Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is a spring ephemeral, a woodland perennial that emerges, blooms, sets seed, and gathers the energy to return the next year, all before the leaves of the deciduous trees above it come out to take their turn in the sun. And bloodroot's flowers are ephemeral in the ordinary sense, too, barely lingering a day or two, shattering once their work of luring a pollinator is done.
The sun came out for a while today, the first time in a week of grey, and so did this:
So I'm out in front of the house, on my knees in the near-mud, leaning way in to shoot the crocuses and snowdrops that are finally, finally blooming—and a neighbor who's running by stops and asks what I'm doing.
For this, to begin, that Typepad remembers who I am, and that I didn't need to scrounge around for the password to let me into the long-neglected blog, to catch up .
That my cellphone still has year-old numbers stored in it - and that even with bad directions (the GPS, alas, spent Rhinebeck weekend traveling to soccer games in southern New Hampshire) I arrived at the festival just before they locked the gates on Saturday, and found friends.
That I finished my minimalist cardigan - this year's Rhinebeck project - in my hotel room Sunday morning. Never mind that it was too cold to wear it - the sweater meant for last year's festival stood in just fine.
That the same cold snap that weekend reached Hanover, too, and I came home to find the tomatoes and basil wiped out by frost. Stay with me here - I've always found it hard to decide when to stop running out with sheets to over the tender things as fall moves on and the nights get cold. Autumn was long and glorious this year (at least that's the way I'm remembering it, now that we're firmly settled in cold but no-real-snow-yet early winter) and it was pleasant to have the matter of declaring an end to the summer garden taken out of my hands.
That 400 tulips, 100 daffodils and another 200 or so crocus and snowdrops are safely in the ground, waiting for spring. I've got 5 months to plot how to keep the deer from the tulips...
That Eleven's soccer season lasted into post season play as far as the state finals - which made for a lot of knitting time. (For Thirteen, too.) And for the hockey knitting - thanks, Nine.
Before anything else, a quick word for the knitters: never fear, still knitting. I'll post a State of the Knits later this week. Highlights: got me some Frick-stash!
Until then, more gardening.
Taking over from the departed hemlocks:
Tomatoes, peppers and basil. It's late to be starting - but we've already had a first batch of pesto, from pinching back the basil transplants before they went in the ground.
And, unexpectedly, actual beans, from the scarlet runner I'd stuck in among the flowers, in hopes of luring in a few hummingbirds. There's a purple hyacinth bean growing right beside it, which really is just for pretty. It's a plant I've been crazy about ever since the summers I worked here. (There's a great shot of the hyacinth bean covering a locust arbor if you click through to the vegetable gardens, and onwards to the link to the "panorama of the vegetable garden". Go have a look around.)
Plants from the Virginia garden -- dug, boxed up and taken for a long drive north -- settling into their new home.
We've been in New Hampshire a year and a half now; time to put down some more roots. Today's the first day of a two-month sabbatical from my writing job - which ought to make room for a bit more writing here.
Looking forward to a summer's worth of domestic life ... drop by anytime.
(There are pictures, just not here. Typepad's new Compose screen was waiting for me when I sat down to post. It is not interested, apparently, in uploading any images.)
Suddenly it's summer: nearly 90 the last few days, and a thunderstorm and downpour yesterday evening that got the streams running again in the woods for a while.
If you hear a story about a conversation that began with a comment about a front lawn with an unusually large crop of dandelions and segued neatly into the observation that immigration has been a terrible, terrible thing for Britain -- well, I heard it first. (My lawn. My dandelions, thank you very much.) It's one of the many things that have left me speechless over the last few weeks.
Most of them, thankfully, have brought on the good sort of speechlessness instead, the focussed, quiet "I really need to think about this for a while" kind. Like a month-long read of everything I can get my hands on by Caryl Phillips, who's coming to Dartmouth to teach and read this summer. And seeing productions of two plays written by a student I profiled a few months ago.
Plenty of ordinary busy-ness, too. Evidence of actual gardening:
And with two weeks until school's out for summer, it's high season for conferences, tournaments, open houses, performances: two a week on average for the last few weeks, and they keep coming (bonus: minimalist cardigan is growing).
Thursday, a rock musical of Homer's Odyssey. Eleven is singing Penelope. Have promised I won't knit while she weaves.
The crew was off school last week, and just like last year, we made an expedition into Vermont.
The falls over the dam at Quechee are stunning right now, pure energy, loud and a bit frightening, really.
That's a long winter's worth of snow on its way out.
See: snow's gone.
What else? Gardening, or more precisely, the necessary prelude to it - the big clean-up. Grit swept off the drive, sticks off the lawn, the last of the leaves raked and bundled into the woods. Got a bit of a lecture from the therapist who's looking after my wrist, for overdoing it with the rake. (Fair to note that he was sporting blister-covering band-aids himself? Pot, kettle, black? On the other hand, he's not the one with the broken arm on the mend.)
Thirteen's birthday wrapped up the long run of cakes and candles (four family birthdays since February) with moment of drama: tall candles, long hair, and a too-close encounter while making a wish. (No damage done, thankfully. The fire went right out.)
Daffodils are opening while a few crocus still linger. It's spring all at once.
This is supposed to be "Itzim," a cyclamen-type with an orange center. The petals are starting to get swoopy as they should, but the trumpets haven't colored up noticeably yet. Have to wait and see. "Jack Snipe" is due next.
What's missing? A knitting project. I logged a few rounds at most on the blue stripy sock - but the search for a good spring project is on: paging through books and magazines, poking around in the (small) stash, pouring over Ravelry. (Suggestions welcome!)