It has again been ages.

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


the garden

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.

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spring leaves

The cherry blossoms have given way to small wine-red leaves. The afternoon sun today was barefoot-on-the-front-porch balmy, though this morning seamist swirled and billowed across the field, thick as smoke. I've been reveling in spring flowers for what seems like months now, but was unprepared for the elation of translucent chartreuse slips of leaves on hungry branches. The leafing out, greening of bony patches of sky, catkins, pussywillow buds unclenching, opening. New leaf tissue fanning out, waxen thin as leaves unfurl into air and light. Here on our small swath of land, horsetail, thistle and morning glory are vying for the garden. Dandelion, clover and scrubby grass are next in line. I found rhubarb among tall grasses at the base of the sprawling spruce, and a stub that could be currant, and fennel and parsley are coming in along the fence. I'm freeing and coaxing along these and some mystery plants.

I have exciting news but will wait until I have photos to share it here.

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Garden time!

Spring is here in full force. An afternoon spent barefoot in the garden, pulling out last year's dead growth to expose open crocuses and striped snails. Handfuls of young dandelion greens, with garlic and bacon for supper. This year, I hope to grow many plants to dye with. Hollyhock, coreopsis, bronze fennel, purple basil, marigold and anything else I can find seeds for...