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Thursday’s news

Leaning into the morning.

Without attention, the human sense of wonder and the holy will stir occasionally, but to become a steady flame it must be tended.

~ Huston Smith

The scrounger’s garden. After the mowing, before the weeding and planting.

The light has changed.  It’s brighter, harsher, more summer-like in nature.  The temperature has warmed and warmed.  It will soon be time to turn on the air conditioning.  It will be too hot not to.  I always hope I can wait until at least June, but I don’t think that’s happened yet (and is increasingly unlikely to happen in the future).

Peonies, two days ago.

There are seed pods on one of the redbud trees.  The peonies are just about finished with their short-lived flower lives, as they droop and drop their petals to the ground.  The irises are at their peak.  The yucca looks ready to burst into bloom any minute now.  The sword-shaped green leaves of the gladiolus have grown tall and I expect we’ll see some flower spikes soon.  Daylilies, too, should be nodding their heads in the next few weeks.

Enjoying each others company.

M and I have been busy in the gardens, pulling weeds and planting.  The vegetable garden is producing greens for us to eat.  We put the seeds in the ground before leaving for the Bogs, and we now have some beautiful broccoli rabe (rapini), kale (some kind of “red” variety although it’s mostly green), arugula, and beet greens.

A wild turkey limping by yesterday morning.

There is news from the animal kingdom as well.  While doing my morning yoga practice yesterday, I caught sight of something out of the corner of my eye.  A large bird, really large, flying by.  The fleeting image was too dark to be a heron or an egret.  An eagle, maybe?  I stopped my practice and went to the window to look-see.  It turned out to be a wild turkey who (I am guessing) wanted to quickly get across what must have seemed like a great expanse of lawn.  She was limping terribly as she walked from where she landed, making her way slowly across the driveway and into the little area of thicket and woods at the edge of the marsh.  I hope she recovers.  It can’t be easy out there for an injured animal.

Beech in the woods.

This has felt like a year of death to me, especially here on the ranch (leaving out the wider world, which I will for now because I want to bring this closer to home).  Loblolly pines are dying from bark beetles.  My favorite beech trees (there are only two on the property) already have what looks like leaf scorch (from heat, sun, and wind, possibly from salt) on some of the new leaves.  There are deer bones scattered everywhere.  Snake, fish, and bird bones, too.  Probably rabbit and other beings as well.  Watching the turkey as she nibbled at whatever she was finding to eat on the ground and hobbled her way to shelter, I was saddened at yet another reminder of illness, injury, and death.  The Five Remembrances of Buddhism have been quite evident.

  1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
  2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape having ill health.
  3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
  4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
  5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

Oh, but… this morning…there was this:

A blur of a picture that captures the moment this little one ran for the first time.

Again, a movement caught in my peripheral vision while I was doing my sadhana (practice).  A doe, coming out from behind a large forsythia, and her baby trying to follow, taking what looked like her (or his, but we seem to have more does than bucks so I’m going with her as a pronoun for now) first steps.  Unsure, unpracticed, new to walking on her legs.  Mama moved forward quickly, across part of the lawn.  The baby followed, hesitant at first but as her mother moved farther away she suddenly burst into a little run.  I have never seen a fawn this new or this small.  What a gift it was to witness her first steps!

Let’s move along now.

I suspect we won’t see too much of her over the next few weeks.  Mama (who I think, but I’m not sure, might be the deer I refer to as Little Doe even though she clearly isn’t little anymore) quickly shooed the little one to the high grasses after stopping to lick her a few times.

Follow me, little one.

In non-ranch news, our county vaccination rate is, sadly, only 27% for the fully vaccinated, around 30% total (first shot only and fully vaccinated).  They are touting several reasons for this, but vaccine hesitancy is not the main one.  This is the poorest county in the state of Maryland and there is only one place to get the vaccine.  If you don’t drive or don’t have a car, too bad.  There is no mass transit, no bus service (even Uber is out of the question).  If you live in one of the two most populous areas of the county, you are a good 20 minute drive from where they are administering the vaccine.  Clearly there is a problem.  Someone finally noticed and they are now beginning to hold walk-in clinics at the libraries.  I hope this will increase the number of people vaccinated.

Keep going, sweetie.

On the mask or not-to-mask front, are you as confused as I am?  The messages are so mixed.  The same is true when it comes to vaccine effectiveness against new variants (such as B.1.617.2).  One report is that there is concern the vaccines might not be effective and in the same story (!!) we’re told that officials are confident the vaccines work against the variants.  Ugh.  It’s been that way all along, of course.  It takes time for the science to catch up with what is happening on the ground.  In the meantime, I’m still wearing a mask when I’m indoors in public places.

This is the best of the hurried photos I took this morning. The pair were out there no more than about 2-3 minutes.

There is more news from the ranch and beyond, but it’s time for me to move along.  M and I are planning to go down to a nursery in Virginia to pick up some plants, maybe a tree or two.  It’s our favorite nursery in the area and I always enjoy strolling through their outdoor area, especially the shade garden.  I’d like to get more plants for our shady areas.  I’ve thought about plants for in the woods.  It might be a waste of time.  The deer are likely to eat whatever I plant, but I hear that ferns are usually left alone by the deer.  We’ll see what they have.

Following mom into the high grasses and new woods.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope all is well with you.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  It’s hot, humid, and buggy so you’ll want to prepare for that.  People have been swimming already.  The water temperature is around 63°F.  That’s a bit cold for me to swim in, but nice for wading.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:11 PM.  There might be enough high, thin clouds around to provide a bit of color.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.  ♥♥♥

A flame in the center.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,776)  The white peonies.  They are just as beautiful as the pink peonies but harder to photograph.  Every now and then, I get it almost right.  1,777)  Getting it almost right.  1,778)  A gorgeous purple beech tree I found at the nursery, on sale.  We’re going to plant it at the edge of the woods, by the redbuds.  It’s a fairly sheltered area that gets sun and shade.  I hope it likes it out there.  1,779)  A Zoom play date with the boys.  1,780)  Afternoon naps, especially once the weather heats up.  It makes perfect sense to me why some cultures have a regular practice of resting in the afternoon.

Watering the garden: a rain dance. We are greatly in need of rain. I’m hoping this will serve as a hint to the rain gods and goddesses to please bring us some.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

18 thoughts on “Thursday’s news

  1. Love the mama and baby. Love the peonies. Love all blooming things. I am fully vaccinated, but still masking inside in public places – and actually I stayed masked when I was standing in line at the can/bottle recycling place today too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry about the vaccination rates! I still wear my mask when I go into a store and probably will for quite a while. The fawn is the perfect reminder that along with death, there is life and renewal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laurie. 🙂 The babies around here have been wonderful reminders of life and renewal. It seems like every time I step outside or look out the window, there’s a baby rabbit or bird. It’s not surprising and yet, somehow it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely to see the fawn’s first steps. I was trying to imagine a world where it was always spring recently. Something tells me it would soon be chaos. We have a problem with a new variant here and masks are needed indoors. If we had greater acceptance of masks early on we could perhaps have controlled the spread better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susan. 🙂 I agree. We had a lot of trouble here, too, with the acceptance (and compliance) of wearing masks. I wonder how many people died unnecessarily because people couldn’t/wouldn’t accept that wearing a mask would help others.


  4. We need rain too, though I am supposed to be camping starting Sunday with a friend, for 3 nights. The weather forcast now predicts 50% chance of rain each of our days. Sigh. We’ll see. I can’t begrudge the rain, but it would have been nice to get it prior to our trip.

    The fawn is adorable. We usually have one family each year, usually a mom and 2 children. I haven’t seen any yet, but until this week it’s been pretty cold up here.

    Love your peonies, ours haven’t opened, they will probably do that when I’m out of town.

    On the mask front, our governor is releasing all mandates in June. The grocery stores have stopped requiring them, though some signs requesting them are still up. About 50% of the people are still wearing masks in the store. For your rural/lower income area…can’t someone organize rides to get the vaccines for those without transportation? It’s a real failure that whomever is in charge didn’t realize until now that there was a problem. Only the priviledged get vaccines if you only have it in one location. In Detroit there are roving bands of nurses going into the neighborhoods to give vaccines. They’re giving them at sporting events, and at schools. There are all sorts of ways to do this. I hope your county picks up the pace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 I hope your weekend wasn’t a washout. We’re still awaiting rain here and the chances of it keep getting reduced. As for the vaccines in this area, I think they’re finally starting to see that there is a need for something more (such as providing transportation or maybe providing a roving band of nurses such as you mentioned. I suspect the governor might have come down on someone about it. We’re driving down the percentages when it comes to the state of Maryland and the vaccinated.


  5. Next Wednesday Oslo will “open up” again – I look forward to theater and concerts – and cinemas!
    Wonderful to watch those mother and babe-photos – so tender

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Leelah. 🙂 Enjoy the theater and concerts and cinemas. Oddly, I didn’t miss very much while things were closed. I miss live music and look forward to summer concerts (outdoors — I’m not ready to be inside with others just yet).


  6. Baby fawns are so darn cute. Amazing that you were able to witness this newborn’s first steps.
    Love the peony photos – ours are just budding up. The heat lately is pushing things along rather quickly.
    The Five Remembrances of Buddhism is just what I need, as I’m dealing with the reality of my third and last act. I enjoyed acts 1 and 2, and would like the last to be equally enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It helps me, too, Barbara. Our culture tends to hide that aspect of life. Life might be less difficult if we learned more about and had more respect for suffering, illness, and death. Less fearful, maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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