Friday, 3 July 2015

first days of july

Three days into July and life carries on in the garden. I've had enough distractions to keep me from the studio. I am missing it, but happy to take care of the details of life that enrich it.

Late yesterday afternoon, in the shade of the back deck, I took a break to read my library book, an amazing history of Vincent Van Gogh . If you should be so inclined, the book is written by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith and simply called Van Gogh. It is an intensive history that explains a lot about this tortured, ecstatic soul.
When Wally came home he joined me on the deck and almost fell asleep in the silky evening breeze.
Eventually he roused himself and went to check the gardens, weeding as he went. Then he found a surprise in the composter garden where we are waiting for the echinacea and the speedwell to bloom.

a sprouted walnut!
When we first came here, our real estate agent suggested from the leaf he found around our two ash trees that flank the driveway, that they were maples. When we moved here, we soon learned that the maple leaves were from the hedges, oddly enough. We began to wonder if the trees were walnuts,judging by the shells (that we still continue to find on our driveway) but, as you know we eventually learned that they were ash trees, a very hard wood and last tree to get its leaves in the spring.

So we still don't know who has the walnut tree, and indeed, who is dropping the shells on our driveway. Considering that Wally put the composter garden in a few years ago, this is a somewhat recent burial. Wally decided to pot it until we figure out where it ought to go.

Two stems are growing out of it.

someof the leaves are growing in multiples, but most are single

a genuine walnut leaf; I'd never have known.

In the yard, just beyond, a lone buttercup

Up close

A pcture I forgot to show you last week shows a beautiful fungus 
on the old ash stump with some forget-me-nots

Today, some mushrooms and fungi that feed off the old ash stump

the mushrooms up close

The carnation pinks, such hardy little flowers

Whoops! a shocker about how badly the chimney on Forget-Me-Not Cabin has degraded towards the south and southeast sides that get the brunt of the sun and wind.

Last night, Wally knocked down a wasp nest that was too close to our front entrance.
This morning I saw a starling picking away at it, most of its cone shape missing. 
Was it eating the paper?

I gingerly turned it over, not knowing what I'd find.

Upon closer inspection, I see an ant lifting out a wasp larva,

Well, that's all a bit too real for me, the whole life and death thing, so I head out back to inspect the honeysuckle.  Can you believe this complicated mess of petals is just one bloom. The scent, well, you cannot imagine how sweet it all smells around here.

Walking back to the back entrance I spy a green fly on a hydrangea leaf.

Beside him a bumblebee is working on a stray lupin that is growing up through the hydrangea

a busy gentle worker

a fuzzy bee in lupin heaven

I couldn't get through the back door, still locked, and found a wasp exploring the front door.
I waited for him to go, and then I realized the wasps were trying to rebuild on the remains of their nest. Oh my.

I got myself back into the kitchen where I fed the cats and sat myself down to look at these photos.
Babu was very curious about the box of apple seconds that we brought home last night.

He wants to get inside at something

But I make a noise to distract him

And now you see I have something else to distract me from the studio with all these apples to process.  I will try a mechanical apple peeler today that I have never used and hope that speeds things up.  
Taking pleasure in the small things that enrich our lives. 


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