Sunday, May 6, 2018

sunday snaps

It looked like rain early this morning, so I went straight outside and got the chores done right away. Not one of the goats moved as I went to and fro with hay and buckets, although a couple sort of mumbled at me in their sleep.

Then I gathered the flowers Most Likely To Be Plastered To The Ground and brought them into the house to enjoy: 

There is more and more color appearing everywhere.
We've had a couple of really hot days this past week,
and lots of plants began flowering:

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

yellow bells (Forsythia)

Flowering and/or putting out leaves.

Red oak (Quercus rubra)

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

Usually around this time of year, a single hummingbird will appear at my window, hovering at eye level, letting me know it's time to hang a feeder. Yesterday I decided to put the feeder out as a surprise to greet the first hummingbird. And in the evening, when it was nearly dark, look who appeared:

Piper and I had only one good long visit to the pond and woods this week. It's a good thing we lingered that day, because it turned out to be the last day before the black flies began to bite. Now they are unbearable.

Piper (Scottish Monkeyhound)

We actually could have gone out yesterday (covered in bug spray) but I blew it. I was in such a state from the dozens of black fly bites I've already accumulated from head to foot, I did some online research and took a "non-drowsy" antihistamine tablet to try to get a little relief from the itching. Well, I don't know what the "drowsy" formula could possibly feel like! I gradually became a stumbling zombie, struggling to focus on even the simple task of cooking a pot of farro. I don't recall falling asleep at 3 in the afternoon, but woke at 630 PM thinking it was Sunday morning. Thank goodness I had turned off the stove before sitting down!

 So, no walk in the woods yesterday, and none today because it is indeed raining. It will take quite a bribe to persuade Piper to leave her couch even long enough to walk down to the letterbox with me.

I understand your feelings on this, Piper. Listening to the rain on the roof, I am feeling a tiny bit smug about getting the chores done by 5:30 AM.

In fact, it's likely to be a quiet, cozy day of puttering in the house. The full extent of my productivity may be making a meatloaf.

Cheers, readers! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.


  1. Wow! 5:30 AM! Bravo! Beautiful photos

    Black flies...many years ago I had dozens of bites from cleaning out woods mother wanted done. Had to leave work to see the doctor that put me on a massive dose of antibiotics because that was the rule years ago in case of Lyme's disease. By the time the disease shows up to test, it would be too late thing. I sat on ice bag to stop some of the itching. Benadryl also helped.

    1. Benadryl is what I take when I need to get to sleep - that's why I looked for a non-drowsy (hah!) alternative. This is pretty bad. I've been using icepacks on my elbows, which have multiple bites and become re-aggravated literally every time I move. All of this from two days working outside - with bug spray, but clearly not powerful enough to do the job!

  2. I'm so glad we don't get black flies here. I was thrilled to have gotten out for a walk yesterday, even though I was dragging from lack of sleep. Rainy afternoon is a good time to be blobby. :-)

    1. You are really, really, really lucky! And "blobby" is a great word :)

  3. I remember the black flies from there! Oh my... we had these ridiculous "jackets" with full hoods made of screen material. We'd wear them in the woods to baffle the black flies (they were called "bug bafflers"). We threw them away when we moved from MA to the west.

    We have Marsh Marigolds here too but they're a much lighter yellow. I love your Daffies!

    I hope that you're feeling better from those bites by now.

    1. Thanks, KB. I actually bought a bug baffler (it's probably in a drawer somewhere) years ago when I was working in the woods, but I was doing very physical work and it was so HOT wearing it I was down to a tank top and still felt like I would pass out. Also the quality of vision was an issue. It did help with the bugs, though, except where the netting actually touched my skin - the mosquitoes could still manage to find those little spots!

  4. Use a body screen. I hear they can help.

  5. I often wonder whose bright idea it was to create blackfliess - I know they provide food for birds, but all they do is make life utterly miserable for the rest of us. We look so forward to spring and then the bugs start - not fair!

  6. I love seeing your flora pictures; some I recognize but there are some differences - and all are beautiful!


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.