Olio – April 16, 2020

After the rain and wind of several days ago, we returned to late winter/early spring like weather, freezing or near freezing at night, maybe up to 50f daytimes but the wind has howled constantly. Plants have been brought in or covered and taken out or uncovered. The wind has blown so hard the seedlings have been kept indoors. We are still about 3 weeks maybe a tad more from the average last frost.

The chickens have gone back to penned during the day, free range in the late afternoons until they go to coop on their own. Last night when I went out to shut them in, they were all gathered around and on the coop because the gate had blown shut and they couldn’t get in. As soon as I opened it, they all hurriedly trotted right up the ramp to bed. They lost their run around the garden when I found several in the garden three times. That would be okay if they would just scratch the paths, but they scratch the beds too and tender shoots don’t tolerate that well. When the wind calms and the daytime warms some, I will again try to figure out how they are getting in and hopefully give them their run back. Mama Carolina Wren is still tucked down on the ground in the corner of the box on her nest. She has 4 eggs. She has been hailed on, and snowed on twice, gully washing rain for 10 hours. What a good little Mama. I hope she successfully raises those littles. She doesn’t like me in the garden and since it has been chilly, I have stayed out so she won’t leave the nest. The other Wren in the Barberry bush is more protected. The bush is tucked back in the set back where the utility room connects the house and garage, so not as windy, though still unshielded from the rain, hail, and snow. She had 3 eggs the day I checked and I haven’t disturbed her to look again.

The riding mower was finally returned from the shop yesterday and in spite of the cold wind, everything that can be mowed with it was mowed. The grass was so tall and thick that it nearly choked it out even set on the tallest setting. It will have to be mowed again soon to bring it down to normal mowing height and to break up the drying clots of heavy grass that are about the yard.

This morning we had 3 “visitors.” First was the turkey hunter and our contact with him only a text message that he said it was too cold and he quit today. The second, a friend came by and picked up a dozen eggs from the front porch with a shouted hello across the front yard. The third, our daughter, who kindly brought us some supplies from the grocer, including TP which we didn’t need yet, but since they had it, she bought a package for us. She also picked up our utility trailer for use this weekend putting some stuff in a storage unit for a bit until some house repairs are finished. We actually got to talk with her, wearing masks and keeping at least 6 feet social distancing. Groceries were wiped down and put away and we are set again for a while. We certainly appreciate her doing that for us. The social isolation is difficult when you don’t know when it will end. Since pleasure rides aren’t essential travel, we are pretty much stuck at home, though when we take our garbage and recycling down to the drop off center, we take the “long” way home, an additional mile or two of scenic road through rural farmland.

The lilacs are blooming, but this is the least scented one I have ever been around. The bearded iris are beginning to bud, soon there will be bearded iris and then Dutch iris blooms for the table. The wild dogwoods are starting to bloom, but the one planted in the yard hasn’t. The wild plum is full of blooms, maybe this will be a year for fruit. It has produced only once in the 14 years we have been here.

Many friends are posting morel mushroom pictures harvested so I went wandering the woods yesterday where the oak leaves fall and the May apples bloom looking, but I didn’t find a single one.

The slowing of life with social isolation has me spinning more on the spindles. I ended up doing a trade of one with a gal in N. Dakota and ended up with a beautiful new one to play with. It is made of Marblewood.

This tiny one has been fun to spin and it’s diminutive 2″ size still spun 38 yards of fine yarn.

When I was in college, grad school and a new teacher, I wrote entirely with a fountain pen. The staying at home and cleaning up the house, I found both of my fountain pens and renewed my interest in using them instead of non refillable rollerballs.

Life is slow and deliberate right now. It is nice, but at times emotional not being able to visit with our families.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.