The old machine shed at the far end of the garden is gray and well weathered—not much to look at but it still serves my needs. I've patched the roof more times than I care to mention, but it's only useful if I can keep the rain out.
In the summer I plant Morning glories along two sides, and the lush green vines and leaves help hide the disrepair. I planned to plant this year's Morning glory seeds today, but first I had to pull last year's dried vines down. To my surprise I discovered that the cardinals had built their nest in the middle of the thick entanglement of old vines, and the female was already snuggled down over her eggs. Not wanting to disturb her, I decided to put off planting the new Morning glory seeds until later. Maybe I'll plant the seeds and let the new vines grow up over the old ones. I can live with that, and I'm sure the cardinals would appreciate me not bothering them.
These are the days when the temperatures tend to go up and down and it's important to use some caution when planting. Sunday night the skies cleared, and there was a hard frost by morning. I had to cover some of the more delicate annuals with a sheet to keep them from getting burned by the frost. Hopefully it will be the last time the mercury drops below freezing, but it's hard to predict, and I'd rather cover these delicate plants than have to plant them over again. Living in the valley keeps me on my toes when it comes to gardening.
Two pairs of Barn swallows showed up today, and were busy flying around the buildings looking for a good place to build their little mud nests. Swallows are a gardener's friends, as they eat thousands of bothersome flies and mosquitoes. Two other insect eating birds showed up yesterday. I didn't see either the cuckoo or the crested flycatcher, but I heard both of their songs from the thick cover along the edge of the woods. As long as I know they have returned, I'll keep my eyes open for them.
These days white-tailed does are giving birth to their little spotted fawns. The fawns will be kept well hidden until they are strong enough to follow their mothers as she forages the area for food. The bucks can now be seen with velvety new antlers as they spend their time alone away from the does and their fawns.
There are still a few morel mushrooms to be found on the north slopes, but time is running out for those who want to find them. It was an exceptional year for these wonderful little taste treats.
As spring turns to summer, I'm watching the earth come alive a little more with each passing day. It's a time for rebirth, and a time when all life complements and serves each other. The beautiful wonders of nature are everywhere, to be enjoyed by those who go outside and take it all in.
All art ©2013 Organic Valley