Monday, May 31, 2010
We brought home two lambs today. They had never been out of a barn before- but it didn't take them long to begin to leap and frolic about in the pasture. We named them after clouds, "Nimbus" and "Cirrus." I spent a long time this afternoon just sitting and watching them explore and eat and leap and play. Enchanting!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I used to joke that I wanted the words, "She got a lot done" on my gravestone.
The last few days we have gotten lots done! We had a big painting project, painting all the front porch windows, (250 plus individual panes!) Chris then scraped and cleaned them all, (and OH! they look so nice!) We rented a tiller and tilled the vegetable garden, and also enlarged one of the front flower beds. I brought some beautiful landscaping rocks from my friends house and made a nice new border for the garden, planted some new shrubs and mulched the whole thing in. It looks amazing!
I weeded and planted my herb garden, (3 kinds of sage, basil, dill, tarragon, lemon verbena, lavender, coriander, parsley and more!) and planted the vegetable garden, too. Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, winter squash, lettuce, sunflowers and celery. I interviewed someone for an upcoming article, fed dinner to friends two nights and ... dyed Flirt PURPLE. She causes a sensation wherever she goes.
Yup, I got a lot done.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Yesterday I went for the first kayak trip of the season... friend Meg and I put in on Sennebec Pond and paddled most of the length of it. Fish broke the surface of the water in silvery splashes and an Osprey hunted overhead, sweeping down, down to the water, then swooping back up into the evening sky. The black flies were fierce but the beauty of the trip made the bites seem worthwhile.
Today I groomed my horse a bit and checked on the new meat chicks. At 4 weeks they are bizarrely enormous.
And tonight before I cooked our supper I took my camera to the garden to capture some images of it in new spring growth. The setting sun illuminates the flowers so prettily.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I picked lilacs yesterday. They are everywhere, growing up in neatly tended gardens, in massive hedges and along the roadside. The foundations of houses long past are cloaked in overgrown bushes of lilacs, their singular perfume a floating memory of those who once lived there.
When I came downstairs this morning the air was heavy with the sweetness of lilacs, setting the tone for the day ahead.
Monday, May 24, 2010
A swift movement in the boughs of the crab apple tree caught my eye while I was mowing. Cutting the engine I could hear them... "shrree, shree..." The waxwings were here, gobbling up the petals of the apple blossoms. No wonder they are so beautiful, with a diet of fragrance heavy flowers.
Friday, May 21, 2010
I recently went to someones house to look at lambs to buy. When I drove up what I first saw was a very old Maine farmhouse, completely overgrown with shrubbery. The place was in a state of disrepair. I got out of my truck and began looking for a door, as I walked around the side I saw gardens bursting with a wild mix of flowers and weeds. The dirt path led to an adorable wooden archway with a sweet gate, and this hanging basket of jewel-tone pansies. Beyond that the yard opened up and I saw pretty, healthy, well cared for animals...dogs, chickens, sheep, a horse, guinea hens and geese.
The ancient barn needed a roof and paint and more, but inside was clean and smelled of sweet hay. And everywhere were little spots of beauty... a patch of scarlet tulips blooming at the edge of the woods, a pot of bright spring flowers on an old picnic table, a grape arbor with bird feeders and a whole flock of birds (and one sly red squirrel) filling the air with song and movement. And it reminded me that we are all artists, creating beauty where we can in our lives.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
When I went to the barn yesterday I found Marion working with her bee hive. The air was alive with buzzing. She said the supers were full of honey, and she added a new one for the bees to fill. It fascinates me to see her at work, with special tools to scrape and clean the hive and bandannas stuffed around the openings of her boots to keep the bees from crawling in. She works with apparent calm, the bees dancing on her gloves and been veil. I have to think the work makes the honey taste twice as sweet.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Cormorants are swimming shore birds that don't produce enough oil to keep their feathers from becoming sodden while they hunt for fish. Is it just me or does this seem like a design flaw?
When the feathers become too wet, the birds go ashore and find a likely spot to dry. Then they spread those wings and let the sun and air work its magic until they are ready to get back to the hunt. A little preening and they are in business.
Meanwhile, they provide quite a stunning image, stock still and wing spread. It makes me think there is a lesson to be learned here... when life seems too heavy, take a break, (spread your wings if you like) and be still a time. Then resume your activities and see if things aren't a bit better after a little airing. I'm gonna give it a whirl.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
My niece, Elyse,(from the North East -ha!-) graduated today. I used to change her diapers and blow raspberries on her round little tummy... and now she leans (way!) down to kiss ME and is a cum laude graduate with a B.S. in interior design. I couldn't be more proud.
In this photo her big sister Aimee is taking her photo on the beautiful campus of Endicott College. We had a magical day celebrating her accomplishments. She is on her way to making her life dreams come true.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
While some people dread the morning commute to work, mine is a treat. I pass by rolling meadows, sparkling lakes, soaring mountains and placid ponds. One favorite view is of an odd little one-room shack that hunkers down on the banks of one of the ponds.
The red walls of this building stand out brightly in every sort of weather- sun, rain, snow and mist. It is a curious little place that sends my imagination tripping. I wonder who built it here... did they have happy picnics at this spot, or was this merely storage for a farmers tools? Someday I'll dip my kayak into the bank of the pond near the road and paddle over to the shack for a closer look. I think I'll pack a picnic.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
When I recently gave my dining room a face lift I decided I wanted a floral painting of some kind, something with soft colors. Something biggish. So I looked on www. etsy.com and found all sorts of beautiful things. But one made me happy to see it.
My husband gifted me with it for my birthday, and I took it to be framed. Now it is home and on the wall, the colors are just right, and the wildflowers crammed in a Mason jar looks like the way I arrange flowers. The whole thing makes me smile.
Monday, May 10, 2010
The tree swallows migrate back very early in the spring. My husband calls them the "little happy birds." They are aerodynamic savants, swooping through the air to catch bugs and even snatch feathers for their nests from a whimsical breeze. Their voices are a high, clear twitter that never fails to make me smile. They nest in houses we have put up around our property.
This morning was chilly, and I noticed one bird sat perched on a post by the nest box for a very long time. So I did as I must and grabbed my camera and went outside. I took photos as I got closer and Closer and CLOSER. He let me within about 3 feet before he lifted his wings and swept off. I could have almost touched him. He, in turn, touched me.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
My sweet husband cooked me a delicious breakfast and we ate in the rainbow spangled dining room. Beside my plate was a box... and inside- this amazing necklace. My friend Beth is a jewelry artist, and she created this piece using antique rose gold watch faces. I had admired it... and Chris made it mine. (You can see more of Beth's work at www.etsy.com. Type in blueberrybuttons in the search window.)
And now he is cleaning the kitchen. I am a lucky, LUCKY woman.
Friday, May 7, 2010
The chicks are two weeks old now. They have more than doubled in size.
Secondary feathers are poking through that "new chick fuzz." They do four things:
They are VERY cute... but will soon go through a bad case of the "uglies" and then... then they will be grown ups and look... absolutely delicious.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
For three weeks my husband and I have been getting up earlier than we like and going for a walk. At first it was just a 15 minute stroll, but we go a bit farther each day. We are up to walking 45 minutes a morning now. In order to do this, we have to get up earlier and earlier. Chris was not so happy when I woke him up extra early yesterday to walk. We met the sun as it came up over the ridge, slicing through the trees and lighting up the greening woods and fields. It back-lit us on the way back home, illustrating how this new shared walking is stretching us.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Last weekend I was invited to help my friends move thier cows from one pasture to another. The plan was to put halters on the cows, lead them and hope thier new calves would follow. I was to lead Rose, a Dexter cow,small, quite docile and tame.
The baby cows didn't exactly follow along as one might expect. Instead they burst from their pens and began to gambol and leap about like race calves. This caused the mama cows to become a bit distressed. Rose was not so thrilled to have me hanging onto her head with a rope and halter. She made her displeasure known by pulling hard, by ramming me with her head and by swinging her backside towards me making me wonder if a kick was in the offing. I realized early on she was much, MUCH stronger than I am. I hung on determidly, doing little more than guide Rose in the right direction.
When the cows and calves were all safely in the new pasture with room to leap and play and lots of deep green grass to dine on, I had time to reflect on the experience. Leading a cow is a lot like parenting a young adult. You can hang on for all you are worth, but really, you don't have a lot of control. All you can hope for is that you raised a kid that is much, MUCH stronger than you are. And that they will head off in the right direction.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I have long been enchanted by the old tradition of leaving a gift of flowers for neighbors, friends and family on May 1st. Over the years I have done the gifting a time or two, with my then small daughter in tow. But THIS year I heard a soft tapping on my door on May Day. And on my deck was this lovely gift of flowers. Giggling away from me across the lawn were the wonderful neighbor boys. I am still smiling.