Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Notes From The Country - Of Graduations and Gardening

My first daughter graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder last week. Two days worth of ceremonies and festivities. The main graduation took place under a spectacular blue Colorado sky.

As luck would have it, we ended up on the side of the stadium where she came in so we got to go down and see her up close and personal. I was also able to make eye contact with her throughout the long, but lovely ceremony - and we texted.

Julie Andrews gave an inspirational speech that was well received by everyone. I didn't know she didn't even finish high school.

I was hoping she would fly in under aid of umbrella, but alas, she walked.

So now newly graduated daughter who had very little sleep in the last three weeks, is off on a short road trip with friends before starting an internship and beginning the next stage of her life.

Now that this major milestone in our lives has ended and my Mother-in-law is safely back home, things are gearing up at home as they always do this time of year. I'm fairly certain???? all the snow is behind us, and our May weather has begun. Driving home from the Denver airport yesterday, the Rockies were so beautiful with snow on all the tops of the mountains, under a vivid blue sky, and the thunderheads were starting to form over all the major peaks. A typical late Spring, early Summer scene. The scene above is typical for our neck of the woods looking East. You can follow the path of clouds and storms here easily as they form over the Mountains to the West and build up steam as they move unhampered to the East. By mid to late afternoon the clouds can build to monstrous proportions - amazing to watch from our from yard - not so fun for the people in Eastern Colorado below them. On a day where the clouds look like this out East the radio will usually be issuing tornado watches or even warnings.
This is the time of year we usually watch "Twister" and "Wizard of Oz". Maybe not the best idea.

As for the Garden - well due to our late, cold, snowy weather this year, things are a little behind. This is as clean and neat as you will ever see my garden.

 I usually start most of my vegetables from seed downstairs on my growing shelves. This year I'm going to support my local nurseries for tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and whatever else strikes my fancy. I will still plant beans, carrots, lettuces and the like directly into the garden from my stash. I typically use organic, heirloom vegetables and have experimented with some fun varieties over the years from Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Change which are two of my favorite seed sources.

There are a few hardy plants that appear every year without fail in May. Rhubarb is one. My garlic and onions another.

My Sweet Autumn Clematis in May growing up the garden pergola.

We had visitors last week. Strange happenings this spring. We have had a deer or four in the pasture a time or two over the years here, but never this. Two little deer were in the neighborhood for about a week or so. This one was in the yard by the chicken house for a good 20 minutes just munching away on the lawn. For such quiet little things they sure did have the neighborhood animals discombobulated. The horses in the adjoining pastures were spooked and prancing about. The alpacas were screeching an indescribable weird scream. My corgi barked - differently. The cats were very still outside, and then literally ran all over the house jumping on things. It's fascinating to see animals react to things they're not used to. They pretty much ignore the foxes, raccoons, skunks. We've also had squirrels running about lately which is rare in our yard, and doves nesting in the Blue Spruce outside our back door. Maybe we're putting out some welcoming animal energy?

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.  ~Henry David Thoreau

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