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: