Clearly the biggest news of late is the reappearance of Snappy. My first sighting occurred on this same date last year. Recall my grandmother's Way of driving me to contemplate snapping turtles to help myself drop down into a quieter center of personal gravity. Knew instinctively what I was looking at there on a rock ringing the frog pond and yet hoped to be wrong about the species. Snappy was fairly tiny at this time last year and s/he's still pretty small. Between 5 and 6 inches. In the interim everything about the creature has grown into its cellular etching, natural form, and patterning. Like all turtles this is a very well designed creature. Plus, of course, it bites to devastating degree. J and I were both hoping s/he'd moved on at nature's urging. But. Realistically that was two people hoping there'd be no need to deal with yet another problematic Thing just now. Why on earth would s/he move on when s/he has a pond stuffed to its gills with plump tadpoles. there's a lot to Snappy's story and the amount of time/thought/reluctant turning to heart space I've put into the situation.
Saw Snappy for the first time yesterday when I was on my way out to the firepit to process two essence bowls. one joins my flower & stone roster: aquamarine and celandine. that was planned. Once I'd set down the bowl I looked at the self-resurrecting (deer systematically eat it down to bare earth later in the season when they take to bedding down in that corner of the field) strawberry patch. Collecting flowers in the bowl brought open-crown hyper-realism to my awareness of the individual blooms. I'd never fully noticed the perfect green pentacles formed by the sepals' frame of sparkling white flowers!
Strawberry's flower medicine spirit was an enveloping mantle of good cheer. Simmering just below the walking-around crust of what the day contained. I felt it rise and caught a few breaths to comprehend what the experience was teaching me. Any plant or other form of sentience can do this. Our particular species is probably the slowest learner to be found - but still. I was enveloped by Strawberry's healing signature and the organic nature of its medicine spirit. I have no prior experience with something so spontaneous, complete, and fluid. Strawberry entered my senses and enveloped every part of me with ease and confident optimism.
I was invited to linger within my collection process - to treat this specific experience like a spiritual cleanse and soulful picnic. And so I jumped into a whole other way of being. Instead of monomaniacal focus on The Process and its undeviating Procedure I took off my shoes and socks. Used a set of the filters from the aqua/celandine bowl to saturate the soles of my feet until I felt a tingling gratitude for the nourishment. took the next filter and moved into the urge to swipe it from my forehead to belly. It was the most relaxed and organically meaningful experience of my week so far.
Later in the evening my much anticipated order of Blue Vervain/Verbena hasta arrived via Fed Ex. The plants were in transit for two days and are still un-kinking themselves on the back deck. Had originally planned to get nine then dropped back on both expectations and plans in the wake of T needing the biopsy followed almost immediately by J's layoff. Will plant in two groups of three or three groups of two. Probably the first. Hope for enough seedlings to take hold so I can raise them as the third group I originally envisioned.
Here's a lovely( 4:13 minutes) blue vervain primer from radiant bee loving Deb Soule.
Read through the company's unpacking/further acclimation info. I've only ordered live plants once before - from this same company in the wake of their annual seasonal clearance sale. I remember being impressed and grateful for the careful packaging - as I was this time. But based on the size of the plants I received previously I'd imagined the six above would be roughly half the size and age they are. These are very well established plants. I know where I'm planting them but first they need some days to acclimate and harden off. They're joined on the top deck by the basement seedlings.
The picture above documents my 2020 'nurture babies' having their third day on the deck. It's their first experience with dappled morning sun. Am leaving them outside for progressively longer periods of time. They still need protection from wind and rain in addition to the shock of NE night temps.
This morning I got up early. Motivated myself in roughly a tenth of the time that's become my hunkered-down slow poke mode-of-choice. Was determined to get the shallot sets in the ground - plus do some other field-based chores - before the sun lost its cooling slant from the east. Planted ten rows of 5 sets. Have a means to safely and effectively share the overage that thrills me in its simplicity and the organic way the opportunity/connection came together. Once I'd hustled myself out I took my mindful-mode time getting things in the ground. Was deeply appreciative of J's level of care in the removal of thickly matted grass clumps and stones of all shapes. And the careful way he'd mixed in topsoil so all I had to do was add rows of lobster compost and be equally careful mixing everything together. Enjoyed rattling over this year's shallot site so much that I walked through the whole garden in various configurations while rattling. Figuring out where the tramped-down pathways will be once the fence is up.
You are asserting yourself. We welcome you as one.
Same acknowledgement and encouragement as the other day.
My first layer of clearing effort has now reached a point I wasn't sure I'd be able to achieve. Now I need to put muscle into eradicating some of the wild pea vines that are a story unto themselves. My plan is to get as much clear soil as I can - in patches here and there if need be - in order to broadcast amaranth with deliberately placed clusters of sunflowers. A sunflower house is too much fussy work for all the other Things. But I'll raise just as much joy as possible growing bird food for the many different species who live here ringing the field with their songs and activities.