Saturday, June 8, 2013

Restless in Elmira

June 8 5 a.m. Pond Report:
Bear Claw Cloud

Thin mist rises from Elmira pond as dawn casts light on the hills west. A massive bear-claw cloud marks the blue sky as if a grizzly passed through the stars before dawn. I'm sleepy, but mesmerized by this morning's beauty. Horses munch grass, dogs pee and both mergansers are sitting on the pond log. Quiet hangs in the mist.

June 8 10 a.m. Pond Report:

Mist at Sunrise
What seemed like mystical quiet at dawn has turned to restlessness. Two osprey pass the pond and although one sets up to hover, he circles and glides off. The horses return to back pastures, roaming and the geese are in a different corner than usual. Blue Heron sweeps over the pond as restless as the osprey. Several times the osprey return; several times Blue Heron glides. Horses and geese exchange paddocks.

I don't mind. I sip my coffee and prepare to sow more seeds.

June 8 Garden Report:
Soaking Peas
Two packets of sweet peas soaked in canning jars
overnight. I grab the jars, a full cup of ice water, seed potatoes and several other packets of seeds--we'll see. I head to the garden.

Now I'm feeling restless, wanting to see results. No scarlet runners, no basil (from seed), no summer squash, no corn, no asparagus beans. Nary a sprout. It all lies in potential beneath the dirt. Even my transplants are looking peaked from yesterday. Tufts of grass and a few weeds are poking up from the unsown ground. I kick at weeds with my bare feet, easily dislodging them. Black dust coats my toes and I feel like a dirt farmer today.

Hills of Bean, Rows of Peas
As I weed, I imagine where new plants will thrive. Life, I am seeing life in this dirt. For now, the weeds along the remaining fence-line seem most vibrant. Not for long. I am a human rake; my hands are hoes. I uncover hidden remnants of sod and toss it over the fence. The horses don't hang out with me today and I hear my two German Short-haired Pointers howling from inside the house as if an ambulance had passed.

Ice Water Break
My neighbors drive up and down their long dirt
driveway several times. They have a few visitors, too as if trucks are on the prowl. One visitor waves to me as I sit on the bench drinking ice water. I wave back. When he drives out an hour later, I'm again sitting on the bench. He must think I'm lazy. A lazy dirt farmer, chewing grit in her teeth.

Hand Prints & Hope, Foot Prints & Faith
An osprey flies right over the garden! I look up, surprised. He's looking down and then flies off to catch up with his companion. Neither pause to hunt the pond. At least he caught me working, tilling soil by hand, preparing potato mounds. I plant ten mounds which will become "hills." I press one fingerling with multiple budding eyes into each hill.

Next I mound five small hills for beans. This across my newly foot-paved path between beans and a 20 foot row of sweet peas. At the end of the bean hills, I form a box and mark out three short rows into which I sprinkle dill seed. When I'm through, I look at my work and push thoughts of graves from my mind. Life, this is a place of life. I've sown; let the miracles begin.

Waiting for Dirt to Grow
Waiting brings on restlessness. Faith is a conscious choice. And I am reminded that faith need not be big to beat a restless or doubting spirit. Mustard seed is the last thing I plant and it is so tiny. Yet that is all the faith I need. I look at the garden and I know it will grow. Something will happen.

June 8 6 p.m. Pond Report:

Refreshing Salad
Somehow I missed lunch today. Supper is simmering, an easy dish of baked beans and local smoked sausage. I sit on the front porch eating a huge bowl of salad--romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, sliced avocado, sunflower seeds and homemade ranch dressing. I'm on my third cup of water. I sit down and laugh at my dirty feet. I already splashed my face with cool water and washed my hands clear up to my elbows.

Three osprey circle high. One dips lower, but all continue south. I hope they filled their bellies on fish today.

Horse Play
The merganser couple are bathing--I don't know what else to call it. They are too small for my camera lens to pick up, not to mention fast. They somersault into a disappearing dive and barely leave a ring behind. This bathing practice must be water-preening. They fluff all their feathers and wing themselves upright into what looks like a standing position. Water flies as they do this, creating a pond shower. Sometimes, I don't know if they are bathing or battling a frog. I'll catch the motion and then peak through binoculars.

Time for  my shower. It feels calmer, and then I see the horses chasing each other. Well, maybe they are still restless. But for now, I am satisfied to wait.

Evening Romp
Restless in Elmira

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