Ponder this:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Light of heart

I have been increasingly and ridiculously lighthearted lately.

I have resumed my mid-afternoon gigglefests at work. My coworkers have once again begun saying to each other, "There goes June, must be about 2:30," before they check the clock.

I have become a madwoman with my variegated hosta. I come home every day and rip into the big established clumps to separate them and spread them out to make the garden border continuous. The frenzy always starts with my simple intention of digging out one or two dandelions.
And then I notice, eye, the bare spaces in the edging around the shrubs, and think, "Oh, just this one clump."  And in half an hour my fingernails are packed with dirt, my palms black, my neck cramping and my head aching from the chilly breeze. There follows the self-congratulatory promenade to admire my work, to envision how the transplants will look in a few weeks when they've become accustomed to their new locations and round themselves out into hearty and fluffily exuberant bunches. Forgiving plants, hosta.

So many earthworms! Finding them inches deep in the dirt, I feel sorry to have disturbed them at their work, and carefully try to dig around them so as not to cut them into pieces. Not always successful with that, I hope that the ones that get . . . damaged . . . will be able to regenerate their missing parts; some can, if cut in the right places. I school myself not to think about it. I pick them up and set them aside, throw some damp dirt on top of them for safekeeping, and then replace them as I place the new planting. They're doing me a favor with their existence in my garden. I'd hate to look a gift earthworm in the mouth . . . or really, in any other orifice . . . should I be able to find it.

Here's a piece of new self-knowledge:  I like the singular feature. 
The wild trees along my route to my job are beginning to be a solid mass of new green.  I love seeing the spread of new growth, but part of my heart misses the odd one pale green tree, spring's sentinel salient among the gray and brown.
The graceful spare shadblow is blooming, sparse flowers among the indifferent disorderly brushwood. My mother called it shadblow. Its semi-formal name is serviceberry (dressed up in whitetie, Amelanchier). Maybe the ones that are cultivated . . . planted as decorative landscape trees . . . are serviceberry or Amelanchier. The unbound ones, I think, should always be called shadblow: the name suits their nature.
Image borrowed from Saratoga Woods and Waterways

Driving slowly up the hill to home, the car's tires scrabbling and shifting on loose small stones in the dirt road, I came upon a bird dawdling across the road. Unperturbedly aware of my approach, he sauntered, stopped, sauntered, so slowly that I was able to examine him through the driver's side window as I passed: a funny little banty-chicken-looking thing with a long thin neck and a little pointy crest on his head. I have seen ruffed grouse only a few times in my life: I had to come home and check my Audubon book to be sure that's what it had been.
Photo borrowed from A Passion for Nature, a blog I'll have to keep track of...
Wildlife North America has pictures of the male displaying, something I've never seen. Such a tiny thing exhibiting himself so proudly, exactly like a big wild turkey, is endearingly precious.

29 comments:

rachel said...

Zest for life, I think you've got. It radiates out of every lovely word you write. Keep it up!

Wanda said...

You and my g/daughter Alivia(6) could be friends. She's a rescuer of earthworms, placing them in safe places, when finding them in the sun or after a storm, takes it very serious!
Glad to hear of your lighthearted state of mind, June. It's the best way to be.
I should have devided my hostas, but then I would be creating more spots to spray my smelly deer repellant. They and the lilies suddenly became a favorite deer snack last year.
Enjoy spring, June and keep giggling!
♥...Wanda

jinksy said...

Does the Amelanchier have a wonderful aroma by any chance? I had one in a previous garden and associate perfume with it, but it may have been an entirely different blossom that scented the air, but connected with the name...

threecollie said...

I am happy with you...

Beth said...

Just stopping by, June, to wish you well, and that the PowersThatBe grant you continued health coverage. I love your musings and humor and gardening. Say hello to the hosta for me!

Bibi said...

If I come back as an earthworm someday I hope I end up in your garden :)

Rachel is right.............what a ZEST for life ! It will take you far !

Fran said...

A very clever grouse, blending so well into its background.

Friko said...

Come and have some of my hostas. I love them, their leaves are make such a spectacular show. They need splitting every two or three years and I now end up with hundreds in pots. Every year I swear I'll just chuck them out and every year I pot them up and give them away.

I have two Amelanchier in my garden, their blossom is at their very best now. This evening they look like a solid block of white and reddish brown mixed seen from the window.

My worms are valued guests, I never get rid of them.
They wriggle back into the soil all by themselves without my helping hand.

I am so glad you are enjoying your gardening. It helped me tremendously when I wasn't too perky.

morningbrayfarm.com said...

I absolutely love your blog June. You write so beautifully. And yes, Rachel is spot on. You've definitely got zest for life.

Barb said...

I like your giggling, June, and your garden frenzy, and your heightened noticing of Nature. I've read that pure joy is as good for the physical body as it is is for the soul.

Vicki Lane said...

What lovely writing! I was drawn here by the name of your blog and stayed to read many posts.

I'll be back.

Jennifer said...

Ah, the cascading of links. I borrowed the picture of the grouse from Tom LeBlanc: http://monarchbfly.com/

June said...

rachel, you can't know how good it is to receive such a comment. I was fairly zestless for so long! I think I'm making up for lost time. :-)

Wanda, I can imagine Alivia carefully caring for the worms. She has a sensitive soul, that little girl...and judging from some of the photos you've posted, she has great powers of concentration, too!

Jinksy, it does have a lovely light white sweet scent. I am so glad you asked, because you inspired me to stop and sniff it. Something I hadn't ever done! Another lovely natural thing!

threecollie, thank you for sharing my happiness.

Beth, I have paid your respects to the hosta. They and I thank you for your kind regard.

Bibi, be careful what you wish for. If I happen to be working off frustrations with a trowel in hand, you might be in serious trouble.

Fran, clever indeed! He didn't blend quite so well with the dirt road as he does in that photo.

Friko, your faithful and experienced support is a thing of value to me. I would happily take your hosta! I would edge everything with hosta, and in fact, if I keep this up, might eventually end up doing that! :-)

MBFarm, I'm so glad you came by! Thank you for the kind comment.

Oh, Barb, there's just nothing like a completely baseless gigglefest to wash everything clean, air everything out! ...and get everybody else laughing too.

Vicki Lane, welcome to AG. I am flattered and gratified by your kind words.

Jennifer, thank you for stopping in to see "your" aka "Tom LeBlanc's" picture. I wonder how many times these things travel from blog to blog to blog.

Vicki Lane said...

About those mayapples you mentioned over at my place -- is it the fruit or the leaves that repel potato bugs! (What an interesting bit of knowledge!)

June said...

Vicki Lane, it's the stems and leaves that keep the potato plants safe. I think it's a bit of Native American wisdom that Husband read about.
One year our potato plants were decimated. The next year Husband began the practice of putting down overlapping layers of mayapple stems/leaves between the plants, and not a potato bug appeared. So we've tested the theory with 100% success.

the7msn said...

The comment you left for me yesterday had me laughing so hard I had to come over to remind myself where you lived. I know your sense of humor and lightness of heart will serve you well in the coming months - the boys and I are all sending good thoughts your way.

June said...

Thanks Carson! ...for coming over and for bringing the boys' good wishes.
Whatsamatta wit' Wynonna? She don' sen' no good wishes? ;-)

Pauline said...

Love the shadblow - it was my own mother's favorite flowering spring tree and we would go together to give a sniff to the delicate but fragrant flowers. Lovely photos and text - thanks for your kind comment at my own site.

VioletSky said...

June, I have just gotten caught up with your posts...
glad to hear some joy in your writings.
I love that "self congratulatory promenade to admire my work"!!
word verification is pensiv.

Alina said...

Dear June, I'm not even sure how I have arrived here at your Blog, but I am so very glad I did! Your posts have made me both, smile and teary eyed. Wish I knew more people like you! I will surely come back. Would not want to miss your awesome views on life xx

Anonymous said...

In s IN, we call it sarvis. I have also heard service berry. Lovely tree by whatever name. The berries are good too. Linda

JOE TODD said...

Sounds like things are going well on your "Hilltop" Did you watch the Lois Wilson Story on Hallmark? If so what did you think? Have a great one

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There June, I'm trying to catch up today... Will take me forever!!!! ha....

Laughter is good for the soul.... Keep it up!!!!! AND keep diggin' in the dirt... I love my hostas also --and need to separate mine. Wanna come and do it for me????

Hope you have a wonderful week.
Hugs,
Betsy

June said...

VioletSky, thanks for stopping in.

Alina, hi. Generous words indeed! I'm glad you're here.

Hi Joe. No, didn't watch that. I hardly ever watch tv. The dogs get too twitchy and make it not fun. Can you say "spoiled poodles"?

Betsy, with all that traveling, how could you possibly hope to catch up? Give it up, girl!

June said...

I left out Pauline!
Thank you for coming over, Pauline!

June said...

And Anonymous Linda...I left you out too! I'll have to start alternating posts and "reply posts"!

A shadblow by any other name does smell as sweet, then, huh?

Thanks for visiting. :-)

Paul C said...

You live in a wonderful area. Splitting hostas can be a challenge as they tend to throw their dense roots deep. That grouse reminds me of the quail we have in our area which I haven't seen for a generation - a shame. Yes, I too love the service berry. In full bloom now.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Yahoo for earthworms. And I know how it goes - you pull a weed, then another, then you see many more.

Gigglefests - certainly better than cryfests/

elizabethm said...

I love your amelanchier. I have two little trees and another one in the mixed edible hedge. I really liked this blog and identify with much of it, especially the dirt under the fingernails!