Sunday, April 26, 2015

earth day

more girl scout greening. we were so useful in volunteering for arbor day work. who knew that it would be even more fun on earth day?

ander was in school that afternoon, so it was i and diana and a bunch of moms and other scouts from our troop who joined fellow volunteers at the nature center.  we put in new plants and then mulched with fresh compost. a lot of compost. warm and earthy-smelling and a rich, deep brown.

photo courtesy of official photographer

the plants and their intended locations were preselected by the master gardeners. each scout searched out her favorite to plant first. diana chose a fern.

marking out the space to dig, wide enough to accommodate root growth. photo courtesy of official photographer

she found SO MANY wriggling earthworms. good indicator of healthy soil. photo courtesy of another scout mom
tickling the roots of a new plant before settling it in

a moment of me as photographer. photo courtesy of another scout mom

we wore our boots and long pants and brought our own gloves. the gardeners provided plenty of tools.

digging in red clay is HARD! photo courtesy of another scout mom
the higher up the hill, the more i found red clay. that soil really needed the amendments we put in. photo courtesy of official photographer

lots and lots of warm compost to protect and enrich the plants

we spotted a lone violet

diana and i took a break to relax at the pond, look at how nicely another group of volunteers planted and mulched around there! i spotted male and female cardinals flitting about.

entertaining her brain inside the nature center after exercising her muscles outside

modeling our matchy-matchy outfits! photo courtesy of another scout mom

happy earth day! with the gardeners and a small group of volunteers before the dirty work began. photo courtesy of official photographer
did'ya notice how, because of this opportunity with other people, i was able to stay in the picture with little effort, or self-consciousness, for that matter? i felt enough to do so, and i'm glad i did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

and more flowers

last night's storms blew away most of the forsythia blooms, sadly, so i didn't get a picture of the brilliant yellows i've seen recently around town. but look what i found this morning to add to the collection from yesterday!

these are from around the neighborhood. we reside in such a beautiful, well-tended area. people take great pride in their small, sloped front yards. and with our many paths and sidewalks and parkways, the town's master gardeners have planned well for lovely displays. diana remarked to me recently that we have always - no matter where in the country - lived near trees and flowers and plenty of green. i'm glad she's noticed. it has been deliberate on our part to be immersed in vibrant, beautiful colors. they remind me i am alive and part of the earth.


gonna take a google-based guess that this is a kanzan yaezakura late-blooming cherry. or i could be completely wrong and it's a plum.

thinking this may be an apple variety

closeup of the same tree shows me five petals, so i can tell it's not a dogwood

azalea (rhododendron)

here's that redbud again, just a day or so later, now with green leaves emerging
ander has admired the blossoming trees almost as much as i have, remarking on them as we drive. i'm making it a personal project to identify at least some of them and teach ander. it's a small project, because i am also learning bird calls so i can identify what i hear around here. so far, i've learned the cardinal's song. i've also identified by ear a chickadee, a mourning dove, a crow, and woodpeckers. i've seen plenty of robins but haven't quite gotten their song down in my mind. learning them one at a time is enough for me.

Monday, April 20, 2015

flowers for my mama

on the phone with my mom this afternoon, i learned that she hasn't seen as many flowers blooming in her area as she has in other years.

these are for you, mom. i'll try to get a photo of that brilliant yellow forsythia when i take another walk outside.

pink magnolia. there are several in our neighborhood.

a tulip tree
pretty sure this is a redbud

ornamental apple trees, perhaps? they certainly don't smell like the ornamental pear trees do.

closeup from one of those trees

perhaps a flowering cherry?

a grey tree frog i found on the back deck

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


if you have followed (or explored) my blog, you'll know that i am fond of eggy things around this time of year.  this easter was no eggs-ception.

miss tanya joined us for hard-boiled-egg and hollowed egg dyeing

diana was pleased to try out her new gel pens

tanya liked the multicolored effects

ander was "on it" this year for mixing colors and checking for the proper shade

steve coloring the inside of one of the shells that cracked when i blew the yolk out.

"just the color i wanted!"

watching the food dye dissipate

i truly loved what diana came up with. i only wish these had been blown eggs that i could keep forever.

this egg beautifully said "we are all colors in a universal rainbow"
what reached right through my chest and grasped my heart and squeezed it so tightly was what diana did for ander on easter.  she explained that the *baby easter bunny* left very special eggs for him to find in her room. it was all about him and what he loves. five of her hand-decorated plastic eggs contained chocolate. the very special faberge-like egg contained tiny hand-drawn instructions and all the pieces to build two tiny lego cars. ander was delighted. he promptly make the cars, with his own little modifications, and handed one to her so that they could play together.

egg-ceedingly wonderful.

Monday, April 6, 2015

arbor day

a few girl scouts joined other volunteers to help our community gardeners clear invasive growth to make way for native trees. ander was off school so he got to join us. is is already a master builder (of LEGO); now he wants to be a master gardener.

stirring the mulch and smelling it for freshness

practicing with a small twig

tending to tiny growth

looking forward to trying out a saw
bare roots of invasive species need to be trimmed off before disposal

much of the time was spent as a runner - getting the branches to a disposal area

sometimes you need a little help from a friend

dude knows what he's doing

a spruce awaiting its new home