Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Honeysuckle Chews

Making mulch.

Honeysuckle s hutch
Honeysuckle chewed off the leg to her hutch.

Honeysuckle has been in a mood lately. We don't know why. She has been gnawing her hutch at an alarming rate. We gave her a couple more months before it would definitely need to be replaced. We were wrong. She has been so aggressive in her demolition project, going after the back support and the legs that finally one of the front legs fell off.  She sniffed it as if to say this is what you get when you reduce my pellets and expect me to eat timothy hay like a horse - and what did you expect? Do you want my incisors to grow through the roof of my mouth?
We have been careful to bring her every rabbity treat and comfort - even cutting her fresh apple branches and crocheting her a little rug for her foyer.  Apparently this hasn't been enough. So Anita has had to fashion a new leg - and will continue to patch, reconstruct and coddle this creature until her home falls apart for good.
Anita Repairs hutch
Anita fashions a new leg.

 Honeysuckle at work:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring is making us crazy

10 days ago

Spring is making us crazy. I'm not kidding. Less than ten days ago we were doing this.
Three days later all that was left of the snowman was his little brain lying on the ground with a sunken eye. That's all. Really.
Every day we've gone out to inspect tiny green shoots of crocus, hostas, peony, tulips, bleeding heart, wondering if they would survive the snow. A few golden crocus blossoms opened, but that night, Honeysuckle's wild boyfriend bit them off clean to the ground. When the storm dumped 15 inches of snow on us May 2, we had already been waiting so long for the daffodils which were finally in full bloom, I rushed out to turn the wheel barrel over them hoping to save them. It worked.

Flower pots
Full pots.

In the following days few days I gradually became more crazed and obsessed for green of any kind. (Anita is worse.) We stopped by Heartbeet Farm and I noticed that Joe and Becca had moved flats of parsley, green onion, lettuces and I don't know what all, onto the ground in front of the green house. It was green heroine, a salad sea. It was all I could do to keep from falling face first and licking up the leaves.
Next day Anita and I went to the nursery. Such a bad idea. Our piggish appetites paid no attention to our budget, we wanted them all. Everything. I made little grunting noises as I passed flats of alyssum, Sweet William, geraniums, African daisies, dianthus, succulents of all kinds, petunias - mini, waving, cascading, climbing, don't-care-what. Even though there are flower snots who won't even sniff a geranium or petunia, declaring them boring and ubiquitous, we don't care. We want them all. NOW.
Now get this, we went from snow a foot deep ten days ago to 95 degrees yesterday, so it's no wonder - this kind of weather-jerking could make the Dali Lama crazy. Luckily, we escaped Hyvee's nursery with only enough flowers to fill several Metro-domes. We are pale, but we're breathing again. Our skin is showing little spots of health. Our pots are full. Our beds are laden. We are calmer.

Tulips. Finally

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wood Anemones

Wood anemones first flower of spring

Peeking through forest litter
     Yesterday I was sitting on a bench at the edge of a river bluff. Elms and lindens soared up from somewhere from way down below, their skeletal ribs towered above me and gently waved their hairless crowns as if pushed lightly pushed by a spirit. To my left a white pine soughed in the wind, creaking softly. Bright green moss cushioned the floor from my feet to the sharp edge of the cliff where it dropped a hundred feet to the river below. I was listening to hairy woodpeckers drumming on deadwood, tapping out mating calls in woody rhymes. How, I wonder, can anything beat its head that fast and hard against solid wood and survive? An eagle silently soared past at eye-level following the twisted river. She glanced at me with a severe look. I nearly overlooked a tiny wood anemone. I could have left without ever noticing – so shy it is. Sometimes its called a windflower because a windy day can cause it to open its sepals that look to me like seven tiny petals unfurling around a furry yellow center. But botanists say they are sepals not petals. When I looked more intently, then I saw anemones everywhere in small patches along the very path where I’d walked, peeking from brown litter and steep ravines. White clusters, some with the softest blush of pink. These are the first flowers of spring that took so long to arrive this year. I think sometimes its just okay to be small and hidden, quietly blooming, doing your job before the big guns come and steal all the sun and air. Hoards of bluebells. Extravagant wild iris. Carpets of wild garlic.
Today I hope you are blessed by something elfin and beautiful just doing its job.