Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nature's Visitations: Bring Me Enlightenment

Beautiful Wood Nymph Wikipedia photo

This creature  disguises itself as bird poop!  Imagine my surprise when one slipped into our farmhouse and found its way into the downstairs bathroom and is fast asleep under the ever-glowing nightlight. When I first saw it, I thought what is that! Then I realized that it wasn't bird poop, but a moth, with the most remarkable furry boots. I want a pair just like them!  You can see them illustrated in this photo.

I have been spending many hours weeding the  North garden this week.  Nearly  done. We are truly three weeks behind in plant growth and production.  Starting to see the first tomatoes now.  Because of the constant rain, the row of carrots (literally, 500 strong) were pushed in a wave, like ridged sand at the bottom of the lake. Weeding this row was so time consuming.  I really  had to be careful to only take the weeds. In that row is a variety of lettuces, which are doing well, especially now, without the competition; and anise, and beets, and Swiss chard. Only found four Swiss chard plants (sadly), but maybe just enough for us. We're going to have a stretch of sunny days now.  This is just what we need to give everything that booster of sun, and hopefully a major growth spurt.

In all of this garden work, I have been meditating on my writing life.  Wondering about the significance of character's actions (verbal and nonverbal) and how they create judgments. I am working on a full length collection of these micro stories ( 30 have been published individually, thus far).  Hoping that despite the quirky and "survival behavior," readers will find empathy for these characters. I live in a small town in Western New York, which has been so instructional in my understanding of character sketch.  In a small town, every member of the community has a significant role. Actually, they  are part of the function or dysfunction of the day to day life. I think my intention is to shine a light on the dark side of this survival-- the side few have the privilege to see or take the time to understand.  It been fun writing these stories-- all fiction, mind you, except the concept of the small town-- that's very real.

In  the kitchen, I'm still busy making jam. Peter and I will be heading west today to pick up some apricots from our Amish friends who have a fruit tree nursery business.  They have very graciously offered some of the fruit from their "test" apricot trees. I loved listening to the "science" discussion on these fruit trees, which can be challenging to grow. Where our apple and pear trees thrive, our apricots and peaches do not. We were advised to plant our next trees in raised beds.  Even getting them up 4-6 inches will help them endure a wet season.  I love  the Amish and Mennonite  community. They have been wonderful to us, in so many ways.

I just heard the jars pop-- let the day begin!

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