Friday, May 4, 2007

duck eggs, opossums & another beautiful day!

My friend Janet brought me two long planters she picked up from a neighbor’s trash pile on her morning walk. She thought they’d be great for on my patio and she is right! Since this is our first spring back at the farm, I’m not certain yet where my herb garden will be or if I’ll even get serious on it until summer or fall. So, yesterday I planted cilantro in one and calendula in the other. That sure will make it easy to gather fresh cilantro when I’m making salsas or to pluck a few calendula flowers to toss in a salad or decorate a cake with this summer. I hope to infuse some oil with calendula also, since it’s so therapeutic.

Yesterday I noticed some green things coming up in the garden, plus the radishes are really up! A couple more weeks and we’ll be planting the rest of the garden. It won’t be as big as planned but will still be adequate for us to eat from, can from and offer our organic veggies to others I’m sure. It doesn’t take much space to have an abundance of veggies. I can almost taste them now. I become so anxious for fresh home grown veggies each spring, especially a big juicy tomato. There’s just nothing like it and I do believe it’s one of the very best things about summer! Gotta get that deer fencing yet!

Today was absolute gorgeous as was yesterday. Slight breeze, sunny, blue skies and temps in the upper 60’s. Perfect! Coop has been mowing for two days. Next week the weather forecast is rain for about 4 straight days, so we’re doing what we can now beforehand.

One of our hen ducks layed her first egg yesterday and another today! I think it was Thelma as I’ve noticed her hanging around the pen more than the others. They have become quite easily trained. They are let out to forage each morning when we get up, then about 6 pm or so we guide them back to their pen without much, if any trouble at all. They are now accustomed to us and show little interest in our presence except when they are scolded for getting too close to the road. They love it when Coop mows as it makes foraging in the grass easy for them. They have little concern for mowers and cars and don’t get intimidated easily by anything. And we’ve learned that they love dry cat food! So, we’ve taken to feeding Ge, our mouser, in the evenings after the ducks have been penned up for the night. They make short work of cleaning up a pan of cat food.

We watched two opossums sauntering through the woods this morning, down by the creek. I’m guessing there are babies in a pouch, too. I find opossums appealing for some reason, although most seem to find them repulsive. They are so unique with their thumbs on the hind feet. They’re the only marsupial known to North America. They are much like cats, with their ability to purr and the worst they do is hiss, growl, run or play dead if you get too close. They are also naturally immune to rabies, or it’s at least rare that they contract the disease. They do no harm that I’m aware of except scavenge for food. They have dug under our compost bin a few times over the winter when very hungry. Oh, not to mention one came into our yard last week when I was cooking and had the range fan running. I know it smelled the food through the exhaust. It was comical to watch it stand up on hind legs and sniff the sir outside the kitchen window. It finally worked its way to the front porch in hopes of finding something to eat, pausing to sniff the empty cat dish, then parking itself for a few moments at the front door. Too funny! Never a dull moment here! But that is much of what I love being here at the farm.

I have my moments of feeling such gratefulness and blessedness for my life here that it nearly brings me to tears. Sometimes it does. I know not everyone can understand the depths of those feelings, not having been through my experiences and not expecting to ever be able to return to the country and a place I love so much. But as I said before, I am incomplete away from this rural life and am humbled and happy to have been given the opportunity to be here now. I doubt my feelings of appreciation will ever subside. I wouldn’t want them to either.

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