"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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Stroll: The Face in the Hole

In the morning if I'm the one to walk down the drive to fetch the paper, I feel as though I'm being watched.

Springtime has definitely arrived...a sure sign is the flying squirrel moving into the bird box to build her nest.

After retrieving the paper I always cross the road to check whether the ice is out yet on the little lake. This morning there's a very very thin film of ice on top. I don't expect it to last the day.

Yesterday we celebrated the first day of spring by tidying the garden (me) and getting the vintage Mercedes out of winter storage and putting her on the road (him). It was sunny and about 70 degrees.

I limited my efforts to the big rose bed in front because that's where most of the bulbs are planted, and they were covered with beech and oak leaves that fell in autumn. When I raked them away, I discovered that the moles and voles had a very busy winter among the roses. But the advantages of their activity far outweighed the disadvantages....My own-root (ungrafted) roses tend to send out an excess of shoots that pop up everywhere, and I must exert a great deal of energy chopping them off or tugging them up. Well, the rodents spent all winter dining on those tender young roots and stems, severing them underground. So mostly I was playing pick-up sticks with what was left of the shoots.

Leaf removal was a long process. Afterwards I trimmed back the lavender. It's really too soon to prune roses, except for the tough early bloomers like my Scotch roses (Stanwell Perpetual and Double Blush Burnet) and the dog roses. So I did them.

At the end of the day I was achey and weary from using long-dormant muscles, but not too bad. The Chap made caipirinhas and we drank them on the back porch.

So, for my morning stroll, actual growing things were visible.
Like lambs' ears.

And my big daffodils. (See the buds!)

And my wee daffidils. (See the buds!)

No, I didn't eradicate every single leaf. By late afternoon the breeze had picked up, which is frustrating when raking because of blow-back. And there's still some snow around, in shady spots at the back of the property and in front where the house casts an afternoon shadow.

This chipmunk must be jealous of my great fondness for the flying squirrel, because after several days' absence it reappeared.

The birdsong is amazing. This morning the juncoes descended, and we have flocks of chickadees, as well as our usual visitors like blue jays and downy and hairy woodpeckers. As for migrants, a female purple finch has been visiting our feeder. And a few times I've heard the red-winged blackbirds chucking over by the edge of the lake.

Thanks very much for stopping by. To continue strolling, head over to Aisling's place!

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