Category Archives: Garden Stories

A-Hunting We Will Go

Through tall green grass and prairie flowers,
the hunt goes on for hours and hours.
Two friends go out and raid the field,
to find a mouse, a mole…a meal.

Gray Echo, who seems sweet, but sly,
stalks prey low to the earth and sky.
Sweet Boots, with stripes of black and gray,
announces kills throughout the day.

One morning both were on a quest,
to find the biggest and the best.
First Echo jogged up with her kill,
and calmly crunched and ate her fill.

Then Boots walked at a steady pace,
Meowing proudly, with strength and grace.
They both enjoyed their breakfast treat,
a little fur, a lot of meat.

Rooing the Day

When Ray and I decided to get chicks again, we agreed that we only wanted layers for eggs. We went with the bigger layers so that when they were ready for retirement, we’d have some nice meat for the freezer.

“Chicks,” I said. “Let’s get ’em.”
“We’ll be home for awhile.”
“Why not?” he said. “Let’s do it.”
We both shrugged with a smile.

We brought our new flock of 8 home and the boys immediately fell in love with them. We handled them daily and played with them as much as we possibly could. Joe named one Crystal and a few others Cheep and Peep. Jake called one Pupil and the rest were The Sunny Sisters.

At first, they’re cute and fuzzy,
with the sweetest little cheeps.
Then they grow real feathers,
and sharp claws and razor beaks.

One of the Buff Orpintons was quite a bit bigger than the rest. We thought that maybe it was just older or maybe just grew at a faster rate than the Red Comets. She quickly claimed the alpha position in the flock.

One buff was big and fluffy,
her feathers had a shine.
She nipped at all the others,
keeping them in line.

And then, one morning when we were moving them outside for some fresh air…we heard it. Not yet a full-throated crow, but the early attempts of one. Ray, deep in denial, said that hens sometimes crow too.

“I’m sure it’s not a rooster,”
my husband shook his head.
But I knew we had one,
so I just smiled and said…

“I know you’d like to think that,
but you should hear this crow.”
He hung his head, defeated,
“I just don’t want to know.”

He is right. There are times when a hen will take the alpha position in a rooster-less flock, but it is rare for a young hen, only 10 weeks old, to suddenly start crowing.

Especially, with no rooster in area to mimic.

So…

Cock-a-doodle-doo!



Planting, Playing and Pears

My helpers are itching to get planting.

We planted our raised beds a few weeks ago. Theirs are full of beans, peas, radishes and onions. Mine is all lettuce, spinach and cilantro.

Into the beds we plant
Radishes, carrots and more
Dirty hands and nails
Seeds and gnomes galore

We started our tomato and cabbage seeds a bit late. Joe also started rutabagas and red onion.

C’mon let’s start some seeds Mom!
C’mon let’s start them please!
Broccoli, sprouts, tomatoes,
and flowers for the bees!

Last week, we planted 4 male kiwis in the vineyard. The ground was soupy and wet and perfect for digging. We had to back-fill with a little dry dirt to soak up some of the water.

Planting in the vineyard
digging in the mud
In Sunny, warmish weather
with my two best buds

We also planted 7 pear trees in the swales, replacing a few apple and cherry trees that didn’t make it. I dug the holes, Jake soaked the roots and Joe dug a trench because…why not?

Pear trees in the pasture
Playing by the pond
Planning trails and trenches
create a lasting bond.

It was a great way to spend the weekend. Outside…planting and playing.

The Good

Overwhelmed doesn’t seem to be a big enough word to apply to our world today. It doesn’t really touch the full scope of events ping-ponging around the globe. It’s easy to get caught-up, wrapped-up, stressed-out and over anxious. We can spin each other up like angry, fearful tops if we let ourselves.

So let’s not.

Instead, let’s look at all the good shooting like a geyser through the world.

Let’s be amazed with all the creativity restaurants, flower shops, and other small businesses are coming up with to adapt to this new time of social distancing.

Curbside pick-up at fancy steak restaurants. Art shops offering “To Go Kits” with a fun art project for pick-up or delivery. Major entertainment chains like Chuck-E-Cheese offering “Family Fun Night” packages with pizza delivery and a goody bag.

Businesses are adapting with lightning speed to this new world.

Let’s be awed by the ability to reach out to each other virtually so we don’t feel alone.

Museums, zoos, aquariums and art galleries around the globe offer virtual tours. The technology has been there, but now we are forced to take advantage of it even more than before.

And let’s be excited that we are coming up on gardening season. If we have seen a boom in gardening over the last 5 years, we are about to see an explosion. Grocery shortages have people ready to plant.

The weather will turn and once it does, many people, who have never gardened, never wanted to grow their own food, will be plunging their hands into the soil and planting their first seeds.

All the good.

 

 

 

 

 

Mischief Makers Day 9: Crafty Capers

Miss yesterday? Read Day 8 or listen here!

 

Day 9 Crafty Capers

Pixie and Figgy looked down at their toes while Nim and Lil discussed what was now known as “The Elfie Incident”. 

“Listen guys,” began Lil. “I know we were a team last year, but…”.

“There’s only so much we can overlook,” said Nim. “And this…incident, well…it’s too big to ignore.”

“Did you have to take all 6 bags of M&M’s at once?” Lil shook her head. “I mean, you could have made a second trip, right?”

Pixie sniffled.

Figgy gulped. 

Glitter, to everyone’s surprise, snorted. “Do you really want to talk about cutting corners, Lil?” 

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“Now wait just a minute Glitter, I—.” 

“And do you really want to say this tiny incident is ‘too big to ignore’? I seem to remember a certain Mischief Maker taking down the entire Christmas tree last year.” 

“But that was different! I mean, it…well,” Nim smiled sheepishly. 

“I suppose you are right, Glitter,” said Lil. “But, what happened you two?”

Pixie took a deep breath and turned to Figgy. “We are just so worried that we are going to be responsible for Joe losing his Christmas spirit that I guess we just took our worry out on each other.”

Figgy reached out for her hand and squeezed. “I’m sorry, Pixie.”

“I’m sorry too, Figgy.” 

“Finally,” said Glitter. “Can we get going now? We have a fleet of snowmen to build.”

As the three headed out the door, Nim and Lil looked on with concern. What were they going to do if Joe stopped believing?

*           *           *

“How does this one look?” Pixie held up a cute tealight with a red and green scarf and tiny, sparkly googly eyes.

Figgy smiled. “Looks great, Pixie! What about mine?” Figgy showed her his.

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“Er,” she said, scrunching up her nose. “It has rather a lot of eyes, doesn’t it?”

Figgy took another look at his creation. “Oh! You’re right!” He removed one of the 11 googly eyes. “There, now it’s even!”

Pixie laughed and rolled her eyes. They spent a few more minutes building tealight snowmen in silence and then Figgy voiced the thought that was on both their minds.

“Pixie…what are we going to do?”

Pixie set down her ribbon and slumped. “I don’t know, Figgy.”

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2018 Mischief Makers Day 8

Lil meets Pixie

Day 8: Googly-Eyed

 

Did you miss a few? Here they are in order!

Prologue

Day 0: The Launch

 

Day 1: Broken Bones and Promises

Day 2: Tinsel Town

Day 3: Snowmen at Night

 

Day 4: Cookie Clutter

 

Day 5: Elf in Trouble

 

Day 6: Scrooged

 

Day 7: Night Ninjas

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Mischief Makers Day 6

My favorite character changes with just about every story. In Scrooged, I’d have to say Glitter takes it with her “stern talk” with Nim about his very un-Christmasy attitude. Enjoy!

Day 6: Scrooged

Did you miss a few? Here they are in order!

Prologue

Day 0: The Launch

 

Day 1: Broken Bones and Promises

Day 2: Tinsel Town

Day 3: Snowmen at Night

 

Day 4: Cookie Clutter

 

Day 5: Elf in Trouble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Late

The air was warm
when I stepped out.
A humid breeze.

The garden called
when I walked past.
Look at these!

The weeds were tall
and overgrown.
A gnarly mess.

But in the jumble
when I looked close…
Can you guess?

A spot of red,
a strip of orange
and brightest green.

Two giant bowls
of shiny peppers.
A brilliant sheen.

Competition Update

The 2019 Garden Competition is going strong. The harvests are not as big as we had hoped, but we are happy with what we do get.

So far, Jake has taken the lead in the biggest harvest with his summer squash. Jake is second with his cucumbers and I in last place with mine.

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Jake is also the front runner for most oddly shaped.

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Joe’s homemade refrigerator pickles are delicious. They are “sugar free” and he even used a “secret ingredient” to give them that extra spice.

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Jake made squash cookies which forced us to split the Best Recipe category into two: sweet and savory.

Jake will be making squash pickles for his savory entry and Joe is waiting for his pumpkin to grow so he can make a pie for his.

 

Although he has rearranged, lost and buried much of his gnome village, Jake still has the Best Decorated category locked as well as the Biggest Plant with his massive squash.

Joe’s garden has been hit hard by drought and cat attacks, but he’s still in the lead for Most Colorful.

My harvest has not been as plentiful. I am last place in every category. But…I am hopeful that my watermelon will save the day and get me the Biggest Fruit trophy. Although, Joe is determined to take that title with his “experimental cucumber”.

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Grrrr…

The kiwi vines are thick and green,
hanging heavily on the wires,
Small fruits hide, camouflaged
in their dense, jade spires.

Smiles of surprise and delight
with every precious find.
Each new bunch of grape-sized
fruit brings thrills to heart and mind.

Steps falter, a gasp escapes,
the cold grip of dread replaces
the bright hand of happiness
that just filled our faces.

Tiny iridescent blights of death
crunching on thick leaves.
My heart fills with angry woe
at these loathsome insect thieves.

That these horrid bugs dare
to threaten and cruelly waste
our long-awaited first harvest…
leaves behind a bitter taste.

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