Sunday, March 16, 2014


Yesterday was the day I've been waiting for, hoping and praying for, so long now.  Pure golden sunshine, a minor warm breeze, and 75ºF.  I attacked the garden at 8 a.m., determined to get a start on the Spring chores, to feel sweat on my arms and aching muscles again.  Determined to soak in the sunshine, to end up with red-tipped ears and rosy cheeks, melanoma be damned.

CatMint 'Nepeta cataria'
I was not the only creature on God's earth waiting for this day.  The Eastern Bluebirds are back and the Killdeer showed signs of nesting on their usual spot.  Moose, our Maine Coon cat, demonstrated his blissful enjoyment of the day by rolling over and over in the first bunch of catmint (Nepeta cataria) that I uncovered.  You can see it there next to the top of Moose's head.  Another clump is beneath him.  As I related before, I originally was thrilled to discover this native Kansan and I carefully nurtured it wherever it self-seeded.  These days I spend more time grubbing it out then preserving it, else I'd have a garden of white catnip and be overrun by most of the cats from neighboring Manhattan.  You can see in this picture how Moose was affected, his tongue hanging in drugged stupor. This picture isn't very flattering, but the silly boy deserves a few moments of Nirvana.  He's had a rough winter recovering from being the victim of a tug-of-war by two neighboring dogs back in November.

All in all a successful day for both of us.  I cleaned out the back patio bed, cut off all the ornamental grasses in the garden, reattached the lawn mower deck and leveled it, greased the tractor, crab-grass-prevented the buffalograss lawn, fertilized the sprouting daffodils and crocus, potted some left-over tulips bulbs I discovered in the garage, and mused about what I was going to move this year.  This morning I am sunburned indeed, a little bit sore, scratched up from tying up my 'American Pillar', and completely satisfied.

About 7:00 p.m. last night, the wind started howling out of the north, and this morning it is 30ºF and the wind is still threatening to lift the house from its foundations and send it rolling across the prairie.   I don't suppose I'll get much outside work done today although it it is tempting to enlist the wind on my side and just go out, tear out the brown remnants of perennials, and toss them into the air to let the wind dispose of them instead of having to drag them to the compost pile.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with the thought that those brash yellow crocuses that I wrote of just a few days ago look much better when joined by their blue and white cousins,.  Don't they?


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