Tag Archives: spring

The Garden

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A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.

—May Sarton

Maybe that’s why I love gardening so much. A metaphor for life.  My life. As a child, I loved my father’s gardens. The fall was beautiful, the beds were filled with chrysanthemums, his favourite.  This year as a retiree, gardening has become less of a pretty  hobby ( can we say only flowers) and become a passion.

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After my second retirement, I was talked into doing a maternity leave at our local food bank. When  resource development is your gig , you have to finely craft your message  and marketing. You need to really understand what you will be talking about. I learned quickly about food security. This has turned me into a passionate “farmer”!  ….the funny thing is…. when I graduated high school I wanted to hitchhike across Europe looking for a pastoral lifestyle to embrace.

So today I have the pastoral lifestyle and the means to learn to produce from my space. What fun.

 

I have added a greenhouse, and an  indoor area for starting seed early, built large raised beds as well as rototilled the back area by the creek to plant potatoes.  I am now channelling my Irish ancestors and tilling a very large potato crop. I have over 60 plants yielding 2.2 to 6 kilo each. Never one to  embrace moderation I over planted seeds inside and now have 30 tomato plants, 20 pepper plants, and enough squash plants to make my neighbors run for cover. I asked friends to come and shop for free in my greenhouse.

So far I have put squash out too early, we had a light frost.  The potato patch is huge and now that the plants are up I know I will have more that we can eat; potatoes.  I have squash planted everywhere. I am counting on global warming to help all my tomato and pepper plants!  I am not sure how to companion plant…will learn as I go. I am putting this year down to a “learning curve” what works, what doesn’t , and how to fix it. Just like my life.

 

I still do love the flowers, and natural garden,  like hope it is enduring.

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To Every Day

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And so it goes. Teaching children the circle of life. Metamorphosis. Nature teaches us all. It gives and it takes away. Trees grow, they fall. Caterpillars are born and reborn. (We hatched them from caterpillars and they changed, not all survived That’s all we need to know.

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Butterfly

It’s alive

Butterfly

Hold tight!

Painted Lady Butterfly

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Spring Nymph

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sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

E.E. Cummings

A Happy Français Printemps!

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Today is the first day of spring, international francophonie day and the international day of happiness.

So many reasons to be grateful!

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[in Just-]

By E. E. Cummings

in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it’s

spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far          and             wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s

spring

and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan          whistles

far

and

wee
In honour I planted rhubarb and blackberries.

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Spring Took A Leap

Spring Rhyme

What a beautiful day. Sunny here in the sub alpine, extremely warm in the grasslands,  and very sunny and 16 degrees in town. You could say too warm. I hate to complain.

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I saw three red-wing blackbirds in the marsh just before the flats. I took a walk with the dogs on the river dike and I could hear the meadowlark. Too soon, too soon.

meadowlark-1These are last years and two years ago pictures: meadowlark from the end of March and blackbird from May.

This is climate change. This changes everything. Time for a LEAP!

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Blowin’ In The Wind

The teacher comes when the student is ready…..

Someone wise once said this, I’m sure. Sometimes it is difficult to know who the teacher is. Lessons learned this week. Living with your 88 year old mother-in-law, who tells you she doesn’t understand the word “happy” in any language is a lesson. Unable to live alone because of health and age issues she pines for her former unhappy life. There, she was in control by locking the world away. She was asking for her beautiful curtains that were in her house that was sold. “Sold with the house” I said. I might as well have ripped out her  heart. “All my beautiful things, gone. Everything is blowing in the wind”

Everyday is the same conversation. Only her things will give her back her life. Her control.

I was miffed at the beginning of the week. A drive into town, only 26 km. away and this is the sign I saw.

street cleaning signNot fair! Why was it spring there and not on my street?IMG_1607

 

Everywhere on social media people are talking about spring. Yes, officially it was the first day of spring last week. Posts have shown beautiful pictures of flowers popping up: happiness everywhere. Spring is like that. We come out of hibernation, shake off the dust, the closeness of hibernating for the last 3 months. We are like the grumpy bears, woken up from our slumber. Ready for action with an insatiable appetite. I wanted spring!

It only took a bit of contemplation and another unhappy conversation with Oma for the whack from the cosmic baseball bat to realize spring was blowin’ in the wind.

I planted seeds, cleaned my greenhouse, bought more seeds.

I was so glad that the weather was still cold. I would have time to seed some more perennials outside in milk jugs.They would need some freezing nights to split the seeds and help them germinate, and be  transplanted to bloom in the spring and summer.

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Outside they went. I still needed more winter time.

I needed to remember my favourite bible passage, and my favourite Pete Seeger song Turn Turn Turn

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;”

I also needed to remember another favourite quote and song.

“The answer , my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.”

 

Spring is a Lark

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The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn:
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world!

We hiked in  the  grasslands this weekend. We went from bare to mega snow. We could hear the lark but not see him. Spring will be soon.

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Freshet and Flieder

waterfall-pinantanSome people are celebrating the beginning of summer, others the full “berry” moon, many are suffering the devastation of floods and fires.

I am happy just to have a full on spring. We had one hot week in May and I spent the whole week planting, mowing and enjoying my garden. It has rained almost every day since then and the weather has been cool. The grasslands are still green and lush. Spring run off is still flowing and the rivers are high. Freshet is beautiful this year. Ten years ago we were not so lucky. The hills burned in August with a devastating fire,  that the wind kept moving. Evacuation due to natural disaster  is a face to face with attachment and letting go.

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Today I am just grateful to have flowers in bloom to pick and bring into the house.

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Compassion for those not able to be in their home right now.

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Cinderella’s Last Bath ~ Spring

Spring has come to the grasslands. It wasn’t a particularly cold winter; just lots of snow. Once the weather warmed up everything else warmed up too. Calves are born in the fields, the wild horses bring their new foals down from the hills, trees bud, water flows, hummingbirds return, old cats get to sleep in the sun. We live in the sub-alpine just above the grasslands. I work in town, where the original settlements were built on the delta at the meeting of two rivers. The two major ecosystems, grasslands and forests, form a boundary between the gently rolling plateau and the vast, rugged highlands just to the east  Soil is rich and the climate is warm; semi arid. I experience two springs. The one in town and the one at home, another 900 feet above. We marvel at the difference. It snowed last Monday but this week it has been 30 degrees C. in town and about 25 degrees here.

Gardening has started. Cinderella our Muscovy duck, now at least 10 years old, moved out of the barn last week. It was time to come out into the sunshine, wash off the dust of winter and start anew. Being a duck, she loves to swim. We have a kid’s pool for her and I filled it with water. Her tail wagged back and forth as she waddled over to the pool and hopped in. I am sure it felt magnificent. Spring is like that; the ability to start anew, clean, refreshed, reborn.

The next day she died. I found her lifeless beside her pool. I am so glad she had time for one more swim and to feel the warm sun again.  It’s  really all we have. The moment.

Change

Nothing enunciates or  brings to life change more than moving from season to season; especially from winter to spring. Here in the grasslands winter has not given up its frigid embrace quite yet. There are signs though: birds are returning, seeds are quietly germinating underground and roots are awakening, calves are being born in the dark of night in cold pastures, the weather moves from sun, to sleet to hail and back again, constantly keeping us on our toes. We must be careful not to expect the joyous homecoming of warmth and new growth just yet.

Nature cleaves to her own schedule, not ours. The wild, Indian horses of Schiedam Flats have moved down from the hills, looking for the signs of forage on the grasslands. Last year there were many new foals and old friends who spent many summer days entertaining the observers who stopped their cars to visit. It will be exciting to see what this spring brings.

Just as nature moves at her own pace, so must we. Contemplating shedding my wooly winter coat and opening up to germinating in the warmth of the sun. Changes happens with every breath.