Archive | May, 2010

In Bloom Now

26 May

Viburnum: viburnum sargentii ‘Onondaga’ , I think.  I like it very much.  It is a tall, wide shrub full of blooms.  It often re-blooms in the fall.

The tree and fern leaf peonies are just about done.  With the high temps (it has been 80-90 now for nearly a week–the grass is crispy in places) many of the buds opened and the flowers almost immediately started going down hill.  I picked several in the mornings before the sun got them.  Then they stayed nice for 3-5 days.

Tiarella, Thalictrum, Dianthus, columbine,  perennial poppies, all sorts of weeds, the alliums, the first two clematis plants, and the never-ending sweet woodruff which is becoming a problem plant here.  The winter aconite is spewing seed all over.  I have some collected and set aside for you, Marie.

This bulb is blooming.  It is only its second year and I can not recall its name.  It is a native species.  Ah, Camassia–a hyacinth.   This little green bee was gathering pollen.  Just think about carrying around sticky baseball-sized wads all over you for a job.  Good for it!

And in the fields the buttercups, wild columbine, ragged robin (a lychnis), the wild phlox are just about done, the Silene has been done in by the heat–they looked so nice last week…


26 May

Another homeschooling family’s child decided it was time to have chickens instead of a Corn snake.  There is someone here who really likes snakes.  Remember the seven Storer’s snakes she brought home last spring?

We were the lucky recipients, the third family for this 4 year old amelanistic ‘Sunglow’ Corn snake. “These are selectively bred Amelanistics to have little or no white. They also contain the Hypomelanistic trait, which reduces any white.”

She has eaten one dead, thawed white rat so far. And produced one waste product.  She has had an outside bath.  She has new dried cut grass bedding, replacing the old wood chips and newspaper.  She has a new piece of wood.

She likes visiting the great outdoors and weaving in and out of the grass.

Some thoughts

18 May

From Lady Ludlow, by E. Gaskell:

” “When two persons have arrived at a certain point of expression on a subject, about which they differ as materially as I do from Mr. Gray, the wisest course, if they wish to remain friends, is to drop the conversation entirely and suddenly.  It is one of the few cases where abruptness is desirable.” ”

” “Miss Gallindo says she saw him going to hold a prayer-meeting in a cottage.  Now, that really makes me unhappy, it is so like what Mr. Wesley used to do in my younger days; since then we have had rebellion in the American colonies and the French revolution.  You may depend upon it, my dear, making religion and education common–vulgarizing them, as it were–is a bad thing for a nation.  A man who hears prayers read in the cottage where he has just supped on bread and bacon, forgets the respect due to a church: he begins to think that one place is as good as another, and, by and by, that one person is as good as another; and after that, I always find that people begin to talk of their rights, instead of thinking of their duties.  I wish Mr. Gray had been more tractable, and had left well alone.” ”

“People, in general, take a kindlier interest in any one, the workings of whose mind and heart they can watch and understand, than in a man who only lets you know what he has been thinking about and feeling, by what he does.”

“I have often wondered which one misses most when they are dead and gone,–the bright creatures full of life, who are hither and thither and everywhere, so that no one can reckon upon their coming and going, with whom stillness and the long quiet of the grave seems utterly irreconcilable, so full are they of vivid motion and passion,–or the slow, serious people, whose movements–nay, whose very words, seem to go by clock-work; who never appear much to affect the course of our life while they are with us, but whose methodical ways show themselves, when they are gone, to have been intertwined with our very roots of daily existence.  I think I will miss these last the most, although I may have loved the former best.”

Our 24th Anniversary

18 May

What a busy day! Jay got up (very) early to go turkey hunting.   After walking Hawthorne (those bobolink songs are so wonderful!) I listened to a phone message from my folks and found the mother squirrel dead on the side of the road.  Saw one of the youngsters eating leaves.  For moisture?  So put out small dishes of water on either side of the house for them, along with whole hickory nuts and sunflower seeds sans shells.

Then a neighbor called: we ran down and picked up a nearly dead rooster,  the victim of internecine fighting, and fed some fresh alfalfa and clover to poor Willie, the 12 year -old goat who is slowly fading away from life.

Jay returned with an exciting tale, but no turkey, alas.  I took some feathers from the rooster then he took the meat and buried the carcass.

Then while Jay took the girl to her grandmothers’ (I had gone over her to-do list for the day), I made reservations for two of us to go to a Big City for a last visit with friends who are moving East.

Upon his return, we drove a meandering route to Skaneateles , stopping to buy ice cream cones on the way. The high hills were not yet green.  Jay thought it might be an altitude effect.  The oaks are higher up.  And the hickories? The hickorys in the woods are just now starting to leaf out.

Once there we walked around, saw a few trout in the lake, two drakes and one mother duck with 11 day or two old ducklings, ate a pastry each, shared a fish fry from Doug’s, went in and out of shops, and had a good time being alone, just the two of us.  Stopping at a church thrift shop is one of our yearly stops.  A new section of sidewalk was being put in.  We saw the completed restoration (from the outside) of an enormous old home; lots of cast iron railings.  And two new beautiful monstrosities in the building stages–both homes, we think.  Another world.

Drove home.  What a beautiful green drive. Called my folks.  Ate salad and hot dogs for supper, watched the four baby squirrels run around.  One more shared ice cream cone, then we went to get the girl.

In the mailbox before supper I discovered a nice note from an aunt and a small box containing a very dry hellebore.  A Red Lady.  Put the poor thing to soak for a bit.  Part of an order that had not arrived with the others.  One more to come, still.

Wandered around my SIL’s lovely upper lawn. Admired the blue hillside.  It is blue because it is completely covered with forget-me-nots. At dusk it seems to glow. Then Isabelle discovered a large colony of small Gypsy moth caterpillars on a youngish maple.  We walked around all the young oak trees and picked them off and squished them.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig.  Planted the hellebore.  Jay transplanted some plants (bupleurum and poppies) into a row so he can rototill, again.  Watered them in.

Hawthorne was out in the west field dogging around while we were doing that.  But he did not come when I called him and squeaked his toy.  No indeed.  He looked right at me as if to say “Huh, you left me in that pen all day, alone, and now you expect everything to be OK between us?  I am angry with you!” And turned and walked the opposite direction.  So I went after him, and he got faster.  Then he turned and crossed the road while I yelled for him to come and not to cross the road!  The wretch.  So I followed, calling and squeaking his toy.  Across a field and behind the neighbor’s home he disappeared into a piny woods.  I decided that was it.  I was not going to follow any more.

So I sank to my haunches and called him.  And Hawthorne came.  Eventually.  With his head hanging.  He knew.  I told him he was a good dog.  We walked home, me holding his collar.

We spoke to Isaac on the phone. Jay will return him home Wednesday.  Then I headed for bed and the new Dietrich Bonhoffer biography.  Which on the strength of the first 8 chapters I can heartily recommend.

Thank you, Lord, for our 24 years of marriage.  May we have another 24.

Grand Squijjums

15 May

These are two of three youngsters currently eating hickory nuts and sunflower seeds wherever we place them.  We are confident they are the grand squirrels of Banner herself.

And we are having a fine time watching them.

In Bloom

15 May

Lilies of the valley, both white and pink, bleeding heart, wild geraniums, tulips, primroses, the first peony, viburnum, wild strawberries, wild cherries, wood hyacinths, columbines (almost).

Had the first rhubarb yesterday, cooked down to sauce with a vanilla bean and some sugar over ice cream.


12 May

Two hard frosts over the weekend meant we covered the quince tree which is in flower, the blueberries not protected by the pines, also in flower, a little bit of the plum and cherry, which both had some small fruits prior to the frosts.  Jay had a small fire going the second night in the blueberries and a smudge pot both nights.  He also woke up about 2.30 or a bit later to sprinkle water from the hose on the blossoms.

The strawberry grower down in Freeville had taken off the remay from his beds.  He pumped water from the creek all night and sprayed them with irrigation equipment.

The 1/4 inch cherries (all 5 of them) now have brown frost spots; the little plums, no bigger than the lead on a pencil’s end are mostly dark green from freezing.  The pale pink quince blossoms that were open are brown.  The kirengeshoma (yellow wax bells) right up by the house was frosted to the ground.  The leaves on the small redbud and winterberry trees are all dead.  Lots of plants in a similar condition.

Rain all last night.  And above freezing.

Drizzle today.  And predictions of frost again tonight.

On a walk this morning along the road it was interesting to note that although there were many small earthworms in the road, I saw no salamanders at all.  That tends to indicate the ground is still cold, even with all the warm/hot weather we had that made the trees bloom so early.  I have not yet started planting anything in the garden.  Jay has set out a couple cabbage and a few broccoli–which he covered.

Perhaps I will transplant some small spring planted lettuces out of the cold frame soon.  The large volunteer poppies under the cold frame got walloped by the frost, too, since they were touching the top.

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