Thursday, November 12, 2015

a bit of progress

We are having a second day of this:

Drizzling, mizzling, very cold rain and gloom. I may declare a Day of No Chores. Apart from, you know, the minimal actual chores, which take place outside, every day, morning, noon and evening, no exceptions, period.
Morning chores were delayed a while, though...
the goats were sleeping in.
Hooray for barncams!

In the past few weeks,There have been several small but challenging projects of the "Before Winter!" variety going on here. In one example, I've hired help to move a short section of the 6-foot perimeter fence. There are two reasons for this task. First, tightening up some of the sag created by the goats reaching for something especially delicious on the other side. Mostly Betula, who is quite a big fellow and can do this:

The second reason to move the fence is to expand the upper edge of my perennial border by the driveway, to provide a safe haven for the heroic Chelone obliqua. I fully intended to get this done "Before Winter!" last year, but failed. To my deep regret, the remnant Chelone population that struggled to recover after the Snowplow Incident of 2013 got ferociously decimated by the snowplow again in 2014. I swore that if any survived, they would be transplanted in 2015.

In early Spring, a leaf appeared here and there, poking gamely up between the unheaval of gravel and old macadam chunks pushed several feet into the garden by the plow. Every day I checked and saw another and another, until there was a little hopeful patch. I thought it would be safest to let them grow and bloom before moving them in the Autumn, but hedged my bets by experimentally moving a few plants in the Spring. They struggled a bit in their new location by the goat barns, so for the big move in Autumn, I picked a spot more like their original, if troubled, home along the drive.

Moving the fence just a few feet into the paddock made room for a wide row of Chelone on the other side. You can see the original fenceline on the left in the above picture, and the new line with the unattached fence sort of festooned along it, waiting to be stretched and reattached. The distance between the two lines is only about four feet. But it's an important four feet. I hope there will be enough sun for the plants; a constant concern here. But at least the plow cannot touch them.

Most of the transplanting was done before this rain began. There are a few plants I've offered to friends, to give the original population an opportunity to thrive and bring joy in more places. But if the friends don't come for them, I'll transplant the remaining few when this rain stops.

Which brings us back to today.

I'm feeling a bit like this leaf.
Tattered at the edges, worn thin in places.
Still hanging on, though.

I think I will strive to feel a little more like this:

Very similar features, but very different effect.

And look here:



  1. Quinn, you've been in my thoughts, as I prep for winter. November has been much the same as February...except longer and not as cold. It has been windy, rainy, chilly but today is SUNSHINE, windy and I'm thinking of running away. To be sure, it's to do store errands but it's off the farm. I just finished the last mowing of the garden, leaving the yard for horses to graze and the to-do list is whispering...but I'm rather sure I can ignore the whisper.
    Go thou and do

  2. Lots or work caring for property and goats. I believe your goats are fortunate you do so well caring for them.

  3. I love the vision of the leaf, that is how I am often feeling, too. You have added more color to my life with your post. Hugs.

  4. Sounds like there's been lots of activity happening at your abode. The new fence will give the goats a whole new outlook on life. Rainy and dull here too, but not so cold (yet). Supposed to more of the same tomorrow. We had a terrible fog last night - very glad we didn't have to be out in it.

  5. I keep trying to leave a comment on your blog via my phone, but somehow it disappears during "publishing".

    Know what you mean about the different leaves - feel the same way...

  6. A seven day week worklife will do that to you now and then, and the weather Is Not Helping Right Now! even the goats have voted against it, by sleeping late. Well, later, I expect, which is still early in my household!

  7. A big project, moving a fence! I hope it goes well, and that your chelone plants survive and prosper. I have never heard of that plant, a new one to me, although it looks a lot like something I've seen called turtlehead. I'm feeling a bit ragged today too, so your leaves are an apt description. Still looking for a pretty edge right now!

  8. Makes one feel so good to accomplish a needed chore! I like the symbolism of both leaves : )


Thank you for leaving a comment! I enjoy reading each one, and will usually reply either here or on YOUR blog!

Due to spam, Anonymous comments are blocked. I'm hoping to avoid the annoying Word Verification gizmo! If you find you cannot leave a comment, please email me so we can try to sort it out.