Gardening + Nature

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Nature

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.

Joseph Campbell

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Hello! Juniper models for our latest bit of progress. I spread the remainder of the mulch this morning, woot! What a relief to have that behind us. And now, we are t-minus three days to the reason for the BIG push to get all these home projects completed. We’re hosting our cousin’s seventh birthday party this Saturday. Cake! Cupcakes! Yummy snacks! Lemonade and laughter!

Wait, what are we looking at? Thataway is the rock circle, where we plan, on lovely evenings (when there is no fire danger), to have our fire pit going.

This little river actually flows! At least when there is a downpour, and not perfectly, as I am neither God nor a hydrologist, so my skills are in need of improvement. That said, I give it a ten based solely on appearances. It works for supermodels!

View from the fire pit. I’ll show you our fenced orchard another time.

Oh lordy, this was our worst weed patch. I would dig and dig and dig, and weeks later it was so bad that it didn’t look like I’d done anything. Insert big blue streak of curses. I am thrilled to finally have it tamed and mulched and planted with what I hope will be happy shrubs.

Juniper’s patch of grass! Send your best thoughts for healthy growth, won’t you please? I’d LOVE, and really can’t wait, to see more flowers and green than mulch and fence!

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Oh, and if you are local – I am mostly a perennial xeriscaper, as I don’t want to start from scratch every year or have thirsty plants in the high desert. For this reason, I buy the majority of my plants at Phelan Gardens and Desert Canyon Farm. They have the best selection of what will grow in our area, with many that are out of the mainstream, especially Desert Canyon. Though it, rather sadly for me, is only open for a couple of months a year (about mid-April to mid-June), but is well worth the trip to Canon City!

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red hot poker

volunteer sunflower

foxglove

horehound, with bumble bee

crocosmia

milkweed

echinacea

rudbeckia

evening primrose

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We’ve entered the sun in the morning followed by afternoon rain pattern of my dreams. Well, except when it hails. I used to think a wicked wind was my least favorite of the elements, but now, as I coax this garden along, it is most definitely hail. We’ve been spared as of late, thankfully. Yesterday, as deluge number five began dropping wretched ice bombs, I darted to the sliding door and shouted, “NO damaging hail! You hear me, storm? NO damaging hail!” And you know what? It stopped that instant. At least at our house. The Zoo was annihilated with softball sized hail, making cars undriveable and killing three animals. Good grief.

But I do, as you well know, love the rain, and it’s been marvelous to have our daily bit, and especially to walk the garden afterward, when every leaf and flower is gorgeously saturated, air sweet. The best.

We are on the home stretch with this year’s garden projects. Most mornings, we get up around six, feed and walk Juni B., then get cracking while there is blessed shade. The hubster goes in after an hour or two to earn our daily bread (thanks be to remote work!!) while I soldier on, until either the shade or task runs out. Tuesday, it was a rock border out front, each stone brought from the back, one by one, to and fro, to and fro, digging out dirt as needed, blowing displaced ants from my limbs, muddying myself as I wipe the sweat from my brow. Honest work. Meditative, too.

And while I garden, Fleetwood Mac “Sara” has been playing in my brain, and in between chatting with the land lubbers and flying things, resident and visitor, I sing along. And sometimes cry. It’s that kind of song.

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Perfectly painted skies for the beginnings of our Thanksgiving adventure. West to Buena Vista!

Breakfast, mmmmm…bacon.

We followed Cottonwood Creek on foot and by car to its namesake lake; dancing sun pennies, enveloping ice, ruby red rose hips, and the silence of near solitude every bit worth the effort.

Forgoing the hullabaloo of large family gatherings to enjoy a Thanksgiving for two (+ one beloved pup) in a wee cabin in the woods. Stuffing in progress in my favorite cast iron pan: apple, celery, cranberry, minus the onion I left at home. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. True that. The pie, however, was both, my best yet.

Feeling nostalgic for the wooden cabins of my youth – humble dwellings of strong character, flanked by massive tanks of propane.

More humble dwellings and every manner of delight at Cottonwood Hot Springs – fish jumping, lily pads floating, creek rushing, crows soaring. We soaked for hours and hours, sunrise to the waxing crescent of moon and sky thick with a ribbon of Milky Way stars. My love for this life and this place ever-expanding, like the universe itself.

St. Elmo – slipping, not only from the Buena Vista temperatures of spring-like warmth, but more than a century in the past. Sneakers sliding on full winter ice while gawping at Mountain Lion tracks – the wonder of a single day.

Playing with darkness, eager to do some book and youtube learning to capture the wonders of night. How crazy is that green?!

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Quilt

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.

Lewis Carroll

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