Sweet living has taken over. Here we are, already deep in fall--girls flicking on the electric heater in the mornings. Sweaters. Red noses at the playground. Stomach bugs. Halloween has come and gone. Silkie chickens live in a box in the dining room. Many babies are coming due . . . How and when did all that happen?
We are ever so much more settled here. The dryness of the air no longer surprises me. I have learned not to touch the prickly pears, even when they look like they won't do me damage. The carpet is wearing at the edges. The bunk beds my sister and I slept in when we were little are now in my daughter's bedroom. My parents have moved ten minutes away--into their own pastoral idyll (slash money-pit and time-occupier).
I can no longer organize my thoughts for long enough to sit here and espouse them . . .
Sweet delicious springtime! Awaiting yet another rain before Easter Sunday. The dark skies make the blossoms everywhere all the brighter. The girls are carousing in the buff again and I will likely not be able to keep them fully dressed again until Thanksgiving.
All of the trees out in the orchard seem to have survived last year's drought and this one's drenching rains. Indian Paintbrushes are in bloom along the walkway.
The sand verbena that I transplanted into the planters off the driveway is taking over. The coral honeysuckle is a parade of neon pinky-red. And the Lady Banks is an avalanche of blossoms outside the kitchen window. This year has flown by thus far, between studying and midwifery and houseguests and the two little entertainers living with us . . . Haven't had time to restore the parts of the garden that were damaged in our couple severe freezes (even snow!!!!! look here):
The oleanders are done for--16 degrees was just a mite cold for them. I will plant Knockout roses (unkillable!) or vitex in their place.
The rains have quenched the earth's thirst! Borage seedlings!! Fire on the mountain! Gaillardia--so tough and pretty!
After the rains, the earth has come alive. Everything is budding up and blooming, snakes and tarantulas and deer and turtles abound. It is wet enough that we have begun burning our brush--such fun, as the burn ban has never been lifted for long enough for us to do that. The fire pit is getting lots of use now!
Oh, to live in a place where it is not 100 degrees every day. But you know what? When it rains all the time there is mold . . . at least that's what I keep telling myself. And all that temperate weather . . . sheesh. A little hardship makes you stronger, right? Anyway, our trip to the Northeast was a welcome break from the heat here, though we have now been back long enough to attend a family wedding (I did the flowers!) and everything. Both of the girls love love love the ocean. And their cousins.
Miss A and Baba feeding ducks at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Fran. The view out our window at the Berkeley City Club. Sea lions on the docks at Fisherman's Wharf.
After a trip to the Northeast to visit family, and a trip out to Berkeley for sis' graduation (with her PhD!!!), we have returned to the cauldron that is Central TX in July. This year more so than ever. Somehow our chickens survived our absence, despite their desire to brood and sit atop one another in the next box. The orchard is doing superbly, the persimmon tree even has six gorgeous fruit still dangling from it. The one fatality was our fig, which breaks my heart.
And I do realize that I have yet to announce here that my prolonged absence from this space has been due to my pursuit of Midwifery. A shift of gears, indeed. I am apprenticing with the midwife who helped me bring my two girls into this world, and have also enrolled in the Association of Texas Midwives midwifery training program. Standing on that incredible threshold of birth is such an awesome privilege. I am so excited and, for reasons that would take much too long to enumerate here, so convinced that this is the right path.
My man has been wielding the camera lately. I love his shots, the way he captures light and movement. We got a new digital picture frame at Wolf Camera downtown (going out of business!) and have been experimenting with that, though the image quality is not what we had hoped. We are both ambivalent about letting go of printing, but it may be inescapable.
The top shot is of our recent trip out to Hamilton Pool . . . oh so pretty. And the rain has been falling.
Do you print your pics? digitize? How do you chronicle your moments?
Laurel and I found this little guy down by our pond the other day. Apparently garters are the only snakes in our region with stripes running lengthwise down their bodies. We saved him in a bucket so Aurora could take a look when she got home. He was a surprisingly spirited little fellow, would puff himself full of air and even took a strike at me once. Not venomous, but a little aggressive nevertheless. We are glad to have him, though, as these little predators are so important to keeping the smaller critters in check.
I have been thinking a lot about purpose these days. The purpose of bees is to pollinate, the purpose of snakes is to weed out the weak frogs and dragonflies, etc . . . What is the purpose of humans?
Lantana camara in the chicken run. Climbing rose "Don Juan." Old fashioned petunia. More upright than the ones you commonly see today. I hope to plant more of these next year if these guys set seed. Lady Banks Rose. Covered in blossoms right now. The white variety is actually even more floriferous. Rosa chinensis "Mutabilis." The butterfly rose. I am in love with this rose. I planted two bare-root specimens this winter and have loved watching their reddish new growth emerge, and their fascinating flowers as they grow darker from yellow to deep rose. The delicacy of these blossoms is superb.
My mind has been all over lately, lollygagging along in a haze of springtime glee. There is nothing like a wealth of blossoms and green to make a gardener happy (while they last).
We've been blessed with rain and burgeoning spring. Here is the Climbing Don Juan rose covered in raindrops. Rare treat. What a classic rose shape on this one. This is what the skies looked like before a big rainfall a couple days ago . . . Almost scary--look at that line in the sky! And here's a baby Arapaho blackberry, striding along . . . The Brown Turkey fig looks very happy!
Spring is all-out springing here, and oh what fun. The light the last couple mornings has been so pretty, gentle, golden. I am being a real wuss about cutting back all the wild mustard and clover that has seeded itself all over the yard . . . the clover is soft and smells good and the mustard reminds me of abandoned fields in Germany. That gorgeous acid green is so special. Indian paintbrushes against the little persons' bench. Rain lilies. Poppy bursting. Strawberry sizzle geranium. Verbena and dianthus. East facing bed. White pansies and sunset-colored snapdragons. Coral honeysuckle. The Lady Banks Rose is about to put on a major show.
I am a mama, Certified Professional Midwife, dancer/choreographer, gardener, photographer-in-progress, collector, yogi, and lover of the quirky/wild/wierd/wonderful. Myself, two daughters, one dog, two rats, two hamsters, and an ever-changing number of fish reside in an old farmhouse on two limestone-ridden acres in the Hill Country of Central Texas.
My irrational obsessions include: bright blue borage flowers, embroidered pillows, tunics, vintage tablecloths, shoe lasts, rusted iron, my daughter's smile, and the sunshine on my face.