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Monday, May 19, 2008

So bright

A photo on Flickr[posted by risa]

Tired? Oh, just ...

The main thing at Stony Run this time of the year is grass clippings. I never have gotten round to having the field across the creek plowed, harrowed and drilled with buckwheat, and so it makes a nice huge lawn -- which has to be maintained to keep peace with all the neighbors -- so I convert the clippings into mulch -- lots and lots of mulch! There's about ninety grasscatcher bags of very short hay on all the gardens and at the foot of the fruit trees this year. Gives meaning to the term "ubiquitous."

Temperatures went to 93 for two brutal days, though, right when I had this to do, so I worked "hoot owl," early morning and evening hours, and when the heat caught up to me, between wheelbarrow loads I dunked my straw hat in the creek and poured the water over myself.

This water comes down from a sour-soiled pasture with a couple of horses in it, that fortunately is over forty acres in size, so it's not too uncleanly. You can soak your feet in it, and such. We don't drink it but probably could; there are caddis fly larvae, a sure sign that the creek has recovered quite a bit from when the pasture had cows all over it. Right now the pasture is a stunning vista of peak-color Camas lilies attended by hordes of chaffing goldfinches.

After the mowing I worked on several other projects, including repairing and painting the scriptorium, airing it out, installing the laptop and a pitcher of solar mint tea, transcribing (a very good heat-of-the-day activity) a seventeenth century cookbook for Renascence Editions, and napping (another good hot-weather activity). Later I made dinner from spring greens and duck eggs, with buckwheat-rye bread fresh from the oven. And then cleaned up the front porch and moved the bench from there to the shady spot beneath the fir trees.

The moon was so bright last night that many insects chose not to go to bed, and the bats stayed up with them, skreeling and fluttering into the wee hours.

Beloved spent the night out by the new pear trees, which had been attacked by a an enterprising doe. In the morning, over coffee shared outdoors, she reported, "there was a convention of coyotes over on the mountain last night."

We have never seen summer unfold so suddenly.



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