It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.
Well, we've been so consumed with all things chicken around here, not to mention weddings upon weddings and graduations and deaths and illnesses, that I have not stopped long enough to ponder it all. Life has continued to journey on, whether I have stopped to document it or not, and as a result, much time has passed without an entry. Rather than try desperately to articulate all that has happened in the last month I think I will just give a summary--a roundup of sorts--in order to catch up to the present day and then to try and blog more regularly. It is becoming, more and more, summer and it might be harder and harder to come in from outside and sit in front of a screen. But I also don't like so much happening in our lives without some space to reflect on it all.
As mentioned above, most of our weekends in May were spent away from our home. We've had two weddings, a graduation and a funeral in the past month. Needless to say, those events kept us away from our own home and meant that we weren't here doing some much needed work. That's fine and I'm not complaining. The weddings and graduation were celebrations worthy of slowing down and savoring. The funeral and sicknesses, however, were unforseen. They, together with the smaller more usual events, made for a month ripe with the fullness of life--a collection of the good and the bad that make up this lifetime of days.
We managed to get our garden plot tilled--okay, most of it tilled. There is one section along the bottom half that still hasn't been tilled, but we've decided to cheat a bit and only hand till it where we want to put in our melons. We really only need a small area to be prepared because the majority of that space is just going to be space for the melons to sprawl in and doesn't need to be tilled. At the end of the season, we will till under all the vines and then it will be ready for next year. We have planted tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini. We have also planted corn, pole beans and winter squash in an arrangement known as the "Three Sisters." This grouping is a native American technique. The corn grows tall in the middle and acts as a support to the pole bean and the squash acts as a mulch for the other plants. We're hoping that this arrangement will prove to be as successful for us as it was for the first Americans. And lastly, we have cantaloupe, honey dew and a watermelon variety known as "sun and stars."
We've also enjoyed watching the native plants emerge from the flower bed the previous owners planted. We knew that they had planted various things but we had no idea what. Although I was anxious to put down some things of my own, I knew that I should wait and see what came up first. I'm so glad that I did b/c it has been quite lovely to behold. The patch of daisies is splendid and the coreopsis, coral bells and dianthus are beautiful. The boys and I did manage to plant one new bed just for them, however and it will hopefully reward us with 7 foot tall sunflowers and diminutive, yet beautiful zinnias.
We had a parade of migratory birds this year that included rose breasted grosbeaks, baltimore orioles, summer tanagers and indigo buntings. We have also now hosted every variety of woodpeckers that can be found in the state of Missouri--an accomplishment that we are very proud to have achieved. We also had a family of Eastern kingbirds build a nest in our barn lean-to, complete with five perfect eggs that all hatched and flegded along nicely. We love our regular bird visitors, especially Missouri's state bird, the Eastern Bluebird.
And then, there are the chickens, of course. But, I think I will save that for another post.
All in all, it has been a full spring. I told the boys how neat it was that God would lead us to this house in the dead of winter yet we still fell in love with it. We had no idea, however, what new beauties and discoveries we would make come spring and summer and so we get to experience an anticipatory excitement all over again. What a blessing!