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What's Happening? -- May 2021

Peony Flowers
Peony Flowers

The green of spring makes me want to sing!

The songs of spring make me want to sing!

The smells of spring make me want to sing!

The flavors of spring nurture my soul!

Humming bird on peach blossoms May 2, right on schedule. Baltimore oriel, male and female in the apple blossoms. Bluebirds nesting nearby, goldfinches and cardinals feeding by the garden. What wonderful colors. What wonderful songs. The morning chorus so full of excitement and joy.


Finally heard the din of insects pollinating the crab apple blossoms as I walk by the tree in mid-afternoon, but not until May 17th. Pear, peach, apple, cherry blossoms out all at the same time. Is this normal? I am concerned with pollination this year. We don’t have bees for the first time in decades. The cold air and rain make the pollination windows small. We shall see what fruit we end up with.

Walking Onions, Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms and Green Garlic
Walking Onions, Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms and Green Garlic

Harvesting and eating those early perennials, sea kale, asparagus, walking onions, early green garlic and if lucky, morel mushrooms. What a delicious medley these make, real foods with rich flavors straight out of the earth. This marks the beginning of the lush availability of fresh foods in this part of the world. An incentive to plant, plant, plant in the garden.

Foraged Morels
Foraged Morels

The tomato seedlings are getting hairy, peppers with second and third set of leaves but the garden soil temperatures are still in the 40’s (°F) in the morning, way too cold for these warm weather plants to go into the ground. Even at the end of May soil temperatures in the morning are still in the 50’s (F). It will be June before these warm loving fruits get into the ground. The first wave of potatoes are in the ground with the second round scheduled for later in June. The new blueberry patch needs structure for netting if I hope to eat any of them. A new raspberry bed established the beginning of the month is looking great.

Tomato seedling with antennae hairs at attention!
Tomato seedling with antennae hairs at attention!

Paddling my canoe to survey the shore and test the water is ritual: checking the autumn olive flowers to anticipate this year’s fruit, visiting regular nesting spots and or just going for a swim. At a goose nesting spot that I have frequented for decades I was surprised to find her on the nest in mid-May. Usually the clutch has hatched and the young have changed color from that initial light green color, past the yellow phase and are already brown. I was reminded of seeing those little greenish fuzz balls bobbing fore and aft, like toddlers still unsure of their footing, trying to keep up with mom. Such a beautiful site.

Swimming in May offers a lovely jolt towards summer. The water is still cold enough to let one know to get out quickly, but not cold enough to take breath away. One of my favorite swimming spots has a big open area with smooth rocks facing south. By mid afternoon the rocks are hot from the bright sun! Getting out of that cold water and laying on the smooth hot surface with a slight breeze above warms the soul. After a minute or two just move over a foot to the next hot spot. Repeat as necessary until all water is evaporated. If lucky enough to get too warm just jump in and start all over again. What a lovely way to spend an hour.

Both Jupiter and Saturn are high in the sky come dawn. Moving farther apart from their singularity in the sky last December. A full lunar eclipse on May 26 here in North America to peak the imagination. What did people 1000 years ago think of events like these?


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