This was a great weekend. I love my quiet little life here on the Plateau with my parish, my books, my pets, and God's creation all around me. I guess lots of people would say that my life is pretty small, but it feels just right to me.
I spent a good deal of time in the veggie garden on Friday and Saturday; as usual, the perennial beds go begging. I started out with this:
Yeah, I know -- it looks pretty bad. Okay, really bad. It wasn't too bad when I went away on vacation the end of June, but by the time I got back late in July, it was already overgrown, and the heat and discouragement got to me. But as I said the other day, the temperatures are really moderating around here, and it was really great gardening weather over the weekend. So after only an hour, things looked like this:
Not nearly perfect, I know, but so much better! And no, I didn't make the tomatoes appear this weekend -- they were already there, just not in the last shot. Back against the fance, you can now see the rosemary, which has grown to huge proportions (I wasn't even sure it would winter over up here), thyme, and the wispier growth is asparagus. The nearer bed is my strawberry bed, which is in need of some renovation and mulch. I'm always amazed at how it just propagates itself, though, with minimum upkeep. And even now this scene looks better yet, as more of the path is completely weeded and mulched with several layers of newspaper and then a thick layer of wood chips.
The first is the two fawns who live in our woods, grazing at the back of the yard; the second is one of them munching apples in my driveway in the gorgeous afternoon light. You can see by the raised ears that I've been spotted -- my next quick shot didn't even catch a glimpse of disappearing white tail! I love these deer -- the doe has raised her two fawns in close proximity to my yard, and they're often seen from the church (you can see the side French doors of the church at the back of the photo). It always feels like a blessing when they come to eat the apples that fall from my trees; I know as a gardener they are supposed to be my rivals (and they did eat over my garden fence and devoured my green beans while I was away) -- but it's an honor to be host to such gentle, timid, beautiful creatures. I can scarcely believe that in about a month it will be deer hunting season, and men will take to the woods with their guns to kill these babes and their mother. I do hope they'll be safe in my woods, but nobody can always keep the scavenging hunters off their property. Grrrr. It's one thing when it's the locals, especially the "hills and hollers" folk who need venison for their family's winter sustenance; it's another when it's big men in their camoflage, making sport of killing these beautiful critters.
I pray that my deer will be safe and sound out behind my house. The difference in the pictures, incidentally, is that the first was taken through my dining room window, and the flash went off; the second was taken as I crept through my side yard, trying to get a clear shot (with my camera only, of course!) of these sweet children. May you all be blessed with such beauty in your lives.
Ah, one last mention, since I included "books" in my categories: I'm currently reading Kenneth C. Davis' "American's Hidden History" for my study group. Very interesting little-known background on the settling and earliest years of our nation. Even though I knew about Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, it never really soaked into my mind that the French were in Pennsylvania! This book contains lots of stuff we never got in the history books. I'm really glad our study group is doing it, because it's not one I'd read on my own -- I'm not much of a history buff, except biblical history. I just finished an unabridged audio version of Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth," and I'm excited to hear that there's a sequel out, or soon to be out. It was fabulous. And then I read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini (author of "The Kite Runner"). It was chilling and fascinating and absolutely enthralling. And now I'm reading "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides. These last two were lent to me by a parishioner who keeps up with recent fiction, and I'm so grateful. I've been reading and writing lots more lately; maybe that's why I seem to have less time for blogging. I'm only coming to learn in my later years that I really can't do and have it all -- there are only so many hours in the day!