Turkey Tracks: June 7, 2020
June 2020 is Here
Where did May go?
June is not quite “summer” in Maine. Summer usually comes around July 4th. But everything outside is so lush and green, and it is definitely warmer. I put some houseplants outside just yesterday.
I spent a lot of this week cleaning. I can’t even begin to tell you how much grease had accumulated in my kitchen cabinets near the stove. And, everywhere else in the kitchen too. I would not dare take a picture of what they looked like before I cleaned as I would be way too ashamed.
Everything has been washed and scrubbed now, and the whole kitchen looks so sparkly and pretty! Looky, looky! How shiny.
There is a kind of contemplative value in this physical work, a kind of karma yoga. And, of course, enormous satisfaction after the work is done.
Inspired, I went around the garden and organized a new crop of flowers for the kitchen window: Star of Bethlehem (white), red clover, and chive blossoms. The darker blue/purple plant is blooming, too, but I always forget its name. A porcupine ate it to the ground two summers ago. I planted the Star of Bethlehem because WAY back in the day my grandmother planted this one in the yard in the front of her house. The last time I saw her house in the spring, which now out of the family, the entire front yard was covered with this little white flower. Now, every spring I am strongly reminded of her and reminded how much I miss her.
Outside, the brown tail caterpillar is being terribly destructive. Look at these totally denuded oaks near the house:
Trees can withstand a pruning like this for a time or two, but likely not three years running. I have a friend who has lost 20+ acres of her hardwood trees. Last year there was some damage here, but this year… There are caterpillars EVERYWHERE outside.
And if you missed my descriptions before now, these guys have bristles that are incredibly toxic and can produce itchy blisters. The bristles break loose and float in the air. They can get on laundry on the line, on cushions left outside, on YOU as you walk around, etc. You can breathe them in. The toxins remain potent for as long as three years. Ugh!
On a happier note, the creeping phlox has been so pretty this spring:
And I love the quiet beauty of the smaller blooming things in my yard, like this Sweet Woodruff plant:
The one established blueberry high-bush blueberry plant is LOADED with blossoms this year. It often takes 5 to 7 years for blueberry plants to fully come into their own. Something has eaten all the leaves on four of the new blueberry bushes. I’ll put diatomaceous dirt on them today.
I can’t get enough blueberries and raspberries this spring—they aren’t here yet but are in our markets. I eat a big bowl of them every night—with about a tablespoon of local maple syrup drizzled over the top.
The black flies are mostly gone now, so I’ll be able to get outside and to start putting beds out there back in order. Mowing the other day was pleasant.
This winter I fell in love with an herb mixture from Penzey’s Spices. I CAN eat most herbs, onions, garlic, etc., and Sunny Paris REALLY floats my boat. I order dried herbs from Penzey’s in the fall for the winter—I have tons of fresh herbs in my garden here in the summer. Sunny Paris was new to me, and I fell in love so much that I just ordered it again for the summer!
Purple shallots, chives, green peppercorn, French gasil, French tarragon, chervil, bay leaf, and dill weed.
We finally got a decent RAIN last night. A lot of it apparently. Every growing thing outside will be so grateful because it has been so dry.
Be safe! Be well! Take care of yourselves in these very challenging times we are…enduring.