I arrived back home in Maine Monday night, and found Spring bursting forth with flowers, including all these daffodils around the fruit trees in our orchard. I planted the bulbs last fall because the Holistic Orchard book suggested that they could be protective of the young fruit trees. But they also create so much beauty as the tiny trees are waking up, and look so spindly and fragile. But guess what? If you look closely, you can see that the new peach tree has tiny pink flowers budding out too.
I think we’ve come to that week when everything seems to wake up all at once. In years past, this has occurred in mid-April, but this year it is aligning with May Day. As I took a walk around the block, the forsythias were bright yellow, the grass in people’s yards was green and exuberant, and the trees were budding out. I walked along the brook and the trout lily’s spotted leaves were poking up all along the path. Back in the yard, I noticed tiny asparagus stalks emerging from the trenches where I had planted the crowns!
Back in March, I had purchased an Ostrich Fern root at the Maine Garden Show, and kept it in the garage while it was frosty outside. This morning I noticed that even the fern was already growing bright green, curled-up fiddleheads there in the dark, in its plastic bag, so I planted it next to the white pine tree.
Today the temperature is rising to 80 degrees, but hopefully it will even out again to the 50s and 60s that are our average for Maine in May. I love this time of year!
May our hearts wake up, too, rising from the weariness of the long winter, into the joy and exuberance of this season of growth and life.
Today was the perfect day to plant our cherry trees, May Day Eve. I had figured out the locations, and marked them the day before. Our friend Sylvia came to help with strength and muscles. She dug the holes! Thanks, Sylvia!
Our friend Mihku had given us compost from her garden (Thanks, Mihku!) and we realized we needed even more, so Margy drove to buy some, while Sylvia and I positioned the first tree. I applied mycorrhizal inoculant to the roots (from the wisdom of Mihku), while Sylvia held the tree. Then we filled in what we could.
[Photo by Margy Dowzer]
When Margy returned, she took photos while Sylvia and I finished filling the hole with compost and dirt. I placed the Lapins Cherry closest to the patio, and the Black Tartorian Cherry about twelve feet beyond. We discovered the soil under the Black Tartorian was darker and richer, so we used some of that to fill the first hole too.
It felt so good to have my hands in the dirt, to give good energy and nutrients to these young beings that will live with us in our home. It also felt good to have help from a younger stronger friend, my aging body just not able to do as much physical labor as I used to do. It felt really good to share the process, to create a celebration of earth and sun and soil and friendship and the fertility of the land.
[Photo by Margy Dowzer]
Today I took a walk to the ponds at Evergreen and started looking at the pines where the mother owl and her babies have been living. Today I brought binoculars and our little camera. I watched for a long time. At first, I could see the mama owl from one spot on the opposite side of the pond, and I could see the vague outline of a baby at another spot across the pond. I went back and forth a few times. Then, while I was watching the mama, she moved around, and flew down to a spot lower than where she had been. I was able to get this photo of her, but through the binoculars I could really see her eyes looking back at me. Then, she flew back up to another spot behind the branches and I could no longer see her.
There were so many other magical signs of bird life today. There were five baby geese. There was a male cardinal bringing seeds to a female cardinal. There was some kind of yellow color warbler. And then I saw a movement lower down the owl pine, and saw that there was the baby owl on a lower branch, hopping about, gradually making its way further up. Amazing once again that I was able to take its photo. I think I am turning into a birder.