Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Let the beauty begin

I shot this photo last night in between rain showers.

Nothing like early evenings in May for some striking, rich photography.

The sunlight did not last long, as another set of clouds came rolling over the mountains to block the sun as it dipped into the west.

Nonetheless, the contrast of the sun shining on budding life just after an evening storm is incomparable.

Now, this morning we are experiencing ever-thickening fog on what is supposed to be "the day" of this week.

The forecasters have promised a good one, and I'm just patiently realizing that the fog often comes before the sun.

I think of this as the "Thoreau" time of the year.
In May, when I was still teaching,  my juniors kept a three-week journal focused on nature.

They could go sit in the same spot every night and note the changes.  They could sow seeds and watch them grow.

They could engage in virtually any activity that would get them outside to appreciate ever-changing, ever enhanced magic of the natural world.

The students turned in their journals and any special visual project they may have done while involved in the assignment.

Of course, we read Thoreau and segments from Walden, and we discussed the simplicity and beauty of our world.

I felt like yesterday was a Walden sort of day for this ol' retired English teacher.

Seeds from pea packets kept in the freezer overnight went into the ground around the kennel.  

I told Bill about the process of fooling those seeds into thinking they were entering Global Warming as opposed to a polar ice cap.

I did not want him to think that I'd totally lost it by putting my garden packets in the freezer.  He had never noticed.

I hauled a load of barnyard dirt to the area where my sweet peas grew last year.  Some heavy shovel work to remove the weeds and turn the soil was followed by a new dump of rich dirt.

Then, came the sweet pea seeds, saved from last year's crop.  I still had to do some shelling.

The pods cracked open easily, and I dumped a liberal amount into the ground, reveling in the fact that I had not had to pay $1.79 for maybe 19 seeds.

More dirt went to a depression in the lawn where once a fruit tree stood and apparently died before we moved here.  

With every lawn mowing, I almost get stuck in that depression.  So, it and a lot of other bare spots received grass seed, purchased from Co-Op.

While there, I asked about a Miracle Gro product which can be sprayed to get rid of weeds.  I'd seen it advertised on TV.

Three employees came to help, topped off by my old friend Dave Dawson who attended the University of Idaho during my era.

I asked him what I could use to get rid of the weeds from the barnyard gold in the flower pots.

"Well, my mom used to turn on the oven [and put the dirt containers inside at a certain temperature]," he said.  I'd heard that one before somewhere and was pleased to be hearing it again.  

Only problem is that process is just not convenient.

So, Dave suggested taking home a container of Round-up since I don't have posies in the planters just yet.  He added that my horse barnyard gold is likely to produce a whole lot more weeds cuz of horses' digestive systems.

I did some spraying in key spots and am anxious today to see if it did any good. 

I also built a shavings-and-manure bridge over the slop to the prime barnyard gold hill.  And, did some shoveling, sorting out the grass roots. 

With one shovelful came a giant potato from last year's crop.  The spud was in almost perfect condition.

That discovery gives me an idea. 

The manure pile kept the potatoes [several other new red potatoes have come flying from shovelfuls in another manure plot] over the winter better than my in-house methods did.

So, I may just leave some of them in the pile this winter, for some good eats next spring. 

I planted poppies in an area where a rose died off two winters ago and sowed some seeds gathered from some tiny, hot pink flowers from the deck.

Henry David Thoreau might even be proud because I'm learning, through trial and error (many errors) some efficient and economical ways to play in the dirt. 

And, with luck and more work, the beauty will spring forth as will some big smiles of satisfaction. 

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