Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Days

Spring is zipping along now. The black flies are out, but not too thick. Brilliantly colored birds sing from their tree-top perches. From our yard we hear a scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, Baltimore oriole, and great-crested flycatcher. They are visible as the newly emerging oak and maple leaves are still small. Warblers, about the size and color of the leaves, are much harder to see.

The yard and garden demand lots of attention these days. We've had a recent stretch of fair weather, after a wet early Spring, so we're playing catch-up. The Yukon gold potatoes and Copra storage onions from Johnny's Seeds are finally in the ground. The sugar snap peas are climbing up our new pea fence. Swiss chard, broccoli, and kale seedlings from Farmer Renee are planted and waiting for a bit warmer weather to really get going. I planted okra seeds indoors and these need hot days before moving into the garden. The spinach, arugula, and cilantro that I direct seeded weeks ago continue to grow ever so slowly.

The Exeter Farmer's Market season opener was last Thursday afternoon. I came home with bags of fresh mesclun, arugula, spinach, and potatoes, along with a dozen eggs. Another farmer friend had miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), a first for me. It made a nice addition to a fresh salad of mesclun and arugula. The potatoes and spinach were paired for an Indian dish of that name. Wonderful flavors after a long winter of hard to come by fresh foods.

Kodi prefers winter temperatures. These warmer days find him wandering back to the wetland to cool off. As I go in search of him, there is always something new for me to see too. These last few days it is a patch of fringed polygala along the path and wild highbush blueberry in bloom near the wetland shore, both flowers so dainty and lovely. The pair of Canada geese honk as they watch over five young goslings; this is the pair that nested on the beaver lodge.

 Fringed polygala

 Wild highbush blueberry

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