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Major Progress in the Garden

Dock

Dock

It has been in the 70’s here lately!!! I’m not going to complain about perfect weather, but I am honestly missing that harsh biting cold…ice…snow. I mean, it IS winter, right?!

Dexie helping to demonstrate the "before" in the garden

Dexie helping to demonstrate the “before” in the garden

As you can see, you can barely tell where the garden ends and the lawn begins.

Another "before" shot; note the ,messy garden beds filled with leaves

Another “before” shot; note the ,messy garden beds filled with leaves in the foreground

Butkus and a close-up of how the ground looked in the garden beds; couldn't even see the dirt!

Butkus and a close-up of how the ground looked in the garden beds; couldn’t even see the dirt!

Starting to edge the plots...

Starting to edge the plots…

And rake the leaves (see the pile in the background)

And rake the leaves (see the pile in the background)

Trees budding; crazy!

Trees budding; crazy!

More t-shirt weather

More t-shirt weather

Taking a break

Taking a break

We burned the leaves in all the plots.

We burned the leaves in all the plots.

Burning the plots is such a great way to clean them up and I figure the ashes add to the soil. Some of the plants get a little charred (e.g. mint, lemon balm, strawberries) but in my experience they bounce back pretty quickly. For areas you don’t want to burn you can just rake the leaves around them and the fire passes them by (e.g. we kept the fire away from the lilac bushes and the asparagus patch).

Smoky silhouette

Smoky silhouette

Roasting Garlic; Ha! (smelled divine!)

Roasting Garlic; Ha! (smelled divine!)

Her class is starting a project about fire so she will bring a print out of this for her class to show them how fire can be used in the garden.

She says her class is starting a project about fire so she will bring a print out of this picture to show them how fire can be used in the garden.

AFTER!!!!

AFTER!!! Smoochie gets 90% of the credit for this!

Ahhh I love the look of cleaned up and freshly edged garden plots!

Butkus lounging on the soil

Butkus lounging on the soil

Chasing bunnies

Chasing bunnies

Bun-Bun is the fastest (and for the record, the meanest)

Bun-Bun is the fastest (and for the record, the meanest)

Puff Puff

Puff-Puff

Dexie has been very nice to the bunnies: even helping to herd them around the yard:

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And even more Bunny-love:

Bunny valentines

Bunny valentines

Sunset

Sunset

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a good start!

Early February in Spy Garden

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I wish I could take credit for this awesome shot! It was taken by one of her Forest School teachers. I can however take credit for the hat and scarf; which I crocheted.

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Climbing is so fun!

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The thyme is so pink and purple! Definitely the makings for a winter-thyme valentine’s pun! Ha!

Hope you all have a great week!

Winter Hike

I dress warm; leggings, sometimes sweatpants over the leggings, sweatshirt, thick socks, heavy coat, hat, and gloves:

The greatest, warmest gloves ever. Extra thick wool.

The greatest, warmest gloves ever. Extra thick wool.

I park the car and open the door and press back against my seat while Dexie leaps over me and out the driver’s side. I take off at a dead run and imagine I’m a horse or a deer; leap-running up the trail. Long strides. I think…

I’m cold. I’m cold. I’m cold.

I run along and go up hill, up, up and pass the place I usually stop because I’m tired from the uphill running and want a little break.

I was so cold I forgot I was getting tired. I love winter.

And I’m not tired, and I’m not cold anymore. Up, up, up to the top and I look over a little ridge. I can see a faraway northerly view of the rolling hills since its winter and everything is bare. I slow down to a jog.

I should take a picture.

But quickly decide to pass. How many pictures of bare trees and faraway northerly views of rolling hills do I really need?

I've got a couple hundred of these bad boys. Haha

I’ve got a couple hundred of these bad boys. Haha

I slow to a brisk walk- it’s muddy today and there’s a lot of leaves on the trail. I start running again to pass under a huge tree that leans precariously over the trail. The terrain gets rockier. I consider doing a grand-jête. The cold winter air, the lovely northerly views of bare trees; it just makes you want to leap. I reconsider. Again, the trail is rocky and covered with leaves; not the ideal terrain for leaping.

Been there, done that, have a gnarly scar on my thigh to prove it. I am not, in fact, a ballerina.

I do a little leap anyways, without the running start. I feel a twinge in my knee.

I’m not 12 years old. Be careful! Go Easy!

I trot gingerly over the rocks and walk carefully when the trail starts to slope downward. My thoughts begin to drift. I think about school work a little but my thoughts are not focused just fleeting ideas.

Capstone Project. Oy.

Do spiders hibernate?

Ooooo nice rock.

I make it down the rocky part and start to jog again. I come to a little trail crossing.

I like this little crossing.

(as you can see my thoughts are often very, very profound)

I make it to a steep curved part; when I first ran this trail I slipped in the mud here. So I walk up that part. I walk a flat stretch and look around. I feel hot now and heading down the hill I think about the creek near the bottom.

What if I just jump in real quick to cool off?

The run back up the hill would probably keep me warm.

I probably wouldn’t get hypothermia.

I leave the trail and cross through the brush and find the creek bed totally dry. I guess I didn’t notice that before.

Duh it’s winter.

But I’m still surprised anyways; we’d gotten a lot of rain. It’s all frozen though.

Duh it’s 20-something degrees out.

I think about canoeing.

At Centaur Chute the water would probably be low now; it would probably be easy to make it up to the mouth of the Missouri this time of year. The key would be bringing rubber boots in case you have to portage that one shallow part. Smoochie and I should do that. We could get a babysitter.

I’m still standing there staring at the dry creek bed. Too dejected from my foiled ice swimming I don’t think to look around for any cool rocks. Dexie finds a little water down a ways and she wedges her whole body in it and takes a long drink.

Well at least someone’s getting to ice swim.

I don’t think I actually want to ice swim but it is still fun to pretend.

I cut back through the brush and notice a slew of wood ear mushrooms.

They really do look like ears.

I don’t care how delicious they are I’m just not brave enough to eat wild mushrooms and choose to photograph them instead. I take a few shots and set back up the hill. The way back is pretty much all uphill. I mostly walk but still breathe heavily and my heart pounds. I hear all sorts of birds; see a few. I stop a few times to take some deep breaths, to listen.

When I get close to the car I run the last bit.

Ahhhhhhhhh

Refreshed and rejuvenated.

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So typically I do about 2 miles and it takes roughly 30 minutes but I never actually time myself or think about hiking/running/walking in any certain way or with any real plan. It is very freeing and nice and I just find the forest (or probably any trail) a wonderful place to be and wanted to share that!

In other news…

Woooo! The boys especially were thrilled with the Patriot’s Superbowl win.  I attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, so have a soft spot for all things New England. Coincidentally, Bill Belichick (also an alumnus of Wesleyan) was the keynote speaker at my graduation!

And now here are some pictures completely unrelated to any of the above (ha!):

Dexie

Dexie

A warm day enjoying bunny castle

A warm day enjoying bunny castle

Butkus

Butkus

Best friends

Best friends

Bun Bun lounging

Bun Bun lounging

The bunnies were loving the sunshine and rolled, dug and binkyed about!

The bunnies were loving the sunshine and rolled, dug and binkyed about!

Jumping

Jumping

Front flip!

Front flip!

Happy Monday; hope your week is off to a good start!