Every year I spend many back breaking hours adding composted horse manure, compost from our household, and composted chicken and wood manure to our garden. Today as I labored away, discouraged by the amount of clay and rock still in our garden, I wondered to myself, why I was doing this. I tilled in 100 pounds of sphagnum peat moss in one small row, meant to house carrots, while my boots got sucked down in the wet clay and my back ached from repeatedly lifting the dense clumps of dirt that clung to my pitchfork. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to see a great documentary this evening called, Dirt! The Movie, all about our relationship with the soil and its complicated diverse organisms that sustain us and all life on Earth. If you get the chance, I recommend this film, which grounded me and made the knots in my shoulder seem not quite so bad.
This week we had the opportunity to see all kinds of nature's curiosities such as the baby chipmunks running about, with their eyes still closed, completely unaware of our presence but somehow able to locate, open and eat nuts. How they can do this, when human infants are so helpless for so long, beats me. The chipmunk above was the size of a small mouse.
We were able to rescue this year-old red winged blackbird that had gotten tangled in a net. It had injured its wing trying to rip free of the netting so we housed it for the night so it could rest and watched it fly away the next morning, good as new. I learned first hand how formidable their beaks are and hope to never do battle with one.
Our lilacs, whose blossoms had remained pinched tightly shut until this week, seduced us with their intoxicating fragrance and we finally had to bring some clusters indoors to enjoy. The bees are drunk in love with the lilac bushes this week too, and I can't blame them. They're also busy pollinating our strawberries, which have begun to bear small green berries, teasing us with the promise of a bountiful crop sometime in June.