Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring Frosts

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A beautiful morning here on the mountain. The grass is frosted from last night's temperature but the sun rising above Peacham Pond is already beginning to melt the whiteness from along the house. I just returned from a brief walk with Karl the Wonder Dog and for the second day in a row marveled at the sight of a mature male osprey dive into the trout pond and come up with breakfast. It is a splashy affair when he hits and rises back with talons tightly clenched around a squiggling fish. I try to enjoy the glory and not remember that I paid $1.89 for that fish a couple years ago.

This is a busy time of year at the farm and days start at 5 and end well past that time on the other end. Weight loss is less of a problem as mixing soil in a 8 cubic foot wheel barrow with the repetitive back and forth motion of a hoe tightens muscles that need some work. My hands are beginning to callous up again and I start each day with a good coating of Bag Balm, that very old Vermont product originally developed for dairy cow udders and bags. Great stuff because it fights infection and heals cracked skin in a couple days. I usually have some for sale at the nursery for those who cannot find it although more general stores seem to stock the small sampler cans.

Although we are unpacking boxes, potting, planting, dividing, digging, rototilling, there's still time to enjoy the spring flowers. The little yellow crab spider above was having breakfast while surrounded by the various daffodils and narcissus, the scilla, corcus, hellebores and of course the array of wild flowers including erectum and grandiflorum trillium, the hepaticas, trout lilies and bloodroot.

I have to get going here but if you have a minute today, get out into the woods and see what is available. You can now get into Osmore Pond and that's a nice walk. Kettle Pond is open and the Lanesboro Road is passable. Owl's Head is a mile climb until Memorial Day weekend when the park opens but a walk up the hill, like me and the wheelbarrow of mix, are good for "spring tighening." Enjoy!

George Africa
The very busy Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm Our revised, ready to go website. If you cannot get out today, walk through our virtual tours....not bad substitutes.


Jan said...

It is hard to believe that you are still having frosts while we are having low temperatures in the high 70's. I, too, use Bag Balm, and find it wonderful for the hands after a day of gardening.

Always Growing

lynn'sgarden said...

Are yellow spiders common? Maybe I've just never noticed them before..great image..almost camouflaged with the flower. Back breaking work for me just weeding I can't imagine how you manage that whole nursery :)

George Africa said...

Hello Lynn;

These spiders are actually quite common here although I have to say it took me a while to learn them. They have slightly different coloration depending on the flower they are on.

I first really noticed them last year on trollius. They move like crabs and that backward walk makes this photographer use bad language as they back out of sight one nanosecond before I push the shutter. Oh well.....