« May 2009 | Main | August 2009 »

June 21, 2009

Watching the Garden Grow

garden

We saw 25 degrees on the thermometer on the morning of June 1st. The growing season up here on the mountain is considerably shorter than it is in the Champlain Valley where we grew our vegetables last year. Marion finished planting the garden during the first week of June and, in the photo above, takes a moment to enjoy the late spring sunshine.

garden

To keep the deer and other critters from sharing the harvest we erected a 7-foot fence around the garden using hemlock posts that we harvested from the adjacent forest.

garden

Marion prepares to settle the tomato plants into the earth (above).

garden

We've been mowing the meadows two or three times per summer for the past three years to encourage the grasses. Someday we may return the fields to hay production but that's way down on the list of priorities. For now, we enjoy wildflowers that bloom in abundance.

garden

Today I took a walk through the meadow with a camera to capture a few close-ups.

garden

The Vermont state flower, the red clover, is the most abundant of the mix but white daisies, yellow buttercups, orange and yellow hawkweed, and purple fleabane contribute to the colorful palette.

garden

While marveling at the mix of color and delicate petals (and trying not to disturb the butterflies and bees) I think back to the days when I lived surrounded by neighbors who took pride in their weed-free suburban lawns. I can't help but wonder if those sterile neighborhoods began as fields of color such as the one I enjoy today.

garden

June 07, 2009

Apple Blossoms

apple blossoms

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

~Robert Frost

apple blossoms

It's such a brief yet glorious moment in time. The apple blossoms were at the peak of their bloom on May 20th. The delicate white petals last for only about a week before spring winds and rain take them to the ground.

apple blossoms

I spent much of the afternoon of May 24th in the orchard. A brief shower had dampened the blossoms before skies returned to blue. Bees worked intensely to complete their job. Hummingbirds joined the effort as I wandered the trees trying to capture images of it all. 

apple blossoms

A few days later the ground beneath the trees was sprinkled with white. The bloom is over for another year. We now wait for early signs of fruit in the coming weeks.

apple blossoms