Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
–Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
Been working on a personal illustration project that I am pretty excited about. I need to keep the momentum going and stick to the schedule I’ve been working on and the systems I’ve been using for continuous creativity. Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit has been really helpful with this.
I’ve also been completing projects outside…the side steps are finally finished and a much better way of traversing the terraces!
Here’s a before pic of the area underneath the redwoods in the back. I planned on cordoning off a chicken run using T-posts and vinyl mesh fencing, nothing too permanent yet.
Iris and I got a few pullets yesterday to expand the flock a bit…Littlefoot is pretty lonely since the fox got the others.
Littlefoot has been roaming the grounds and tearing up a lot of vegetable crops; this is how I feel about that:
And so, we final grasp the wisdom of a run…
I installed the 6′ T-posts this past weekend (man, that’s a shoulder workout) and now almost finished with the run…just need to put up an extra line of mesh at the top! This weekend, I’ll be building a portable A-frame coop for the new additions!
This is how the upper garden looked last week…I’ve cleaned out a lot of the herb bed because many flowers have bloomed and gone. Cut back the thyme and oregano pretty hard, so maybe we’ll have another crop before the summer’s end!
Industrial agriculture has tended to look on the farmer as a “worker”– a sort of obsolete but not yet dispensable machine– acting on the advice of scientists and economists. We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist. It is the good work of good farmers nothing else that ensures a sufficiency of food over the long term.
–Wendell Berry, “Agricultural Solutions for Agricultural Problems”
What have you been doing in the garden lately??
I’m on a mission today…yesterday I spent about two hours perusing my garden, amazed at how many different kinds of bees and wasps were out.
Today, I am starting to log how many different kinds of bees I observe in the garden. Lots of honeybees, per usual…
Right now, the honeybees are collecting from the sage, lavender, and thyme with a vengeance. The yarrow is just starting to bloom, and some have discovered the early flowers.
So many different types of smaller bees, too! I think this is a type of sweat bee or stingless bee…you can see the pollen that it’s collecting on its back legs.
This bee on the coreopsis was vibrating like crazy! At first, I thought it was a honeybee because it was a similar size, but the abdomen was not hairy at all and had very delineated striations. I think it was some kind of plasterer bee, sometimes called “cellophane bees” (Colletes) because of the silky fungus-resistant substance they make in order to glue and line the walls of their nest cells.
Yesterday when I was bee-watching, I spotted a giant wasp with a reddish-orange abdomen on the coreopsis. It was flitting its iridescent blue wings so fast it looked like it was pulsing. I wish I had my camera for that!
One last flower for your viewing pleasure…the Tequila Sunrise in its prime.