Rain taking the nights, taking the days
~ Grey and grey and grey ~
Rain misting soft
~ billow light ~
Rain driving down
~ staccato rap rap rap sharp beat ~
Rain washing over the eaves
~ waterfall roar ~
Water settling in the low lie of the fields
~ corn stubble, sharp cut ragged, edge shallow pools ~
Ditches, creeks, rivers spilling
~ corpulent greasy flows thick with silt, tumbling bobbing bits of whatever blow in – fallen, from crumbling edges and banks ~
~ away. away. wait for the. break. between. breathe. ~
~ Awash ~ Awash ~ Awash ~
The snow falls.
Patches of white linger in the shade.
The wind is fierce.
The sun is warm.
Winter is fading.
It’s -12°C right now (that’s about 10 °F for you Fahrenheit users). I think the coldest it’s been here this winter has been – 22°C. The drifts of snow are so high in my backyard that the dogs are having trouble finding spots to comfortably do their business. The cats act as if it’s a personal insult every time the kitchen door opens and a blast of winter air rushes in. It’s cold outside and I have ladybugs in my kitchen.
When the crop rotation behind my house is beans, come harvest time, we’re inundated with ladybugs. They cover the back of the house and creep in through cracks. You have to give the back door a good shake before you open it all the way or ladybugs will drop off the screen right onto you like nasty little assassins (despite the “lady” in the name they certainly aren’t ladylike – they bite). Because they range in colour from light brown to red, I accidentally ate one once thinking it was an un-popped kernel of popping corn. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever eaten but it was pretty close.
Two weeks ago a big fat fly flew into my head. It ricocheted off and landed on the floor all winter sleepy and easy to catch. A couple of days later I watched one of the dogs lick a spider off the wall. It wasn’t even a regular house spider but one of those stilt legged monstrosities that lunge along like the alien machines in a H.G. Wells novel. The other night I was lying in bed and I thought I heard a mosquito. Maybe I was dreaming, or it could have been a delayed concussion from that fly whacking me in the head. On reflection it couldn’t have been a mosquito. It could have been the hum of a dying light bulb or a fly induced ringing of the ears. The alternative would be to have to wonder about the why/ how of a mosquito in my house – in FEBRUARY – in ONTARIO – CANADA. And I’m not willing to do that.
Fall is long past. It’s February which is the time of year that all the creepy crawlies and antennaed thing-a-ma-bobs should be hunkered down into whatever crevice they’ve opted for to avoid the deadly grip of the season. Having bugs around in winter is definitely something I could do without (especially the ladybugs). If I had my way the fact that it’s cold enough to freeze our pond outside should mean it is cold enough to keep the bugs down and out. Here’s the thing- Summer and fall it is warm so you put up with the bugs. Winter you put up with the cold so you shouldn’t have to deal with the bugs. It makes perfect sense to me. Now if I could just get the laws of nature to fall in line-that would be great.
Music for this post is Weezer- Go Away ft. Bethany Cosentino (Live Acoustic KROQ Soundspace)
Or if you prefer (in deference to the title of this post) here’s something from Ray Charles Hit the Road Jack
It’s been a relatively cool and damp year so far which has been lovely for the flower beds but not so nice for the vegetable garden (which went in very late this year). I live in an old house and I inherited a very large amount of what grows in my flower beds (though I have made some significant changes). We’re located in a Carolinian region and I’m happy to see native species stake their claim in among the heritage varieties and garden center additions. We have a small pond that we stock with shubunkins to keep down the mosquito population. Unfortunately the damp spring has created other opportunities for mosquito populations to thrive. Our home is located a 5 minute drive from the Lake Erie shoreline which means lake flies often swarm the yard in late spring. This year’s lake flies and mosquitoes have really discouraged weeding so the garden has run a bit amok but it is beautiful in its untamed state. I do have to admit I’m a bit concerned about the weight of some of the untrimmed hedges in regards to the trellises that hold them up. Hopefully they will hang on until the conditions are a little more amendable to yard work. I’ve attached an album of garden photos (a small selections of shots taken over the past couple of months) . We’ve not had a lot of sunny days. I suppose I could shoot RAW format and edit them afterwards but it’s not my preference. It might just be me but I find that RAW images tend to have so much “noise” that it’s distracting. I did edit the levels in 2 of the pictures. One was the Lily of the Valley photo as it was just too dark every time I went out to take a picture of them. The other was the picture of our cat Charlie (same reason). I included him because, though it might not seem that way, he is involved in pretty much any picture I take outside. If he’s not rubbing up against my legs, he’s butting me in the bottom with his head or actually walking into my shots. I usually end up with at least 4 or 5 pictures of his tail or his head whenever I’m shooting out in the yard. I thought he deserved his own photo.
The song for this post is Gillian Welch’s Acony Bell for the spring flowers that brave a new season.
I can’t decide if Charlie is out to stop me or he just wants to be in all the pictures
This is sometimes called Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. this picture is from earlier in the year. The shrub has a different face for every season.
The squirrels always make sure we find these in new places every spring.
Along with snow drops, Scilla is a sure sign the winter is over.
Another sign that spring has arrived
Many old house would have lilac trees place downwind of the outhouse.
It’s like a bit of sunshine in flower form
They come in a variety of more colours…I don’t always remember what they are from year to year
This is another species I can’t identify other than to say it blooms only in the spring
Eventually these will grown into ferns that stretch as high as 5 feet tall.
An unopened bloom
Sometimes these are called Snowball Bushes
I read somewhere that peonies need ants to help them bloom. I don’t know if that’s true. It seems a bit odd but I have to say that the ants certainly seem to think they’re required. I wish the blooms weren’t so delicate. One hard rain and they’re done.
This compact bud will explode into an enormous bloom.
This plant just appeared in a flower bed out of nowhere. I have a friend who calls these growths “bird presents”.
We have a number of different varities but I think these are particularly lovely
This is the best these roses have ever looked and I have no idea why. Perhaps I should just leave them alone more often
I have to admit I’m not sure what everything is in the garden. I think this might be a species of dogwood. It smells incredible.
If you need flowering shrubs, we’ve got flowering shrubs everywhere
It’s June now and the ferns are almost at their full growth.
I have a herb garden by my backdoor where I grown garlic, chives, rosemary and thyme.
I wish this picture could truly show how rich the colours of the poppy are. Until you’ve seen one in real life…well you haven’t really seen one.
*This post was originally hosted on another blogging platform (MSN Spaces to MSN Live and finally to WordPress). The media files did not update. Rather than deleting the original post I opted to add new pictures.