Sunday, June 17, 2018

slow sunday

Moxie and I went out at 7 for the usual morning rounds: releasing the chickens, checking the goats - all fine! - and then down to the garden on the Upper West Side to water seeds and admire our trellis.

Every morning for the past week I have gotten to that garden and thought - "Oops! must string trellis for pole beans today!" - and then forgotten to do it or even to write it down. So last night when it was almost dark, Mox helped me wind cotton yarn up and down between pairs of horizontal wires my Occasional Helper put up last week. And it was very pleasant to get down to the garden this morning and say, "Ah!" instead of, "Oops!"

On the way back up through the paddocks, I picked sprigs of a few little plants and put them in a jam jar for later observation and sketching.

This afternoon, when I finally threw in the towel and accepted that I was not going to get much of anything productive done today, Piper, Moxie, Della and I spent some pleasant - if hot - time under the portico, listening to the cheery sounds of bird conversation and the not-cheery sound of frass falling constantly. It sounds like rain just beginning to fall, all the time. How I hate gypsy moths. Those wretched caterpillars are defoliating all the trees again this year. It's a lot of stress, especially for my big, old, beautiful trees. Grrrrr.

Moxie suddenly went on the alert and found a chipmunk in the stone wall, while Della discovered that the new lawn chair is a perfect fit.

I brought out my sketchbook and the jam jar, and began trying to draw while Piper bumped my elbow at 20-second intervals until I gave up and opened the door so she could go back into the house. It is much cooler inside. Plus that is where she keeps her couch.

And here is the daily markmaking effort for today, Day 168.

Speaking of flowers, before I post this I want to add some pictures of rocket-the-plant, for which Rocket-the-goat is named.

Hesperus matronalis. It's a tall, naturalized non-native with a lot of common names; sweet rocket and dame's rocket are the two I've heard most often. It does have a sweet aroma, but I don't know where the "rocket" part of the name originated. Does anyone know? If so, please leave a comment!

 I hope your Sunday is/was a pleasant one.



  1. Keeps her couch...makes me laugh.
    Lovely drawing. Do you sell your artwork online or locally?
    Slow Sunday here as well

  2. Crazy busy early in the morning here to take advantage of the cooler temps. It got up to 90 on the porch this afternoon but I was working inside by then. I love the sketch--even gill-over-the-ground, the bane of my gardens, looks lovely! I think the rocket part of the plant's name comes from the way it suddenly shoots up tall and blooms. Seems logical to me anyway.

    1. I have a soft spot for gill-over-the-ground, as I remember seeing it - and also johnny-jump-ups - in my Grammy's garden when I was a very little girl.
      Well that's an idea about the rocket, and it makes me wonder how long the word "rocket" has meant something that shoots up. I know the plant name goes back several hundred years at least. More to ponder!

  3. Pretty kitties. Pretty green. I like those flowers.

    1. Thanks, Sally. Lotta lotta green these days!

  4. Your rocket plant looks like phlox, perhaps a wild variety?

    1. I almost mentioned that rocket and phlox are often mistaken for each other! The easiest way to tell them apart: rocket blossoms have four petals and phlox have five petals. And the easiest way to remember *that* is: phlox also has 5 letters in it :)

  5. Hmm, I was about to say the same thing as kt! Thanks for the primer!

    I also laughed about Piper "keeping her couch" inside. Ha ha!!!

    It's finally raining here today, and that's my excuse for not being very productive!

  6. Nice that Piper has her very own couch! Shame about the miserable creatures destroying the trees - are they the ones that come in cycles? Having a brain 'moment' and can't remember if they're one and the same. After a Father's Day celebratory massive ice cream cone, I finally ventured onto the balcony for the first time this year. Will know in a few hours if that was an allergy mistake!

  7. A lovely way to spend the day and your drawing is great! I am familiar with phlox, but not with rocket. Very pretty!


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