patinagle: (Default)
May Day was always a fascination to me.  As a child I had heard stories about May Day and May baskets, leaving secret presents for neighbors at dawn, that kind of thing.  I never really got to participate in it, though.  It was always one of those "wouldn't it be great" things. 

May Day is an ancient fertility celebration.  Some interpret that as meaning wild revelry ("Tra-la, it's May, the lusty month of May...") but I tend to think about gardening.  Unfortunately, where I live, May Day is not yet frost-free time, but I have plants growing indoors.  Some quite enthusiastically, practically screaming to get their little roots into the garden soil.  They must wait a week or two. 

There are some lovely May carols, with dairy maids and garlands of flowers left by mysterious suitors and all that sort of pastoral thing.  I love these.  I also love Maypole dances, which I've actually done.  And another May tradition - the "Belfire" or bonfire - is something I'm always in favor of (though I've never jumped over one).

For a while May Day was co-opted by communism, kind of the antithesis of the pastoral celebration.  It's also become International Workers' Day, which is fine but nowhere near as romantic and fun as the old traditions.

I'm a sucker for romance and tradition.  So I will at least light a candle for May Day and probably try to do something with flowers.  My schedule isn't going to permit more this year, alas, but maybe next year. 

patinagle: (Default)
Snow again Friday, a couple of inches in the morning and showers off and on all day.  Snow on the ground still yesterday morning, all melted off by evening.  Today, sunshine.  The forest is happy for the moisture, happy for the sun.

Spring Snow

Mar. 9th, 2009 12:57 pm
patinagle: (comonplace)
Was all set to make a gleeful post about the daffodils and tulips that are sending up leaves.  Woke to snow this morning.  It's melting at the moment, so the water barrels will be replenished.  Moisture is always welcome; we've been having fire danger warnings lately, so this is good.

I am a little worried about the wildflower seeds I've been sowing.  But, ah well.  There are always more seeds. 

In Between

Feb. 10th, 2009 12:39 pm
patinagle: (aurora)
Snow today. Looks very wintery, but there are the pansies. Also some seedlings I planted indoors a week ago are already poking up their tiny heads.

Spring here is often windy, which is no fun. It can also snow as late as early May. So regardless of the weather, it's still spring for me.

Lots of bluebirds and robins in the bird bath. Pine siskins gobbling thistle. A couple of days ago we're pretty sure we saw some cedar waxwings, a first for us in this location. I'd heard they were in the area, and had been wanting to see them.

Now the sun is coming out, though it's still snowing. Sun flurries.


Feb. 6th, 2009 10:20 am
patinagle: (Default)
With the days notably longer, the garden is waking up. I cleaned out the raised beds yesterday. Chives are already sending up leaves. The rosebushes have tiny buds. Some of the pansies have wintered over, and I put out some more pansies to welcome the Spring. The wildflower seeds I ordered came in the mail, so I'm going to work on getting the meadows seeded today. Rain coming in this weekend, which should help.
patinagle: (Default)
It rained while I wasn't looking! This is good!

Of course, it's already muddy out there from melting snow. But rain is always welcome. It's been over a week--closer to two--since we've had any moisture.
patinagle: (aurora)
Every January we have a warm spell. It's a break between storms this year, and a welcome chance for the snow to melt off.

The warm snap always makes me start to think about gardening. This year it looks like some of my pansy bowls may have wintered over. Pansies are so amazing! They don't mind being frozen. I'm giving them little drinks of water to help them along.

It's time to start thinking about getting seedlings going. Last year I grew more plants from seed than ever before. Enjoyed it enormously, so I'm going to do it again.

The front "lawn" is a loss. We've tried pampering it along but the grasses really aren't suited to the climate, and the pocket gophers keep making little trailing mounds of dirt. Lawns are unnatural constructs, especially here. I'm letting it turn into a meadow, and scattering wildflower seeds to help it along. Would love to get some California or Mexican poppies going there.
patinagle: (Default)
blue iceIn honor of the season, two gifts:

- A free read of my fantasy novella "Glad Yule" (originally published in Fred Saberhagen's AN ARMORY OF SWORDS) is available on my bookshelf at Book View Cafe.

- A free 2009 year-at-a-glance calendar is yours for the asking.

And if you want to learn about the Yule Goat, see my post on the Novelists, Inc. blog.

May your holiday season be blessed with happiness!


Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:14 pm
patinagle: (Default)

It's the equinox. Time to pause and look at where we are in the season.

To me, this is not the first day of Autumn, but the middle of Autumn. Weather is decidedly cooler; we haven't used the air conditioner for a couple of weeks. Days are just about perfect, nights beginning to be cool. The hummingbirds are still around and there are lots of robins in the bird bath. Pansies, nasturtiums, petunias, bachelor's buttons are blooming happily. Tomatoes are ripening in the garden. It's time to harvest herbs.

And the piñons! We have a good crop going this year, as evidenced by the dozens of cars alongside the road. Families come to pick piñon (pine nuts) wherever the trees grow--which around here is pretty much everywhere. We have quite a few on our land, and I went out and gathered a couple of handfuls of nuts already. Must get serious about it and bring in a good harvest, but I've been busy with revisions.

My fantasy novel, The Betrayal, launches in six months, on the Spring Equinox. In honor of that, I've posted a free read to my website: "Kind Hunter," the story that sparked the novel.
patinagle: (Default)
The aspens leafed out this week. Even a lot of the babies planted in previous seasons are waking up. Some of them haven't made it, which is why I put in three older saplings last year. But several of the babies are hanging in there!

I want to sow radishes today. Been looking at a lunar gardening book a friend gave me a while back. Root crops are supposed to go in during the waning moon. So I'm going to dash out and throw some radish seeds around before I get back to revising the WIP.

The raised bed that is my tiny veggie patch is looking good. I haven't planted anything there yet, but the chives are fixing to bloom and the parsley wintered over and is a large, enthusiastic, vibrant green clump!

After May Day I will plant nasturtiums. Looking forward to them - I so enjoyed them last year!

In the meantime, I am still putting ponderosa seedlings into pots. These are from the same source where I got the baby aspens, the New Mexico Forestry Division. If you own 2 acres of land you can get seedlings very inexpensively. The catch is you have to buy them in lots, so I've got twenty pine trees to plant. Most are going into big pots until I can get to them on a less urgent schedule. Even just getting them into pots is a good deal of work, though. I had Chris drill holes in the bottoms of a bunch of old cat litter buckets. Not pretty, but a good size, and the price is right.

Last night we froze so I sent poor Chris out in his pjs (cause that's more than I had on) to fetch in the bucket of seedlings that haven't yet been planted. I should put them outside again, now.

OK, back to work!


patinagle: (Default)

June 2009

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