"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Floral Tuesday

Spent all of yesterday at the State House, on budget briefings. It was a nasty, rainy day, good to be indoors...although of course indoors at the Lodge is always preferable!

It doesn't seem the dreaded river flooding has materialised...water levels are being monitored carefully and dam outflow is controlled as necessary. The really bad spot in our road is still an issue, although the road department did throw some rip-rap rock onto the soggiest spot.

This morning I headed out to the weekly Chairs & Vice Chairs meeting. A few miles from home I spotted my first blue heron of the season, stalking migratory fish in a local millpond.

Afterwards, at the petrol station, I encountered our County Commissioner across the pump. Warned him about the reduction in county account, because I'd just stopped at the bank to deposit my county mileage reimbursement/per diem check!

Then I promptly spent a chunk of it at the nearest garden shop...

When I got home, I didn't even take off my raincoat first, I instantly re-potted my basil. It smells delicious...I think we'll be having angel hair and pesto very soon, possibly tonight!

That would enable me to stretch out our International dining--my goal is to make it a full fortnight. Not sure I can, although Italian tonight, gratin dauphinoise tomorrow, Middle Eastern shawarma on Thursday...pizza (as usual) on Friday.

I had a craving for primroses...not just because of the colour. Last night I was researching the Hampton Court gardens, particularly Queen Mary II's auricula quarter. I did see some primulas at the garden center, which are simlar to auriculas, but settled on a little pot of extremely bright primroses.

Last night I was so envious, reading of Her Majesty's bespoke blue-and-white china containers and planters, made specially for her at the factory in Deft. Tempting as it is to swap out all my current planters--basketry, tole, pottery--for lots of reproduction blue and white, I think I won't. Though I shall make good use of what Delft I've got.

It's a longstanding habit with me, appropriating my characters' gardening habits as my own....So many of the roses I now grow were added because somebody in a book I wrote--over a decade ago--grew them as well.

I also picked up some seed packets. Heavy on the original Cupani sweet peas....I suppose I could fit them into the book somewhere. Then I could deduct the cost from my taxes as a "research" expense! (No, I won't take that deduction for '09. Even if I could!)

Taxes...it's that time of year, isn't it? We filed weeks ago and already received our refund.

On our little lake I spotted two pair of ducks, the ones that only visit us in earliest spring. I think they're buffleheads. I'll try and zoom in for a photo when I go out for my music lesson. If it's not raining, that it, which I think it's about to do.

I'm so excited about the return of that fave show of mine, Rescue Me.

So excited!

Tomorrow is Tartan Day at the State House. It's also the day we vote the budget for the next biennium. In these tough economic times we still have to have a balanced budget--required by law. What a struggle, trying to keep spending in line with revenues, but also fund those essential services people expect and demand, as well as the safety-net programs so crucial for our neediest citizens.


Back again. Had a terrific lesson, hit a milestone. My instructor said that today I stopped being a "beginner." And I've ordered a new music book with 30 more tunes.

Driving out of Concord, I saw another heron--this one on the wing, it had just taken off from the marsh at the edge of the Merrimack River.

At a neighbour's, two houses from ours, I spotted my first phoebe. There's something really special about seeing the first one. I can't put it on my tally, as it wasn't on our property. But soon, I'm sure! I now want to stand at the windows and watch for "ours"!

Got photos of the buffleheads as evidence of their residence here, which will be brief. When I got back they were way out in the middle of the lake.

Here's a pair and a half (one of the females had just gone under)

Here's one of the drakes. Not a very good photo. A grey day and the lake and the distance conspired against me. You get the idea...black and white.

Google "bufflehead" if you want better pics. They're lovely creatures. I'll keep working to get a better shot, but have no intention of swimming out there to do it!

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