Spring rushed by and summer has been upon us already.
Or so it seems. I'm not used to sandals in April.
Some things that have brightened my week: a fish jumping / a seal surfacing / the morning sun bright on the water / the breakfast sandwich at dak / coffee (always) / three herons - flying, standing, stealthing
Saturday: good family and good food, brunch and gelato in the sun, time together. A walk around Durrance Lake: lizards / columbine / wild geranium / people fishing / shining water / green trees / apple blossoms / shade under the trees / moss and lichen / black and white moth / blue butterflies / huckleberry / ferns unfurling fiddleheads / rock ferns / trilliums in flower / vanilla leaf or deerfoot / blue sky overhead / praying for rain
Sunday up-island at the farm: good friends and good food, picnic in the sun-shade grass, deviled eggs, exploring expeditions in creekbeds and over fields, skirting nettle. wisps of cloud in plumes - feathers - mares' tails in hot blue sky / tall trees - bare dry limbs / chickens / salmonberry / currant / elder / green grass and ladybugs / red-breasted sapsucker / reddish snails in the dry creek bed / giant old trees - ancient fir - rough cork bark peeling
(when short on time, lists.) ps. there are saffron clusters of ladybug eggs spangling the white bark of our birch tree - I discovered them yesterday
There was a long-drawn sunset this evening, all golden rose with children throwing frisbees in the park, a few wisped curls of cloud in the sky. As if it had been a nice sunny day today. But I wasn't fooled. This morning it was overcast and muggy, the kind of weather that makes you feel prickly. At lunchtime it was still hovering between clearing up and starting to rain. So I cleaned the house. I must confess that I am the type of person who would rather move furniture than mop the floor. Yesterday I
shoved coaxed the fridge across the kitchen, and immediately vowed to never let it return. Now, instead of looming mismatched beside the stove and blocking two entryways, it fills the weird corner.
This afternoon I stepped into the garden. We have doors that autolock. Most of the time I remember this, and stuff a key in my pocket or prop the door. I shut the door behind me. Oh. I spent the next three hours weeding. I could have gone over to my landlord's house for help, but stubborn pride joined forces with the fact that I'd been wanting to be out in the garden all day, but busy house tasks had kept me from it. And the weeds were really bad. Our salad greens, though gaining height, were dwarfed by volunteer thistles. I have to say it was a peaceful way to spend the afternoon/evening. At times, the only sounds besides my internal chatter were the wind strumming conifer needles and the robins' morning and evening song that transports the sun. Once, a nuthatch scritching bark, crows laughing. The neighbors and their children and their dogs. At the time I had stepped into the garden, I was thinking of changing into shorts and a tank top. By the time Jeremy came home and found me I had swatted a mosquito and was shivering a little.
A year ago at this time, I was up in northern Alberta for work. There was still snow on the ground when I arrived, and then the boreal forest set about showing me how it does spring. Extravagantly, teemingly, gloriously. I wandered around, aspen-struck (swooning over the sea of trunks of my favorite tree to paint), with my plant and bird ID books in hand. Magpies lived in my backyard. Seven of them, and they were loud and playful and curious. Here are some photos from then and there...
In the gray morning, I watched an otter swimming in the clear water by the mermaid statue on my way to work. Sleek and playful in the small, lapping waves, it made me wish for summer beach days. On my way home, in the sunny afternoon heat (yes!) I watched an otter climbing and sliding on rocks below some people who were lounging in the sun. The otter kept creeping closer to them, then scuttling back and rolling happily in camas and tall grass. At home, the garden is my new favorite place. We stayed out there, planting, weeding and watering until the last rays of sunlight disappeared over the fence. Some of our salad greens are starting to come up, and the onions, and the raspberry transplants are sprouting new canes. Tomorrow we'll be planting beets and again battling the buttercups. Ranunculus, that rascal, is my least favorite plant. If it were safe for rabbits to nibble I'd feel quite differently about its adventitiously sprawling growth.
Oh what a day. I have been over revving on several levels. So perhaps more coffee in the sun was not the wisest choice, but it was in keeping with current energies. At least sitting still, near the earth with nature happening around me was grounding to some degree. It was actually quite warm to be wearing a black 3/4 sleeve rabbit shirt. I bared my pale feet to the air and light. Some days - and today was one - it takes everything I have just to focus and settle. I was riled. Kind of in a good way. If my best friends were here, instead of mountains and prairies away, we could have such a time. The dandelion seeds are floating today and I am ready for adventure. Writing helps. Thoughts that had been like bumblebees in my brain are quieter on paper, or at least leave me with more space. Inside the house today, it's as if thoughts and feelings ricocheted off the walls at me, but outside, even just ten feet from the kitchen window, they diffused into the breeze and left me calm.
A squirrel ran along our rooftop this morning. I know because I watched its shadow glide along the fence. Sciurus, shadow tail, and so they are. I drove past Elk and Beaver Lakes today (neither of their namesakes live nearby) and the new leaves on the cottonwoods were almost autumnal in their fire-rosiness. Still translucent, the sunlight transformed them into soft, transpiring stained glass. Surrounded by green growth, blue lake and blue sky, and pale mountains in the distance, they were a moving sight.