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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gifts of the garden

Weather that enables the spending of several hours a day outside is one of life's great gifts, taking my mind off things like oil spills and a house in need of a serious cleaning. A half-acre yard with lots of trees ensures that there's always shade somewhere, so the gardener can migrate in search of a (reasonably) cool and pleasant place to work. Since the work seems never to be done, life can be lived outside much of the time.

This spring has brought delights.  A weedy little plant that popped up in the yard has a tiny, nondescript bloom but is a favored nectaring spot of an exquisite little butterfly with red spots.  Woodpeckers have taken up residence in one of the oaks.  Geranium sanguinem, a lovely flower that has the unfortunate common name of  Bloody Cranesbill, has volunteered by the back fence. A salmon-pink miniature rose has shown up in the midst of a tangle of Oriental poppy and jimson weed.  (That area is going to be dug out when the yard is regraded, but the rose will be rescued.) The newest furry thief is a chipmunk that has learned how to climb the feeder pole and drape itself across the top of the birdfeeder to access the seed, to the great amusement of all occupants of our house.

I'm even glad that we didn't take out the yew hedge (yet).  A flurry in the bush revealed a young grackle that probably should not have been out of the nest yet, but like most adolescents, this one had evidently attempted a task beyond its skill--flying, in this case.  There it sat, in all its tufted glory, with wild "eyebrows" giving it the look of a mad scientist.  (No camera around when one wants such a thing, of course.)  My fear was that one of the neighborhood cats would get it or that it would starve, but the parents quickly found the errant offspring and brought food, and it was still in its evergreen hideaway the next day.  By evening, it was gone, so I'm hoping it learned to fly.

It was a good week in the garden.  

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