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