Friday, May 25, 2007

It's all coming up green, all green!

It always happens this time of year, and it's always a miracle, each and every year. The garden is coming along well, with tomatoes forming on the plants, green onions spearing toward the sky, pea plants reaching around with their little curls, looking for something to grasp onto and reach for the sky.

The grape vines have tiny bunches of grapes, hanging there ready to get bigger and sweeter all the time. All the salad greens are producing well, and we can go out before dinner and pick through all the different kinds of greenery, then add a few small crisp radishes and a couple of green onions-then we're on to the herb garden to pick some fresh flavor to add to whatever we're cooking. Yummmmmm.

The blueberries have finished blooming, and are starting to swell. Soon they'll start to turn darker and look frosted. They won't be ready to pick until late July or August, but the birds will have them staked out long before they're ready and those bushes will be the most popular perches around. When we go out to pick, they'll retreat just a few feet and sit there, scolding us for picking their berries.

The Firepit area that we cleaned up recently has been rebuilt with new structure, built with cement blocks because they allow a good draft of air passing through to feed the fire. We've already had a family group roasting marsmallows around the new setup, looking like our very own Hesston Stonehenge, and it all works well.

The trees are greening up more all the time, and the underbrush increasing, so last month's sighting of the deer as they wandered through becomes less possible all the time. Still beautiful though.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's a Hootenany at Owl's Haven!

What an exciting night! We have several barred owls living in our area, and most nights we can hear them calling. It's a very calm, distinctive call, and sounds like they're asking, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" Nice, and their music makes our lives much richer. We enjoy it so much that we named our place, Owl's Haven. It's a good thing to live in a place that is frequented by owls.

Last night it was different. I woke up in the middle of the night to this incredible racket going on all around the house! There were at least 5 owls calling, not in their usual calm call, but a "Who-Who-Who-Who-Who-Who?", traveling up the scale and faster as it progressed. One would start it, then others chime in until it was so loud that I was surprised Jim was still sleeping through it. The whole thing would go on for about 5 minutes, growing louder and more raucus. You could separate the voices too, closer to the house and further away, higher, and more bass.

Of course, I had to wake him up, he just couldn't miss out on that kind of concert. I thought it was a mating frenzy, with a bunch of males competing for one female, and when it finally fell silent, after about two hours, I could imagine the triumphant male and the one who caused all the furor, snuggling down in a nest with smiles on their beaks and smoking a cigarette.

Jim thought that instead of a mating fury, it was an invader in their territory and they were ganging up to chase it off. I don't know, but we sure did enjoy the concert.

Then this morning, as we were heading out to talk about projects for the day, Jim discovered a two foot long black snake in our front yard! We watched as it slowly climbed the magnolia tree and moved out onto a high branch. I was almost too late in thinking about grabbing the camera, but fortunately a combination of the zoom on the camera and the snake's cooperation made it possible to get a picture to post here. Just as I was ready to snap the picture, it looked down at me, flicked out it's tongue and said "cheese!" Honest it did!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ahhhhhh! Spring!

Finally! It's warm, things are growing, and all's right with the world, well, my back's out and I can't walk very well, but other than that, life's good! The garden is growing, lots of things are up and growing well, and it won't be long before we can walk out before dinner and see what's ready, then graze for our supper. What a wonderful time of year! The air is just full of promise.
And besides our own joy in the garden, there's teaching our Grandaughter to love gardens too! Grandma planted strawberries with her to harvest later, and she and Grandpa planted a big fat, cheater tomato plant with blooms already on it.

When it came time to clean up, there was a handy birdbath! The birds won't mind, will they?