moon phase Week of 05/04/2008 Favorable for planting beans, corn, cotton, tomatoes, peppers and other above ground crops.

It feels good to put the work gloves on for a couple of hours each day. Always, it seems, there's so much to do outside, and so little time to get things done. Raking last year's debris out of the gardens and flower beds is the job I like the least, so I do that first, and it's a downhill coast from there.


It's too early here to plant seeds for summer flowers or put out any tender bedding plants. There's still a lot of other things that need to be done though. It's a good time to divide and move perennials around as long as the ground has thawed. Today though, I spent a couple hours picking up sticks in the yard. It's so nice not to have to wear a jacket and the warm sun on my face was a welcome feeling.

I've been lucky to have had many jobs in my life where I worked outside, all year round. After rubbing shoulders with winter for 5 months, I've learned how to appreciate a warm sunny spring day.

Tuesday was a beautiful day, sunny and fifty degrees, yet for me it was kind of bittersweet. It was the wind that made me uneasy at the drawing table. It's hard for me to relax when it's windy—it makes for a lot of distractions. A good stiff wind came up just after sunrise and kept it up until dark. 10-15 mph winds that may gust up to 35-40 mph. Those kind of gusts are strong enough to blow two wooden chairs off the back porch.

I've never really understood why I have such a time making peace with the wind. I look outside and watch the trees swaying in the wind, and the sound they make is like waves crashing onto the beach. The birds and squirrels go on about their business, keeping up the usual pace and making adjustments for the wind as they go. The Red-tailed hawk is perched at the top of a tall utility pole. The pole doesn't sway in the wind like his favorite perch trees. When he finally soars off over the trees, the strong wind has no effect on his flying abilities. The babbling creek just keeps moving along, without a care towards how windy it is. Leaves and sticks that blow into the creek are quickly swept away as though they were still caught up in the wind.

The one thing that helps put me at ease with the wind is just to watch how the rest of the world deals with it for a while. I then realize that life goes on in spite of the wind—all you need to do is make a few adjustments, and all will be fine. As predicted, the female Robins are starting to return and the nest building has already begun. The males are busy carrying grass and mud to their secret place where the nest will be home to a new family. It only takes a minute to watch, when you see a bird carrying nesting material. It's kinda fun knowing where the baby birds are.

Some of the early Spring wildflowers are beginning to appear. From the dead, decaying leaves and sticks, colorful life is peeking through. Before the Bloodroot opens its snow-white petals, it looks like a little white bulb on a tender stalk, wrapped in delicate light-green leaves. In a day or two, they will be headliners on the otherwise drab forest floor. The first beautiful Hepatica and Anemone are also Spring flowers to look for close to the ground.

From the dead grass and mud that the Robin carries, to the voices of tiny frogs and the precious new wildflowers, Spring truly does start from the ground up.

Naturally yours,


All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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