Posts tagged: nature

Morning Hoar Frost

By , February 29, 2020

It’s almost springtime already — how are you?!

Before winter is over, I must show you the frosty fairyland we woke up to one foggy morning in November, one of my favorite months. February is another one of my favorite months, and I’ll be sorry to see it go.

This morning I began thinking about my upcoming garden year, deciding about the steps I’ll take to wake up the garden this year, jotting down the order I’ll do them in so I don’t forget. I do things differently each year, hopefully evolving toward more efficiency and less input from me, meaning less of a drain on my energy, while maintaining a reasonable level of vegetable productivity.

Among my thoughts for this year… mowing the weeds in between the garden rows instead of pulling them; doubling the distance between tomato plants; interspersing my high-pest crops (cabbage, squash) throughout the garden instead of planting them in blocks as I have in the past; more flowers; planting a slew of dill everywhere since my observation has been that dill is a tip-top favorite of many(!!) types of beneficial insects; and no forking to loosen the soil in the rows as I have in the past — I’d like to eliminate this energy-intensive step, and instead just score a couple-inch-deep line in the soil for the rows of seeds.

It’s always an experiment!

Anyway, look at how beautiful this particular morning was! We don’t often get treated to this kind of thing; it was a special morning.

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Autumn Scenes

By , November 17, 2019

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Making a Lemonade Day from a Lemon

By , September 14, 2019

I had an irritating errand to do this week in order to get re-hired for my job (I job-share with someone else — they work part of the year, I work the other part, and because we’re temp employees we have to get re-hired each time and it’s always a hassle-y process). In the past I had to just go to the HR office nearby to get fingerprinted but this time I had to drive to the next town an hour away for this stupid, simple 10-minute task — a waste of my time, energy, and gas.

I decided that in order to have a good attitude about the errand, I needed to make it fun for myself. So after the appointment, I stopped in at an antique shop across the street and took my unhurried time looking at everything. I got three little things including a little kitty picture frame, and this great book The English Country Home and wooden jar. I walked to a nearby cafe and got a fun treat-drink, and then I drove to a little town I’ve always been curious about, and stopped at a public open space area, which I had all to myself, and absolutely basked in the feeling of being in the mountains. I had forgotten how good it felt and how much I had needed it. The smell!!!!!! Spicy, earthy, pine-needle-y, heavenly smell. I’d forgotten how good the mountains smell. I came upon a little creek and spent a lot of time poking around there and soaking in the sound and sight of the moving water.

It all felt so incredibly good. It seemed like terrible timing to be away for a day since I have so much going on especially with all the garden produce flooding in. I miss a day and I get behind. A vacation day was extra-needed, and I didn’t realize it until it was happening. I’d done something Fun that day (!) and I came home feeling uplifted and renewed. I spent the next day flattened and fatigued unfortunately, but I made that stupid errand ‘work for me’ and it was worth it!

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Moving house

By , February 27, 2016

Moving (c) The Herbangardener

Yep, we have moved again. It’s such a breeze and so stress free, you know, we can hardly get enough!

This last year, circumstance dictated that my folks reclaim their home that we had been renting from them for the past three years, which meant we needed to find ourselves a new pad. Their house is where I grew up, so this homebody’s roots there run awfully, awfully deep–soaking up comfort and familiarity and cherished memories like precious life-giving droplets of water over these past few terribly challenging years. Difficult to pack up and go, you bet. Our move has blessedly been to a place just a couple hours “down the road,” so visits back are realistic and doable on a semi-frequent basis — which has been helpful for my heart which does not, alas, sway to the currents of logic or plan or situation, and does not apparently even realize that it’s actually their house and not mine at all. Helpful also in that I finally found some good doctors and I’m not, and I repeat not, in the mood to drop them and doctor shop in a new city right now. Commutes back for doctor appointments are softened by wonderful time spent with my family so this setup is working well, considering.

Going through the experience of a home purchase was new to both F and me. I would totally not recommend it. We’re lucky that we also did not have a house to sell at the same time! How do people do it?? We felt heroic for getting through it (applause especially to F) but wow, the stress was busting out the seams. Hopefully we will not have to buy, sell, or move again, ever, for the rest of our whole entire lives but if we do, I think it will definitely be easier the second time now that we’ve traced the learning curve.

We got really lucky with the place we found. And by lucky I mean that if we’d missed seeing the new Zillow listing by a single day, it would’ve been gone. And since we already had a contract on another house the realtor wasn’t sending us any new stuff so it was F that stumbled upon this one thanks to his persistent internet searching late into the night. We shudder now to think of ourselves at the first house we had the contract on! Instead, we lucked into a perfectly sized, solidly built 60’s house (we’re only the second owners!) on three irrigated acres. We wake up to meadowlarks and mountain vistas. It’s a special spot, as you’ll see:

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Tractor mowing the pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Wish this tractor were ours!

Tractor mowing the pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Green pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Green pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Sunset (c) The Herbangardener

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Clothesline (c) The Herbangardener

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Flood irrigation (c) The Herbangardener

Irrigatinggate pipe (c) The Herbangardener

Irrigation gated pipe (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

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End of the rainbow (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Winter dusk (c) The Herbangardener

Winter dusk (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

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The first glimmers of Spring

By , January 20, 2013

The Christmas decorations have been slowly disappearing back into their boxes, and the birdsong around our place sounds distinctly spring-like. The near-60° weather lures us outside while the sun keeps us warm as we play Scrabble on the porch in shorts, t-shirts, and bare feet. While there’s undoubtedly plenty of cold still ahead, there are certainly whiffs of spring.

On a sunny afternoon just the other day, I clipped some aspen branches for the table and made a few wreaths from virginia creeper vine.

My favorite home decor is that which is taken straight from nature. Simple and classy.

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Are you feeling spring getting nearer?

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Soggy Morning

By , September 12, 2012

It’s a day for wool socks, tea, and putting off errands.

The rain began ever so gently last evening around dusk, stopped for a while, gained momentum, and is still going.

We haven’t seen rain in so long!

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My Chickadee

By , September 10, 2012

Remember how I was telling you about our backyard birds? (Clickie!) Well, a very special Chickadee Encounter has transpired that I have to share with you. I was lounging on the back porch, resting, and my eyes drifted to a particular branch on our apple tree upon which sat a sleeping chickadee! It must have been there longer than I had, since I hadn’t seen it arrive. I watched it sleep, and then tiptoed into the house to get my camera — although I figured this would be futile since it would likely just fly away. But it was still there, unmoved, when I returned, and so as surreptitiously as I could I approached the apple tree. Animals are highly alert so I’m sure it sensed me, especially when a leaf crunched underfoot, but it remained unaffected even as I inched my camera ever nearer to its branch. I couldn’t believe how close this dear little bird allowed me to get; perhaps within twelve inches of it. It opened its eyes a few times to assess, but closed them again and continued resting. I got my pictures and went back to my own business of resting, in awe of what had just taken place.

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It opened its eyes in this one…

A while later, the chickadee was gone from its branch, but a small hawk landed in one of our trees, and a group of chickadees in the lilac bushes near the bird feeder began their chick-a-dee-dee-dee alarm call. I spooked the hawk so it would leave, and went to the bushes to see about the little chickadees. They really are such cheeky little things, and not nearly as flighty as other birds. Again I grabbed my camera and one, perhaps the same one, allowed me to approach quite closely and capture its beauty on camera so that I might share it with you all. What an experience, to be so close to these endearing creatures.

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I love this one especially…

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Do you have a special bird story? Please share!

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Birdwatching

By , September 8, 2012

When we first moved in to our new house a month ago, F mentioned wanting to have birds in the yard. So I set up a bird bath, certain they’d all flock to it, but only the chickadees came by to use it once in a while. A few weeks later I rummaged through the garage to find the bird feeders my parents left behind. We shoved the feeder pole into the ground one Friday evening, full of doubt, and filled the plastic tray with black nyjer seed that was surely too old to be appetizing.

So I thought.

That very next morning, as I came into the kitchen to begin the day, I heard an unusual amount of bird activity close by.

The feeder?!

YES!

They had found it! And when I rushed to the back window and saw finches tussling over a dining spot, I was overcome with the same deep feeling of thrilling excitement that I remember experiencing as a little girl, walking into the dark living room on Christmas morning and discovering that Santa had come!

The feeder has been so popular. The chickadees are a definite favorite. They’re such cheeky, fearless little things. I can stand within an arm’s length of them! (Click here for pictures of my close-up encounter with one~)

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We love the sense of being much closer to nature than we were in our apartment. Soon after we moved in, I began hearing a bird call I’ve never heard before in this area. The bird species do ebb and flow around here, and the birdsong I woke up to in second grade is not the same medley I awake to now.

But this one was completely new. Finally I caught a glimpse of this skittish and swift little newcomer — beautiful yellow! I’d never before seen this bird, so went inside and pulled out the Birds Golden Nature Guide — a family heirloom of sorts from 1960. Matching a bird to a bird book can take a while; where do you start? But would you even believe, the exact page I turned randomly to, and the first bird illustration I laid eyes on, was my very bird — a Wilson’s Warbler it turns out.

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And isn’t this sweet — journal-style notations written by my Mom in 1989 that I discovered at the back of a birdfeeding book.

I love these little captured moments in time.

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Do you have a bird feeder? Who comes to visit?? Please share, I’d love to know!

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I Spy…

By , January 23, 2012

My mom & I had a sweet little leisurely walk together in the sunshine and long shadows of this quiet Monday afternoon, along with a café stop afterward for hot chocolate with whipped cream! We both loved it so much. I was totally exhausted again today, but felt that I really wanted to get out of the house into the outdoors. I had to practically peel myself up off the living room carpet to do it, but I’m so glad I did.

Medicine for the soul is very important.

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