Phlox patches in the woods.
And girls who use their teeth to break stems.
It was all very serene until about 2 minutes after this picture when things became not at all serene...
The children and I heard rustling in the woods and watched our dog Ruby (who never misses one of our adventures) chase a baby fawn out of the woods. I ran toward her (with three pairs of little feet running after me) shouting her name but she disappeared into the woods without listening to me (BAD DOG!).
Then I heard heavy rustling in the woods coming toward me and I thought Ruby was finally obeying. Oh, she was coming alright- but not because I called her. Because Big Mama deer was running AFTER her. She barreled out of those woods faster than you could blink, with big Mama running right at her heels.
The deer saw us and in her startling, she lost her footing and tripped- giving Ruby a temporary lead to jet past us toward the house. I saw both littles standing in the middle of the road-right where Ruby had just passed- and I knew that Mama Deer was going to barrel through us and plow one of them over if I wasn't careful, so I herded them behind me as fast as I could. The Mama was back on her feet within seconds and resumed her pursuit of our naughty dog- thankfully side-swiping us. Then she apparently decided that Ruby was too far gone (or that her mission was accomplished) so she turned around and ran back toward us.
She turned back around and came running back at us, right at the edge of the woods, in just a BLINK and then stopped short within five feet. She went from running full force to absolute stillness before my eyes could adjust and I saw her panting just two arms lengths away from us and I knew that in that brief moment, she was deciding if she ought to run after us too.
Matt laughs at me, but I like to think that she saw me holding chubby hands of my own- and understood that I was a mother myself- with little ones of my own to protect, because after a few intense seconds and a loud snort- she ran the other way, off to find her baby.
I have never seen a deer be so...vicious. But I totally got it. I would have done the very same thing.
We mothers are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to our babies.
I knew the rain was coming...it was the perfect little shove to get the rest of the garden in already! I stayed out in the garden last night until it was too dark to read the seed packets anymore and then went back out today. I planted nasturniums, cauliflower, squashes, beets, lettuce, watermelon, spinach, marigolds, a few tomato plants that a neighbor dropped off, collards and the whole potato patch.
The only thing I *didn't* get to were the carrots.
I still have room to make a few succession plantings of corn, spinach, lettuce and beets- but there is SOME in the ground which makes me very happy indeed.
Not to mention the fact that God will be doing the watering for a while.
Next step: getting cardboard and hay around the plants.
Here is what the garden looked like on June 1st.
The day was hot. They played in the hose until bedtime, at which time I said "Jammer Whammer Time! Hang up your suits on the line!" The next day- there it was- Adele's swimsuit. Thankfully, still there. (I don't know HOW it didn't blow away.)
We plucked our first red berry from the strawberry patch today. Seeded Rubies.
We have always had this tradition before that everyone would share the first berry. Problem is- as the family grows, the nibbles get smaller and smaller and smaller.
I think we are going to have to break down and try something else. I could go the 'whoever discovers it' route...but the 'Mama gets the first one' route seems mighty appealing to me.
|Breakfast this morning: cornmeal mush with maple syrup and the 1st berry nibble of the season|
"You had the LAST berry! It is MY turn to get the ripe one!"
"No- you got the ripe one three berries ago. Then it was _____________, then it was __________ so now it is MY turn!"
"Well, the last one I got was only SMALL. It was only the size of a BLUEBERRY so I should get another one..."
(And that is a good year.)
We NEVER get enough from our own garden to, say, make strawberry shortcake for the whole family. Or top pancakes with them. Or make JAM. Or heck, even make it into the house with them!
I am hoping that this will get better with time- but until then, posts like this (and this) make me very, very, very jealous and dribbly too- with drool.