There really have been a lot of surprises for me in the last couple of days. One of the most pleasant ones was the result I have had in treating my arthritic pinkie with supplements. After a certain amount of research, I decided that vitamin E, and B12 would be a good thing to try. They seemed to help some, but there was also information that said selenium would help, and one of my friends highly recocommended I try it. Since she is 68 going on about 46 (if you can judge by her looks and activity level), I decided to add selenium to the mix. Darned if it didn’t have a positive effect in about three days. I am very happy and intend to keep on with this regime for the foreseeable future.
I spent some time weeding the herb garden today, and cutting back the dead tarragon to make room for the new sprouts. I was investigated by the honeybees, who were out eating the sugar water food we provided for them in force this fine afternoon. They were fascinated by my purple sweater, and one of the landed on my hand for a while, walking around tasting my salty flesh before flying away on urgent bee business. I didn’t have my camera with me, or I would have definitely gotten a picture of my little visitor.
Another surprise, not so pleasant, was what I found down in the sinkhole when I walked down into it with Ruby today. I should have taken a large trash bag, but instead I had my fleece pullover, which I took off and converted into a sack by closing up the drawstring at the bottom. In addition to an automobile tire (which I did NOT put in the pullover) and the complete ashtray assembly from some old blue car, I hauled out about 30 pounds of assorted pop bottles, oil cans, antifreeze jugs, beer cans, miscellaneous plastic, and glass pint whisky bottles as well as just general trash type trash. It wasn’t quite warm enough to be walking around without my pullover on, but the extra effort required to haul the stuff up out of the sinkhole kept me warm enough.
The Stroll Garden afforded me a small surprise yesterday. I don’t suppose I should have been surprised since I am responsible for planting these bulbs, but I have to tell you that quite often I come across bulbs in the course of my weeding or planting and I just stick them in anywhere that seems likely and then I promptly forget all about them even though I tell myself I should go in and mark it on the garden plan (which never quite seems to happen, there is always something else to do — like massage, or laundry). But whatever. I was surprised, and pleasantly so, by this cheery row of miniature dutch iris and yellow crocuses.
These are out in the area where I have planted two kinds of campanula, both tall, one is blue and the other pink. The little bulbs really fit into the mix nicely. When you get up close and personal, the little irises are a perfect blue, with amazing detail painted onto their petals.
Just around the corner from this spot is the Rose Garden, where I have my species tulips and miniature daffodils planted. A couple of years ago I strewed cilantro (coriander) seeds around the base of the roses, and this has turned into the cilantro source for Jim’s Mexican cuisine. It surprised me to find that an herb which is an integral ingredient in such tropical cuisines as Mexican and Thai is quite winter hardy.
This is the cilantro patch after being picked over thoroughly for some enchiladas the other night. Bear in mind that this area receives no winter protection whatsoever and just a few days ago it was covered with snow.
It’s no surprise that the hellebore is hardy, but I am always entranced by its beauty when it blooms so nicely so early.
Right outside the back door is another bulb surprise. These are a few crocus bulbs that I planted near the herb garden in a fit of madness about ten years ago. Why I thought such a high traffic area was a good spot to put in dainty little spring bulbs I will never know. But it must have seemed like a good idea at the time, and apparently the crocuses don’t really mind being walked on.
A few days ago I surprised myself by noticing this feather lying on the grey and white path through the woods when I walked Ruby. I have no idea why my eye was drawn to it when it was so well camouflaged, but it was. I picked it up and brought it home to see if I could identify the original owner. I believe it was some sort of woodpecker, and from the looks of it probably a hairy woodpecker. But I’m not sure. Still, it is quite beautiful, and I love the black markings connected by the dark feather shaft.
My reward for dealing with the not so pleasant surprise of trash in the sink hole was to discover an owl feather caught on a bramble as I was trudging up out of the bottom.
This was torn out of the owl as it stooped to catch some small creature bustling about in the lacy brush petticoats the oaks wear. I was so entranced by the delicacy of this feather, I spent a long time trying to capture its beauty. The camera had a hard time focusing on its softness, and it was so delicate and light that the slightest breeze set all the down drifting magically about.
I hope all your surprises this weekend are beautiful ones.