It’s a Grey Day…


A grey day with a beautiful soft rain, a day to be productive ~ indoors. Reluctantly.

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Today’s rain is the perfect kind, tiny fine droplets, causing everything it touches to be canopied with gossamer mist.

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Earlier in the morning, I stood filling the coffee pot , gazing out at the garden. A chubby robin sat perched upon the grape arbor. He shook himself to be free of the moisture and he was surrounded by droplets larger than were falling from the sky. I wish I had my camera in hand.

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The peas are in the garden*; it’s a perfectly timed rain.

I’ll add more Chard and Spinach this afternoon, and the lettuces tomorrow, they like the cooler weather.

*If the thunder-storm in the early hours of the morning didn’t wash them away, that is.

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The dogs are sleeping in the kitchen, soaking in the silence.

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I better be moving on, I have dresses to be altered and pants to be hemmed.

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Be well, enjoy your day.

Jess

 

 

New Furry Babes and One of Cast Iron.


With the arrival of warm weather brings with it fluffy babes of gold.

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Buff Orpington chicks.  They are so sweet and docile, and after our experience with Mr. Nasty, ( one time he jumped up, thrust his feet forward – right into my husband’s…yup. Right there.)

So, I did a bit of research; I wanted a more docile friendly breed. I thinks these will do just fine.

We were also lucky enough to add this beautiful girl to our pasture.

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Darby.

She is a half sister to Our Phantom of the Opera; a  big boned, heavenly fine, lustrous fiber. Delicious. Would you just look at that face. ( Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

Last fall she had a haircut, a full body haircut. I can’t wait to see her fiber when it has grown out a bit more. (insert little girl squeal here).

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When I put her in the pasture with the other girls it was clear I’d need to move the Angora goats girls to another pasture; she had no clue what they were and she was not eager to be friends.

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So, they ate my dress. Well, not all of it, just a nibble; but it was an ancient cotton dress and tore easily. I was a little embarrassed to be walking about the pasture with my bottom wobbling in plain daylight. They didn’t care, they gave a look back, stuck out their tongues and walked away.

Do you think that could be a goats version of pants-ing someone? Let’s move on. No need to give them much attention for bad moves.

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We get a little giddy around here when new animals arrive, but I have to say I was over the moon with this arrival.  A vintage 1970’s era, cast iron, work horse of a tiller.

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Troy built. Please dry out this week, garden, please. I wanna till.

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Isn’t she lovely.

Be well,

Jess

It’s Spring, Let’s clean.


The gardens of course. You didn’t think I was dusting, did you? ( I clean a bit every day, so no big spring clean for me.)

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Back to the task at hand. The gardens. (How quickly I am diverted). March weather was so fickle and was terribly miserable here in Upstate, NY. Not much could be done to tidy the garden, really it was mostly covered in snow until the last week end in March. No telling what havoc Old Man Winter has wreaked ’til the snow is gone.

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I have to resist, there is temptation to pull back the mulch protecting fragile plantings, eager to see any sign of new growth. The mulch, the protector, I so carefully lay before the frost, gives shelter from sudden changes of temperature and chilling winds, keeping cozy this fragile growth. It’s still winter here, essentially. The ground was white this morning. (If I quietly turn away, maybe it will take its leave.)

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(I thought of finding a more attractive picture, but this is really how it looks – ugly. Let’s keep it real)

Tempering myself, I’ll slowly remove the mulch as the days and weeks become steadily warmer,
I tell myself, it is much better to remove the mulch a little later than to remove it to early. I try to hurry Mother Nature, to no avail. I love Spring anyway.

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Don’t forget to clean out your birdhouses early before the birds begin nesting again. I haven’t seen the bluebirds yet, but others have.

While it will be awhile before the season of blooms arrive, my garden list is readied for season.  I can’t plant  during this early spring, (I haven’t even been able to get peas in the ground); I bide my time.

Maybe this weekend there will be enough of a thaw.

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Finn Remembers.

The frost line was very deep this year. Even inhibiting maple production) there are some chores I’ll do to get it in shape before the real gardening begins.

Give my old clay pots a wash; a good scrub using a solution of baking soda and water.
I’ll clean around and map out the area for new garden beds. (that may be a good job for the girls, they live for this sort of thing. Don’t you Simone?)

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Don’t let this photo fool you, they really wanna help.

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This is how they work, great team aren’t they?

While I’m at it, I should try to remember where I planted spring bulbs. Do you remember? You were there, weren’t you? If you remember, please share; I wouldn’t want to dig them up.

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I don’t think they were paying attention. Chickens can be like that you know.

Alternating thawing and freezing can tear plant roots and even force the plant right out of the ground. If I notice any plants that have heaved, I push them back right back where they belong – into the soil, and pack the soil lightly with my foot.

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Ooh we can’t wait for green, Revie and I. Of course, she’ll be more interested in nibbling than helping. But, who can blame her.

As soon as I see new growth,  I’ll divide and transplant summer blooming perennials and fertilize (with llama beans) the plants in there forever beds.

Is there a forever in gardens, nah, let’s just move on.

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Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and other hardy vegetables will be started from seed late in the month. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

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Well, come on girls, we have work to do.  Hey, wait; where are you going? Girls? Girls?

Be well,

Jess

It’s April, who’s Fooling whom?


This is what April [usually] looks like on our little cottage farm. Do you suppose Mother Nature plays April fools jokes? I’d like to think she has a sense of humor.

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How this place we call home looks today?

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They are too discomfited to allow for company. You do understand, don’t you?

Perhaps the chooks will let us visit?

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Uhm, guess not, they choose to not even show their faces.

The goats are happy go-lucky, let’s ask Shelby for a visit.

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Oh, Okay. We get the message, we’ll visit another day.

Be well, and take the light of the Lord with you wherever you go.

Jess

Heady with the aroma of growth


A simple bit of earth has the impressive power of evoking grand dreams. The magic begins with the arrival of winter’s dispersal of seed catalogs.

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If you garden and are anything like me you dream, and plan you scratch lines in the soil with the toe of your boot, you carve and through grassy strips creating new beds and expanding the old. You move this here and that there, in hope of better growth. Maybe this next to that would be better…you have illusions of a grand garden (or perhaps delusions).

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Notions gleaming with possibility and loosely tangled treasure bounce through your noggin, like spring peepers on your pond.

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Ideas flash like a a photographer’s bulb, if only they were as easily created as they are imagined.

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I imagine more garden paths, lined with pea stone beckoning you to enter herb gardens filled with basils, thyme, rosemary, and sage, or a bench tucked away in a secret cutting garden.

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Fields of french lavender lending their fragrance to dawn’s solitude.

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You feel the moss under your bare feet that cling to the damp slate slabs in an outdoor dining area. You sit, senses drenched with wisteria draping from the pergola overhead. Birds, bees, and butterflies going about the daily task of pollination (no chemicals to harm them in sight).

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It’s still much too cold here to get out and work the soil, so I sit sipping Earl Grey whilst I bide my time, content to plan and dream.

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“My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as  the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” Abram L. Urban

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Be well, dream, and do.

Jess

Butterflies and Ruby


Why do I associate Ruby with butterflies? I’m not real sure, to be honest.

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It may be that at the time she was born my beautiful niece Courtney was terribly ill. Butterflies and babies are hope. Oh, and she was a marvelous baby, with a sweet, spunky demeanor. A face you immediately fall in love with.

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I tend, as you do, to find beauty in things I love. Photographing these things is only natural; capturing the simple things in our lives, where we go and where we’ve been.

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It may be that butterflies are a lesson of letting go, their beauty is only with us for a short time. As was our beautiful Courtney. Her beauty, deep within, touching every facet of our lives. She became our glue. She kept our hearts close, our spirits yearning for one more minute.

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Courtney, with butterfly’s wings will fly gracefully and beautifully; a gentle dance on the breeze, from flower to flower.

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“I like living, I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” ~ Agatha Christie

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Be well,

Jess