Monday, July 7, 2014

between the storms

We've had some massive thunderstorms lately,
with another due any minute.
There's thunder rolling right now,
and the goats are all tucked in.

But Saturday...
Saturday was perfect.
It was a Perfect Summer Day.
Clear, not humid.
Sunny, not hot.
And breezy.
Better than breezy...
there was a good, steady wind.
Very unusual.
Blowing from the North (of all places!)

As soon as I had finished the morning chores,
I changed my clothes,
Because the baby goats loooove me
and Piper and I headed for the pond.

A tangle of yarrow was blooming by the gate.
Don't you love yarrow? Such delicate leaves.

The tall stalks had been flattened by torrential rain the previous night,
but were slowly lifting up their heads again:

Achillea millefolium

In a little sunny patch along the woods road,
I smelled Comptonia and stopped to take a snap for you:

Comptonia peregrina

Something flew past my face, 
and  landed on that little maple sprout above the Comptonia.
Can you see it?

How about now?


On such a glorious day - especially on a Saturday - 
and the first truly nice day in weeks,
I expected to find lots of other people,
and possibly dogs, and horses,
enjoying the woods.
But to my astonishment, Piper and I were very lucky.
There was no one else around, and no need for a good dog to be on a lead.

Piper explored and rolled and sniffed and splashed
and ran loops around me while I took pictures.
Of this plant, for example. Do you know it?

Medeola virginiana
I remember this one from my childhood rambles.
"Indian Cucumber" is what we called it.
It has an edible root, but it is tiny.
I recall eating one, once, about a hundred years ago.

These days, maybe if there were thousands of these plants in one spot,
I might be tempted to eat some...
I'd find a cucumber in my garden or at a farm stand,
and leave the wildflowers to grow.
Because look how magical:


The wind was so strong and steady, it actually kept the biting bugs away.

It was nothing less than miraculous.

So when Piper and I walked back to the car,
I stuffed our usual post-walk snacks into my backpack,
grabbed one of the small cushions
(my car is full of various back-supports),
and we turned right around and walked back into the woods.

I chose a spot on a slope at the south edge of the pond,
with the wind blowing straight at us.
(There was one mosquito. I laughed at it.)
Piper and I sat down under the trees and shared a picnic.
We had crackers and cheese and a banana and water.

It was excellent.

This was Piper's view: 

And this was mine: