Monday, May 26, 2008

First Rain, First Kiss

Went walking in the first summer rain.

Put on my wide brimmed hat, hooked up Murphy to the leash and headed out into the rain.
It was a gentle rain. Not too cold; not too warm; just right.
I had on a short sleeved shirt and I walked down the road with my arms out like a bird.
I turned my arms over so the rain landed on my innner arms like a kiss.

It was delightful.
Just enough to get me wet but not soaking.
Just enough to let me melt into the greening, growing, rich earth.

Just enough to scent me like the grasses before their first cut.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lilacs On The Farm

Lilacs On The Farm
Originally uploaded by Gertibird
One of my favorite things is the shapes and textures and colors of a barn.
I love the curve of the roof and the worn planks of wood. I love the patina of an old metal roof and the shine of a new metal roof.
I like the spires or the round and square air vents topped with weather vanes.
I like them old and falling down, I like them new and shining. I like them painted, red or white or blue or green.
I like barns for horses and barns for hay.
And I am luck that I see them every day!
I love the shape of the doors and the windows.
I love the depth and height of the building.
I love the beautiful utility.
When I came upon the lilacs with the sun upon the barn behind them I fell in love.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Originally uploaded by Gertibird
Spring. Hard to believe that 8 weeks ago we were trudging through snow and sleet and ice. Hard to believe how quickly things grow around here. It is like they know they have only alittle time and they have to get a move on.
There is a new family of sheep down the road from me. Black or dark dark brown Icelandic sheep. Mom and three babies. I would swear the babies are twice the size they were last week.
This photo is my homage to the crazy mating, blooming, birthing, planting, dance of Spring.
The bird is either a house finch or a purple finch. They are so alike it is hard to tell and now that I have tweeked it, we will never know. But the colors are what the picture is really about. The wild colors and smells and sunshine of the growing season. The desire to be outdoors again. The drive to dig in the dirt and make things grow. And of course the added joy of new birds for my bird list...well for some of us, that is a thrill.
Hope your Spring is swinging!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heavenly Day

The first columbines of the season. This must be a nice sunny spot most of the day. These are quite early.
Today was a picture postcard afternoon. High blue skies with enormous puffy clouds. Bright sunshine, crisp shadows, and the leaves and grass are greener.
It is hard to believe this is the same place that was buried in snow only 8 weeks ago.
Today was an advertisement for life in Northern New York. Heaven!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photo collage - farmscape and a rare tufted titmouse (at least rare in my area it seems)
So...back to my gardening story? Maybe later.
Time for me to rest my eyes. I just liked this collage so much I had to share it ASAP.
nighty night!
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Reluctant Gardener?

It has been almost two months since my surgery and I am feeling better and better. I am walking with Murphy after work most nights, and I am trying to walk a little further each time, even if it is just a few more steps.
I don't mean to say I am having trouble getting around, because I am not, but my stamina needs work plus I am pretty tired after a full day at the office. Murphy is patient to a point. There are times I wish I had a leash that was twice as long as the extra long retractable one I have now, just so he could run without coming to the end so soon. He is frequently running full out until the leash runs out, and jerking himself by the neck, and me by the shoulder joint.
When I ask him to, he is very good about walking next to me, "heeling" without pulling. We have been working on that since he was a tiny little boy and first walked at the end of a leash. The best thing I learned from the Dog Whisperer was how to position the leash (when he was big enough to have it around his neck) and train him to walk next to me. Not only is it good physical exercise, but it is good mental exercise. He has to read my pace and direction and restrain himself from pulling lest Mommy be displeased. He is such a Goldie...all he wants is to please me. All he wants is to be with me. I feel the same way about him.
We are lying in bed right now, in the middle of the afternoon. We have both had a very busy day out in the yard.
Murphy stayed on his tether and I raked up piles of dead grass burrs. Last year I took the weed killer "Round Up" and sprayed and sprayed and sprayed all the evil, sharp, stickery, pokey, paw hurting, finger infecting, ankle scratching little sh-ts......they apparently were the prefered food of the Carolina Parakeet who is now extinct. So Humanity's punishment for not taking care of that bird is to suffer the grass burr.
My back yard is partially saharan desert. Other areas, under trees or in shadow, are able to sustain life. The middle section is pure sand and grass burrs are also known as sand burrs and are the only thing that volunteers to grow in that nutrient poor soil.
So I, the intrepid home owner, did some research and found that an agressive grower could choke out the grass burr. Something that puts nitrogen into the soil would make the grass burr evacuate the premises. I settled on clover seed. I had visions of puffy mounds of soft green clover, growing where once there was nothing but sand and burrs. White clover flowers blooming and making the bees and the deer happy. And no more sharp points in my baby's paws.
Last year we had a drought and I was working longer hours and I guess had other I ordered the seed but did not plant it. Today...I planted some of it! I took my big rake and I scratched in the dirt. I walked back and forth over 1/2 an acre. I raked up the old dead burr bodies and made tiny furrows for my clover. I watered the earth so the tiny clover seeds would stick and not float away on the breeze. I spread the clover seed with a spreader that spun the seed out three fee on either side as I walked up and down and back and forth. I watered again, and I used my shoe to sweep a bit of dirt over the fallen seed.
It was HOT! Of course I chose a day in May when it decided to be almost 80 degrees! We probably broke records since the normal is in the mid personal favorite temperature.
It was also buggy. The black arch nemisis...were relentless. Despite my deep woods off, including reapplications throughout the day, they were intent on getting into my ears, eyes, nose and yes...down my throat. My practice of compassion for all living things draws the line with things that feed on me. IF I thought too long and too hard on that I would see the how that does not fit in my big picture...but for this weekend I pray for a black fly holocaust...
(Tune in later for more thoughts on gardening and killing black flies)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spring Thing

What a beautiful day.
What a beautiful sky.
What a beautiful world.
What a beautiful life.
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Thursday, May 1, 2008


Originally uploaded by Gertibird
I have become hooked on Flickr and Picasa2 - a free photo manipulation software.
I cruise around looking at art and I make some of my own! The black edges framing the picture are from a quickie fix on called LOMO. The Lomo, as I understand, is a Russian instamatic type camera that was known for its quirky photo resolution.
Photo manipulation is sort of soothing and meditative. I have not taken on anything as multi-layered as photoshop. I guess I am intimidated by it too. These little programs are so basic and I can reverse what I have done so easily, it is like play.
When I get home from a long day at work I look forward to playing with my photos.
This photo is from Labor Day 2007, around sundown. There was a full moon rising and we had gone out on the lake to watch it. The stillness of the lake and the reflections were as breath taking as this photo makes it look. The only thing I did to this photo was LOMO the edges.
I usually carry my camera around with me for those "just in case" moments. Change of seasons is an especially rich time for me to get shots, but Hubby has needed it these last couple of days.
The forsythia and the tulip trees are in full bloom. Daffodills are fading and Spring is in its full glory.
Days have been on the cold side, but the sun is brilliant. I am happy to wait for the warmer days. Happy to enjoy the slow unfolding of Spring before Summer is upon us.
I love Summer up here. For many years I detested the heat and humidity of Summer in NYC and before that Texas or Louisiana. But Summer in Northern NY was always a pleasure when I was a child. Those few weeks every year that we would come up to the camp were always the best. And now I live here - One hour and 20 minutes from my childhood summer heart. And each year I can look forward to my family coming up here - some for weeks, some for months.