Over and Around

Yesterday, the boys and I went on a hike in the late afternoon.

Through the swales, over the swales and all around the swales.

I gave them a mission.

“Be on the lookout for trees boys, and let me know when you see one.”

Feeling this was an important mission, Joe raced down the path spotting trees and shouting, “Right here! There’s one right here!”

Jake ran right behind him, mimicking his shouts.


I followed taking notes on my clipboard.

We have 47 trees in our swales.

We planted more than that last year, but many died early on or didn’t make it through the winter.

We have 47 trees that are alive with leaves sprouting in different shades of green.

There are fruit trees: cherry, apple and pear; a few nut trees: chestnut, walnut and almond; and a sprinkling of other miscellany: lavender, pussy willow, corkscrew willow, oak and a few question marks.


The boys had completed their mission long before I’d finished documenting the tree varieties on my swale map.

They were playing in the dirt pile when I walked back to the house. I stood and watched them play for a few minutes thinking about how excited they get when they feel they are a part of the work.

They don’t even see it as work…it’s a mission, a game.

It’s a joy to watch.

I called them to the kitchen garden. One final chore needed to be done before we could turn in for the day.

I had toted three cabbage pots over from the greenhouse. I’m not willing to risk all of them by planting too early, so these three will be my weather test.

Once I told the boys the plan, they were eager to help.

Joe passed them out to us.

One for Jake…


One for Joe…


And one for me.


The cat supervised.


In the yard today
Warm sun setting on our backs
Cats purring, stretching

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