Friday, June 3, 2011
a late may walk
I hope my lack of posting hasn't left anyone with the idea that we're still experiencing a Narnian winter in Minnesota, because this is not the case. It was winter for an inordinate amount of time, then we had spring weather for about two weeks and now it is full-blown summer. Unless you live on Lake Superior, Minnesotan weather can be very extreme: -40 to 104 degrees throughout the year. Today it was 90. When I took these pictures it was still cool.
The chance of frost only passed very recently, so we've just gotten all our planting done. We have such a short growing season that it is very popular around here to just head to the nurseries (or Walmart) and buy a pallet of already blooming annuals to fill up one's flower beds, instead of growing from seed. I'm growing from seed because most things wouldn't survive in the beds outside my window and seeds are very cheap. But it is a little sad that I won't be around to see them in their full glory-- just look at them last October. I'll be long gone in Boston (in a high-rise with no vegetation surrounding it) before my garden looks that nice again.
This is one of my Mom's beds, having gone the route of the nursery annuals. The tulip bulbs didn't do very well and this particular patch of dirt gets a lot of wind, so-- on top of our VERY HEAVY clay soil-- it is difficult to get delicate things to grow here.
See that faux terra-cotta pot in the picture above? That is all that is left of my rabid, virulent, the-apocalypse-could-come-and-it-would-remain mint (you can see it in the October link above). It came from my Grammy's garden in Evanston and has the exact same taste as it did when I used to make cups of tea with it when I was four. My mother warned me to put it in a pot four years ago, but I didn't listen. How could I NOT want mountains of Grammy's mint? Humph. Since then, I've had to constantly pull up as much of it as I possible just to keep it in check. All the time. It was everywhere. Finally, two weeks ago, I did a mint exorcism by digging it out-- dirt and all, down a foot-- and then dowsing the whole thing with roundup. If it comes back again, I might die.
These pansies are the only annuals that I could keep. Too bad the dogs have sat on them since this picture was taken. They've also made two big craters where I'd planted my Canterbury Bells. Well, they probably wouldn't have grown there anyways.
Pansies and violas are my favorite flowers. Probably because they're Victorian and look like they have smushed little faces, as in the disney Alice in Wonderland.
I think we deserve this weather after such a long winter.
Our apple tree that actually produces big green apples is in bloom this year too:
I just wish I was going to be around to see them and maybe make apple jellies. (There is something really satisfying about the feeling of scavenging and eating what you've scavenged, even if it was deliberately planted at some point...)
Which is why I felt like this next little surprise was planned just for me, to make up for things. A bird flew away from the apple tree when I approached it with the dogs, but it took me a second to see this:
...and I arched my camera above the nest to see these:
The moment felt truly serendipitous on a sunny 68 degree day.
I was a bit late taking pictures of the plum blossoms this year and, in any case, they're all infested with these creepy worms that make filmy webby nests on them, so they don't look their best this year. I just ruined the happy blue robin's egg moment, didn't I?
I tried to pick some of these big floppy clovers to press, but they'd shriveled up by the time I got back in the house.
And ah, the little twiggy oak trees we planted now have leaves:
And I can safely show you the oak leaf earrings that I bought and am anxiously awaiting in the post. There was, apparently, only one pair available and having made the mistake once of doing an is-this-genuine post on thefashionspot with an ebay steal, I thought I'd wait until I bought them. Earrings are the only jewelry items that I get a little irrational about collecting in a very cliche way. I don't care for bracelets or necklaces at all and rings fall off or I can feel them on me and this is bothersome. I think these tiny studs will be great for everyday use and serve to remind me of the days toiling under my Dad's tyrannical concept of "contribution" -- absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
And if you look down, the path is covered with these wild violets.
There isn't as much of this wild phlox as there has been in years past. I think our copse needs a good burning, but we've never done it before and would probably need a permit, which is all too much work when it is so nice out.
The undergrowth is deliciously green. Even the poison ivy.
Soon-to-be wild raspberries, which are always eaten by the birds before we can get any of them.
I really have no idea what this pink-flowered vine is and it seems new, unless I've just never seen it blooming before.
Wild strawberry blossoms in the path that are always mowed over before they can produce strawberries. I've been meaning to try transplanting some of them for the last few years.
This is exactly the expression of joy I had on too:
I may or may not live in The Shire.
There was lots of bird sighting, though my camera isn't up to capturing such, so guess what they are as you will.
The doggies like to take a dip to cool themselves off in their winter coats. I always make a squeeee/ewww noise in an effort to keep them from shaking off on me.
Even the grass is in bloom.
Something that looks like yarrow.
The leaves on this tree are thick, heavy, papery and make the best wooshing noise, like waves on the beach. I think I have a video of this somewhere.
The grass is even a little dune-like.
Always lots to see on the ground:
I try to collect nice things to press when I walk. I put the pressed flowers and leaves in between two pieces of clear packing tape and they add something a little springy (and a little antiquarian) to my bulletin board all winter.
(Please forgive any typos in this post. My keyboard is mutinous.)