Have I mentioned water? I can’t mention it too often, nor can I be too grateful for the clean cold water that flows from the West Elk Mountains hither and yon and eventually into my cistern.
Today I watered all the raised beds, only a few segments of which have any seeds in them yet. It’s time to attend to watering daily, to make sure carrots and greens germinate, and to ‘prolong snowmelt’ on the borders and bulb beds. Some of my garden beds thrive in spring with ‘artificial snow,’ so different from what ski areas make. In this case, simply watering as though snow were continuing to melt, from the actual last snow (possibly last week) into June, enables these beds to thrive. Then, come July, I can ignore them for a month at a time, until fall, when I begin the snow season early for them. These are the beds where spring bulbs grow, and then hardy summer perennials well adapted to the harsh dry conditions here. More about them later.
I watered these spring beds, and a couple of other beds, as well as the raised beds. If I don’t keep water on these garden beds from now on, they’ll desiccate in no time. So I’m grateful for water, to have a steady supply for the moment at the twist of a knob, as much as I and my garden need for now. I’m also grateful for finding lost things. Today, I set my glasses in a pot while I was working in the shade, and only missed them for a couple of hours. Yesterday, I found them face down in the pink gravel path. It’s time to start cultivating mindfulness in the garden, as well as bulbs and seeds.
The day began in cinders; all that was left of the morning’s drama a few filthy tail feathers on the ground.
Yesterday’s smoke was so thick from neighbors clearing fields with fire that it kept me inside most of the day, even though it warmed up to 75. This morning it wasn’t so bad, just a singed aroma to the air. So warm last night, fortunately, that I didn’t light a fire in the woodstove for the first time all year. Fortunately, I say! This morning the cat leapt onto the wall by the stovepipe and the dogs jumped barking out of bed all at once. I didn’t understand why at first, then heard the desperate skritching inside the pipe: a bird had somehow fallen in.
I put the dogs out and left the door open. My woodstove has a peculiar double ceiling, which might have made it easier. I lifted the griddle out of the lid to see a pile of creosote ash on top of the false ceiling. I reached my hand up into the chimney and felt feathers, startling both me and the bird, who flapped and scratched in a panic, billowing clouds of ash out the hole. The second time, knowing better, I covered the hole with a dog towel, reached under and into the pipe swiftly, and grabbed a fistful of feathers and a leg, pulled the bird down and out into the towel, and took it outside, letting it flap under the towel to clean itself off a little. In a minute I let go, pulled away the towel, and watched a young starling flap frantically away, leaving a half dozen sooty feathers in my hand.
Watering tools. Time to sort through all the connectors for my flexogen irrigation system. I’ve got the time, home in April, long cool days. All these accouterments make moving water so much easier.
Taking stock of hoses, measuring, assessing. Three hoses out of play this season with both ends bad on each; I’ll snip off the ends of these, mail them to Gilmour, and get three free replacements. The best garden deal I know of.
It’s been so dry and windy, despite occasional spring snow showers, that it’s time to start watering all around the yard, trees and beds. Time to sort the hoses and lay them out around the garden, make sure all connections are secure and won’t waste water with leaks.
Still no bees in the red tulips, but a passel of blooms.
Almond blossoms opening against the warm stucco of the house.
The new bee tree is the apricot.
A bee fly if I’m not mistaken.
In quest of the elusive white butterfly, moving too fast for me to get close, flittering through the nepeta.
A tiny wild bee plastered in pollen in the mini yellow tulips.
I love the way the honeybees dive in face first, deep into the corolla.
Keeping up with my goal of photographing bees on each new variety of flower as it blooms. This girl made my day.
So I spent a pleasant morning, grateful for the one that got away, chasing bees and butterflies through the spring garden, then drove to Eckert to the frame shop to drop off a new print for a show next month in Salida, and to pick up a couple of framed giant bees for the Grand Opening tomorrow night of the Church of Art in downtown Hotchkiss. Slowly gearing up the first rise of summer’s roller coaster.