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Archive for March, 2009

It is Monday, which means it is a day off from massage.   I have already had two days off, which is really one more than our finances really like.   But we are managing to make ends meet.

So, here is what my “To Do” list looks like now that I have been working all day.

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It started out much neater, really.    

That first item is “Laundry”.  I don’t know why I even bother to put it on the list, I do so much of it.  I only had two loads today.  None of it was massage laundry because I got that all finished Saturday morning.   I hung it outside since it was a very breezy day today, with plenty of sunshine coming through the clouds that are blowing in from the storm system to our west.   I had to really pin it down and even so the fitted sheet acted so much like a sail it unpinned itself from the clothesline.   Fortunately, the grass was dry and it didn’t get dirty while it was flying around the yard.

The second item says “Uncover babies.”  That refers to my lettuce, beet and mesclun seedlings out in the vegetable garden.   We went through a snow shower yesterday.  The snow predicted Saturday night did in fact materialize, and we awoke Sunday morning to the whole place covered with about 3/4 inch of snow.   It got down into the high 20s during the night, but I guess all the snow protected everything from the chill.  

Thank goodness!  My heart sank when I saw all the snow.  I was just sure that I was going to lose a lot of stuff.   Instead, we are just inundated with blooms and sprouts around here.   The plums seemed to have made it through the little cold snap, all my apple trees waited to bud out until afterwards, and the bleeding hearts are laughing it off.   They’ll be joining the bloom parade in just a few days.

Just look at how beautiful the Hosta Dell is right now!

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In the Rose/Day lily border along the North fence, there are a couple of clumps of daffodils I planted at least five years ago.   The variety has literary pretensions, it is called “Barrett Browning.”

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If one turns around from admiring that flower bed, one is presented with the Sand Cherry, which I bought at an auction a couple of years ago.    I almost killed it last spring by leaving it in the pot way too long.   The ants colonized it and all the formic acid and the very dry conditions it was subjected to stressed it very badly.   I’m lucky I didn’t get reported to the ASPCP.   Anyway, it seems to have recovered.  

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I am thoroughly enjoying the border of minature daffodils and species tulips I put around the new Rose Garden.   I tried very hard to create a planting that would give me several weeks of beauty.  It appears that my choices were good, and the little bulbs are actually performing as advertised, so I am enjoying a wave of bloom that is proceeding around the roses.   The rose bushes are sprouting out very happily too.     

The next photo was taken right at the opening of the path.   The group will appear first, followed by a portrait.   This variety is Tulipa sylvestris.

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If you walk along the path between the Rose Garden and the Rain Garden, you pass Narcissus canaliculatus, which will appear in a further post because the picture I got of it today was very out of focus.   Right after that the Tulipa polychroma are going to seed, and then you come to the little grouping of a daffodil varietal called “Kedron” (it was featured toward the end of  this post), which I interplanted with Tulipa kolpakowskiana.  

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In the far right upper corner of the above picture you can make out a daffodil called “W. P. Milner” blooming.   The catalog informs me that this is an heirloom that has been planted since 1869.   I don’t know, I just think that is cool.  Here’s a close-up of it.

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I have begun the “Battle of Japanese Honeysuckle”.  I have engaged the enemy and managed to subdue one outbreak that is new, near the plum thicket.   I have pulled out a few dozen feet of vine from the main infestation and I am planning on just taking it one day at a time and see if I can’t beat the incursion back.    I may not have actually mentioned this plague in the blog before, but trust me.   It has been much on my mind.   

I spent some time today beating back the weeds that have been volunteering along the Western Boundary Fence.   The clematises I planted out there last year are sprouting and looking quite fine.   I have been spreading little lily seeds along that fence for a couple of seasons.   Today I discovered some tiny lily seedlings.   I suspect they may be from the big orienpet lily I have out on the root cellar mound.  I hope so, they are stunning and very fragrant.

I only got about halfway along that fence weeded today.   I just can’t over-work my hands any more.   I have to have something left for massage tomorrow.   At least I only have three clients tomorrow.   I can ease back into my work week.

Well, if you look at the list closely, you will see that there are a few things that are not crossed off, namely and to wit the cleaning of my massage room.   That definitely needs to be done, I have not really dusted in there for a couple of weeks and it doesn’t take long for the crystals to need shining up.   So I’d best get to it.

Stop in again some time.  There’ll be more to see for sure.

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Okay, so it is probably time to take down my party decorations.  

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The Pi started falling yesterday.   Guess the Law of Gravity finally asserted itself.

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Well, PhotoHunter has sure opened my eyes to a new side of the blogosphere.   While surfing around looking at the great photos posted this week, I happened across Rambling Woods.   The blogger there has begun a new meme called Nature Notes.   

The challenge this week is stated there:  “I am going to challenge myself and hopefully you to take a look at nature. What is going on in your area? Is it spring in your part of the world or are you heading into cold weather. Take a little walk….. look at something you might never had paid attention to..a flower…a plant..an animal…What changes are taking place?..Is your garden starting to come to life again?..Step outside and close your eyes. What do you hear? …take a deep breath…What do you smell?”

Well, I have spent almost the entire morning engaged in that exact activity.   So here is my contribution to “Nature Notes.” 

It was grey and cold and damp this morning when I woke up.   The cloud cover was so heavy it almost felt like the sun never actually got all the way up.    After breakfast, the rain the weatherman has promised us all week arrived and it began to pour.   The Rain Garden filled up most of the way, and I opened the window in the back bedroom, removed the screen and took some pictures of the area while the rain continued to fall.

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Notice how the creeping jenny in between the flagstones at the top of the photo has greened up.  It is convinced that spring is here, and even if the snow the weather people think is going to fall tonight actually manifests, it won’t substantially slow this plant down.

Later on, during a break in the rain, I went out to the vegetable garden to strew dried leaves from last fall over my baby lettuces, mesclun and beets.   The hope is that this coverlet will protect them from the predicted freeze tonight.   I don’t have the means to protect the plum trees and their infant fruits, they will just have to fend for themselves.  Hopefully, the weatherman will be wrong and the temperature won’t drop below freezing.   (Fingers, eyes, and toes crossed)

I proceeded to walk around the place, and observed that you could not really walk the labyrinth today, it would be more likely to be a success if you realized you were going to wade it.

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Since I had my wellies on, I waded through and found this absolutely magical image at the rock with the Tiny Tarn.  It is reflecting the elms on the edge of the property.

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As if that wasn’t enough, all unawares I tilted up one of the daffodil faces to get a full on view of the blossom and, holding an awkward position, shot a macro view straight into the petals.   It was not until I got inside and downloaded the images on the computer that I discovered I had captured this tiny moth, hiding deep in the blossom, trying to stay warm and dry.

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I proceeded around to the front of the house and peeked over the fence there at the Stroll Garden.

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You can see here that the water in the Rain Garden has already drained away, unlike the labyrinth.  Soon it will be time to start mowing the lawn again, but we can put it off for a few days still.

Right near that gate is a redbud, and it is in full bloom right now.   I became captivated by the rain drops hanging off the blossoms, and took many shots of them.   This is by far the best one.   If you look closely at the drops, you can see the refracted image of the house and gardens upside down in the drops.

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Then it started raining again, so I went back inside with a little jonquilla daffodil I picked out of the Rose Garden that I wanted to make a portrait of.   This is one of the many bulbs I bought from McClure and Zimmerman last fall.  Its varietal name is Kedron.

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The Citrine Dragon consented to sit for his portrait after I spent a lot of time trying to get a perfect image of the little jonquil.   Sometimes you just get lucky when the energy of the magical being suddenly shows up in a static medium like photography.

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Now, don’t forget to go visit the other people who are out enjoying their environment and trying to document the changes that are occurring in this most wonderful and changeable season.

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PhotoHunt

I had so much fun with  last week, I thought I’d participate again.   

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Now, you all realize that the best part of PhotoHunt is visiting all the other spots and seeing what other people are doing for the theme, right?    So get over there!

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One stem of almost all daffodils now blooming at The Havens, picked less than half an hour ago.

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