

Squash and marigold patch.  A friend told me that marigolds will keep the bugs from eating the squash.  I hope she's right!

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