Activities, Earth

First blush of green

First blush of green: I suppose that’s a mixed metaphor or something. Surely blushing and the color of green aren’t generally associated together. But this time of year I can think of no better explanation for the very first glimpses of photosynthesis following winter’s dormancy and I get giddy whenever I see it.

I don’t have a good picture of brown grass with just a little green among all the brown so I decided to use this sketch of succulents in their pots instead. Call it artistic license. Or better yet, call it gardener’s license! ūüėÉ

We were out for a drive three days ago and we saw the first honest tinges of green in farmers’ fields and on their wide open lawns. Not much green yet. Just a speck here and a dollop there. But, it’s a start!

I don’t know how you are about colors and Spring, but it’s without a doubt my favorite time of year. It’s God fulfilling his promise of resurrection. No matter how glorious the colors of autumn and the beauty of mature plants, there is nothing as dear to my heart as the re-awakening of that which is to all outward evidence, dead.

I feel sorry for color blind folks. There is a special … almost chartreuse color … that we see here in the Midwest in the beginning of Spring and I never really notice it in plants later in the year. I eagerly await it’s appearance — along with those very first tinges of green — as a sort of the second announcement of Spring’s approach. Nature’s way of saying, “it’s not a joke, all these plants really are coming back to life!”

Some might think that my excitement over Spring is disproportionate. I don’t care. I find life is a lot happier if I’m excited about small things as well as large ones. And I’m happy a lot more because of it. Waiting for only big things to get excited and happy about is a terrible waste of living. Why not be happy when it costs nothing?

We have been in this apartment 2+ years now. When we moved the landlord told us that there are allotments that can be rented for $5.00 per season and because we were new we didn’t want to commit to taking care of a garden during our first summer. Then last year we bought our place at Wisconsin Dells and we didn’t have an “actual” garden, but we did plant some vegetation. It’s likely that our summers will be spent mostly at the Dells so we aren’t planning on acquiring an allotment this year either. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have been thinking a little bit about what we might add to the plant life at our summer place.

Also, last year whilst watching an English gardening show we came across the idea of “bug hotels” and I kind of like the idea. We don’t feed birds where we are — in the woods there’s ample food for the birds and I don’t want to risk attracting too many squirrels or rodents. That said, I’m not bashful about attracting other critters. And a “bug hotel” appeals to me.

We actually have the beginnings of a bug hotel already. Our food pile is the perfect nesting place for a variety of bugs, but I’m thinking about whether or not to go further along that line and be open and above board about the idea. Maybe I can encourage other campers to do likewise!

I wonder how many of you may have special Spring traditions or Spring pleasures?

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Old Diary

Peg’s Green Thumb

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Our Planter

Sunday was a good day to hit the stores and get our groceries (boring) and pickup some additional soil for our planter. ¬†Fred Meyer has 2 cu ft bags on sale for 1/2 the price of Walmart’s so they won the contract. ūüôā ¬†8 cu ft later our planter was full (after Peggy pulled all the weeds) and Peg had all the plants planted — including some bulbs we got from a local resident.

We weren’t as warm on Sunday as we had been on Saturday. In Eugene it had been 70¬į with college students sunning themselves at cafe tables wearing shorts. ¬†But it was a nice enough day anyway.

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Living at the Boneyard means you sometimes find interesting throwaways that might make have useful second lives!

I’m not sure whether we’ll get any of the cabbage or lettuce we planted — and we’re looking for more plants for the remaining 1/3 of our garden. ¬†But the season is early and Peg is wanting TOMATOES! I suspect it’s a bit early for tomato plants — even in this mild climate!

There is room for more plants and planters. ¬†We want to be a bit careful about putting things in place that the F.S. may not want, or that a future volunteer might have to remove. ¬† I found this concrete water valve box on the boneyard pile. ¬†I’ll see about putting that to use as a planter. ¬† Not sure if it will live at the end of our little fence… I would be nice if I had two of them — one for either side of the opening — one alone looks odd — no balance. ¬†And I don’t want water draining on the wood decking. ¬†So, we’ll see how we end up using it.

Peg was looking at rosebushes at the nursery! ¬†Oh ohhhhhh. ¬†She’s always been more about flowers than veggies.

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Old Diary

The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling

Peg Stayed home on Tuesday, but I’m sorry she did. ¬†She missed some really good views.

It would appear that the sky has fallen into the valleys

It would appear that the sky has fallen into the valleys

As you can see the sky fell into the vallies! ¬†It was so kewl this morning to look out over the hills and see valley after valley of fog/clouds in each valley. ¬†There aren’t many places I can pull over en route so I had to stop at the one reasonably easy place to stop.

From there on the day got better and better! ¬† For one thing no one was in the office. ¬†Bob and Belva were both missing. ¬†No idea where they were or why — Belva was out yesterday too — but no idea if she’s sick or taking vacation time or just goofing off. ¬†For me that was good. ¬†A second day without supervision means more time to get the mess from my handbook rush cleaned up. ¬†And clean up I did. ¬†I got my messy desk almost cleaned off, got some keyboarding done on projects I’ve been wanting to tick off my list.

The biggest one to ME was making myself a checklist to follow with each new volunteer in-processing. ¬†I seem to keep forgetting the same things — like taking photos for the bulletin board — and for management to have on a rogues gallery to carry with them for when they can’t remember the names of people they don’t see often. ¬†But having a list to cover all the normal details of a new volunteer is a huge benefit to me. ¬† ¬†No matter how I try to plan the day there’s no way to process a volunteer without interruptions and having a checklist to tick off the boxes will make sure I get all the details handled right, the first time.

The view through the window at Grif's on the Bay!

The view through the window at Grif’s on the Bay!

That much done, it was time to get out of the office and enjoy the beautiful day and 60¬į¬† weather. ¬†But, I was in such a hurry to get out of there that I neglected to lock my filing cabinets. ¬†Peg was done with the laundry by the time I returned home so when I offered lunch ‘out’ she jumped at the chance. ¬†We headed back to Reedsport to secure cabinets and from there down to Winchester Bay for lunch.

Winchester Bay really is one of our favorite places. ¬†It’s so beautiful and peaceful there. ¬†— At least this time of year before all the tourists turn up. ¬†We tried out a second location for Grif’s by the Bay. ¬†Last fall when Kathryn was with us we ate at the Grif’s in Port Orford and enjoyed our meal thoroughly — this meal was just as nice and with a view of the harbor right outside the window who could ask for more on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

Back to Lake Marie again for another look in better weather.

Back to Lake Marie again for another look in better weather.

Lunch done, (just-off-the-boat-fresh prawns, fish, calamari, fries and coleslaw plus a nice lemony Lemon Meringue pie) we mosey’d over to the Umpqua lighthouse for a nice long gaze at the ocean and then a little time spent at Lake Marie. ¬†One of these days we’re going to do the +1 mile hiking trail around the lake. ¬†Today we were satisfied just sitting and enjoying and listening (without satisfaction) for bird calls.

Peg getting some plants for our little planter.

Peg getting some plants for our little planter.

From there we headed back to Reedsport to check out Wild by Nature¬†the little nursery in town. ¬†It turns out that Tuesday was their opening day for the year and they didn’t have a huge stock but we did walk away with starter plants for cabbage, and lettuce, rosemary and RHUBARB!!!!! ¬†I’ve been missing my rhubarb ever since we sold the apartments in Milwaukee. ¬†I’m determined to get my Rhubarb!!!!!

It’s a cute little shop. ¬†Delivery day is Thursday — so we’ll have to check ’em out on the best day in the future. ¬†The owner is wonderful, fun, and knowledgeable. ¬†I’m sure we’ll stop by some days just to chat. ¬†Love making new friends here!

Wild as Nature -- we were their first customers of the year.

Wild as Nature — we were their first customers of the year.

The store isn’t very large — but we don’t NEED large — just big enough to have plants that will do well in this environment at a reasonable price. ¬†I’d like to find a couple shrubs of some sort; and a lavender or two. ¬†We’ll see what we might end up with before the season is over. ¬†(The store closes for the season just after July 4)

All in all it was a pretty wonderful day.  A little progress for the Forest Service, a little progress for ourselves, and a little fun at the same time.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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Journey DL, Old Diary

Redbuds At Last

The days count down slowly, but count down they do. ¬†As tension builds to closing we’re keepin’ busy and keeping our minds on other things, so much as that is possible for someone who’s father always told him he had a one-track mind. Sigh. ¬†Why did dad have to be so right about this of all things!

Some of those keepin’ busy things are less fun than others. ¬†A little financial re-jiggering filled the morning. ¬†And I have yet to finish figuring out what to do about Verizon. ¬†I really hate making systemic changes — stuff like that ought to just WORK and be INVISIBLE. ¬†I have better things to think about.

Walking my Sweetheart was a lot more fun. ¬†Back out to Wehr Nature Center. ¬†The groundhogs and deer were all over the place this morning at Wehr. There’s a groundhog (or maybe a marmot) living under the observation platform. He likes to come out from his lair and sit on the ground with his chin resting on the observation platform floor…. Kinda cute! ¬†And, Peggy’s always delighted when we see deer. We saw them, and then saw them again, and again! Not sure what it is, but the same two were cavorting back and forth near the visitors’ center and we saw them three or four times over a few minutes — chasing back and forth after each other. ūüėÄ

By the time we got back home this afternoon I was happy to see that the redbud is finally out in full bloom.  For some reason that little redbud means something special to me.

We were here about 4 years before we had any idea what we really wanted to do in the yard.  The building is so symmetrical and so large that conceiving a landscaping plan that fit the building and the lot took us a long time.  Some of the plants have now been in the ground for three years and you know the old adage about planting I assume:

  • The first year they sleep
  • The second year they creep
  • The third year they leap

It would be a good year to be here and watch the garden take off but that will not be. ¬†I’m sure our buyer will have a great time this year. ¬†All our hard work is going to pay off for HIM; ¬†but hey — we had a great time putting it all together. ¬†This is the second home we’ve had European Variegated Dogwoods… We love the red twigs during the winter and the variegated leaves during the growing season. ¬†The Diablo and Golden Glow Ninebarks are doing nicely and we have a couple Buddleia that may turn into trees instead of shrubs. ¬†But for all the variety it’s that little redbud that just makes me proud. ¬†I’m not sure what it is about that tree, but I love those little pink buds.

I’m not sure if I’ll call about a pickup time/date for¬†Journey. ¬†We are eager to avoid the weekend traffic, but more important is that the job get done right the first time — so I’m hestitant to call and pressure them about delivery.

SIXTEEN more days till closing?

SIXTEEN more days till closing?

Our forecast for Wednesday is back into the 60’s with only 50’s and 60’s for the next 7 days. ¬†And at the moment I can’t see much more than 100 yards — FOG. ¬†Sort of reminds me of grade school when we were still in session until about the middle of June and I can remember going to school on the last day of term wearing a light jacket. ¬†Wisconsin is NOT one of the quick-to-see-summer states!

We’ll cool our jets over the holiday weekend but next week we’ll be busy starting the process of loading¬†Journey, cleaning out the school, and making last minute leaving-the-state arrangements. ¬†Each day without a snag makes it easier to believe that the sale will go through. ¬†Last year this time our previous deal fell apart because of a home sale contingency — there is none on this deal — so we’re optimistic. ¬†But it’s like that feeling you get in your thumb after you’ve smacked it with a hammer — all you want to do is protect that aching digit.

But, God is good. ¬†All the time! And even though closing is 16 days away, we’ll be on our way out of town in13 days! After all this waiting is is SO GOOD to be on the edge of the pool of life and just about to jump back in way over our heads!

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