Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ordinary extraordinary life

The middle of June! Time is getting away from me lately.
Each day contains some of the same ordinary elements:
weeding, planting, more weeding, goat chores, home chores, seasonal chores, watering the gardens, more weeding.
Every little thing takes me a long time, but it's all good.

New perennials in a new raised bed:
white coneflower, english lavender, harebells,
and a pink coreopsis.

Heliotrope - the scent is amazing.

One of the white spiderworts has returned!

Bonus: pumpkin from the "leftover seeds" box.

Asian cucumbers, soon to be transplanted.
Piper and I have been out for short walks most days, and sometimes I carry my sketchbook into the woods. I don't look for something to draw; I look for a combination of landscape elements that will make it physically possible for me to sit with a sketchpad for 15 minutes or so, and then - this is important - stand up again.
Once I've found such a place - that's the hard part - I sit.
And then I look around for something to draw.
That's the easy part.

While I focus on ahhht (I'm from Massachusetts), Piper runs loops around me. She explores the area. Then she chooses a Lookout.
Here she is perched high above me, on a slope:

And for the first time in over a year, she actually allowed me to take her picture. She didn't immediately duck her head or turn away at the sight of the camera.

We were serenaded by a redwing blackbird,
perched in the branch of a fallen tree, out in the pond:

We also saw a pair of Great Blue Herons, and the next day we saw one in another part of the wetland. Last year, I saw two in the same area and hoped they would nest nearby, but I never saw them again.
Fingers crossed for this year!

Birds are such a chirping, swooping, fluttering gift. Yesterday, when I was distributing hay on the Upper West Side, I saw something I've never seen before in my life: a Scarlet Tanager. Even if I'd had my camera, I wouldn't have taken a picture; it was a moment to savor.
But if he becomes a frequent visitor, I'll try :)

Meanwhile, after hearing my neighbor shouting "Go! Go away! Get out of here!" early yesterday morning, I think the bears may be about at last.
I've removed the biggest bird feeder, leaving just the hummingbird feeder, and smaller hanging feeders that will only be up during the day, when I am at home.

So we won't be seeing this for a few months:

Squirrels: the Tiniest Bears of All


  1. Loved tagging along with you walking through your woods, and Piper looked happy to be there to. I to love it when the birds that had deserted us come back. How did your window boxes turn out,? I'm still waiting to them.

    1. I love all the bird pictures you posted today - most of them so different from the ones I see here!
      Windowbox post will be coming soon - thanks for asking :)

  2. Your sketch is beautiful! Pip looks so cute too!

  3. What a fat squirrel! He makes our Mid Michigan squirrels look positively anorexic, lol. :)

    1. And your sketches are always so beautiful -- I wish I had your talent! :)

    2. I don't see many thin squirrels here, that's for sure!

  4. Enjoyed our pretties today, and Pepper looks to be smiling at what he sees too.

  5. Good to see you and Piper out and about the woods. Nice photos and sketch. I think maybe she likes her pose with all that joy on her face.

    1. It's been SO nice having bearable weather for walking...Piper doesn't mind the heat and humidity as much as I do, but even she prefers drier and a bit cooler. Now we are back to the steambath, so walks will probably be shorter for a couple of days.

  6. That is a fat squirrel. :-) Great pics.

    1. Thanks :) You know, this may be a pregnant squirrel.
      Hooray...? ;)

  7. That spiderwort flower is so beautiful!!! I have the same difficulty as you with sitting outdoors. I cannot sit on the ground - no way, no how. People don't "get it" but it's the truth. I'm glad to meet someone else like me that way although I'm sorry that you hurt like I do.

    I love seeing Piper - beautiful!!!!

    1. A square inflatable travel cushion was one of the most game-changing discoveries of 2008. It made three days in Yosemite possible. That, and the fact that I was alone and didn't have to keep explaining or apologizing. I was so happy, every minute!

  8. So glad that Piper decided to pose so we can see that wonderful fuzzy face (I've always been a sucker for fuzzy faces...which is probably one of the reasons I married my husband). Your flowers are wonderful....finally warm enough here for things to really grow.

  9. BEST picture of Piper ever...but then again, I think that of EVERY picture of her! Queen of the mountain. Loved your walk - thank you for taking the camera along, as usual. Happy Summer, Quinn.

  10. I need to get some Heliotrope - it is beautiful! I too would remove the bird seed ASAP if there were bears in the area; not reason to risk it.

  11. Piper is a beautiful companion. Quinn, it's late,I'm tired and not going to go back and comment each post but I've read them. Fabulous for you on the Craftsman's a beautiful tool and hope you're able to get the other as well.


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