The birds of summer, and the aliens.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher Perched, by Kalen Malueg

I turned 29 two days ago and allowed myself to spend most of my time celebrating and zero time blogging. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about two good friends who are working on bringing a little baby into the world, a tiny bundle with limbs, toes, fingers and eyes, currently tucked inside of one of them but in position to be popping out anytime in the next few days. LIFE. LIFE IS CRAZY. And yes, I did just drink up a bit of a carafe of the house red at Santarpio’s over a brilliantly multi-cheesed pizza but, wow, you don’t need to be tipsy to consider the wild possibilities within every single wilderness. Like a baby in a uterus waiting to blossom out into the air, away from a life lived within fluid heat, a body lived within a woman, to quake and crack and squeeze out into a world of wind and breeze and bad jokes and optimism and everything grim. Life.

Briefly:

20th A belted kingfisher! It was perched along the little dog house that my boss made into a duck house. We no longer have ducks but their home continues to float along the pond. This is the first creature that I’ve seen using it, and I crept up lose to the bird when I realized its beak was way too wonderful to be anything but a kingfisher’s. It flew off shortly after I began stepping toward it, landing in a pondside tree and twittering a rattle at me and whatever else nearby.

21 The barn swallow that keeps clutching the wire above the bike rack, greeting me in silence as I pedal into work.

22 The anniversary of my birth. I spent a lot if time sweeping and breathing in heaven knows what. Dust mites! The remains of dust mites! Pieces of parking lot that blow in the screens and open doors! A lot of dirt. Dark lungs.

23 The drive-by-botanizing has lately been taken over by goldenrod. Everywhere. That margarine-colored golden assemblage of roadside blossoms strikes up in the most unexpected places. This includes random parking lots and sidewalk pockets.

24 I drank my morning genmaicha whilst watching a show in which Stephen Hawking discussed a fraction of the possibilities regarding life–and, terrifyingly, intelligent life–elsewhere in the universe. I also saw a beautiful mallow on a street corner. As I photographed it a man with a heavily scraped face suggested that he, Matt, and I go into crime together. Shoplifting, he suggested, adding that our movie star looks would help get the job done right. “We’ll think about it!”, we said. mallow

Random mallow by yours, truly.

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The wilderness without and within

house sparrow

The majority of the nature experienced today was tangled in all of the wild hormones within, riling my uterus and, you know, my outlook on all things. 

There were also the house sparrows at work, hopping and cocking their inchy heads, going after a gummy on the floor and the birdseed on display. I fought them without violence, clapping my hands and ineffectively kicking away the gummy which moved slow, sticking with tenacity to the cement floor.

I also found some funky, Mardi Gras costume-wearing, mantis-like creature in the sacred basil during the morning harvest. And I was sucked on by mosquitoes. Lastly, I found a cabbage moth in the greenhouse and a green caterpillar, dead and composed halfway of orange slime, also in the sacred basil. Amazing that so much life, death, and violence can exist within the juicy branches of such a holy plant.

Scared of Bullfrogs? Get rich (kind of) quick!

bullfrog 1

Cue menacing “ribbit.” Credit: http://naturemappingfoundation.org/

A few months ago I wrote about some of the heebie jeebies I get from frogs. But, you know, I only blogged about it, whereas this guy, who apparently has a phobia birthed out of an experience of an Italian chasing him in early childhood with bullfrogs in his fists, took his issues with him to court. There the judiciary wound up awarding him ONE POINT SIX MILLION DOLLARS, all because he’s skeered of the springy, lurky amphibians on his property. Makes me feel a bit less silly about my own occasionally creeped-out feelings. Thanks to Donna over at http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/ for the awesome story.

dacks

Mmmmmmountains. Credit: http://www.americanforests.org/

In other news, it’s good to be back. While I was in the Adirondacks, staying a scant handful of miles from this mountainI jumped back into Spokes and Petals rather suddenly. There was no pomp nor circumstance, simply an acted upon desire to share my boyfriend’s discovery of that still-enchanting rosy maple moth. Obviously I continue to find it tremendously difficult to write during the heat of our growing season (which lasts from march through the end of June) and, as per usual, I will keep striving to figure out ways to keep my writing honed and timely, even when my hands are black from tomato tar and my body forces me to fall asleep before nine. 

As I tend to do after some time off I will offer a quick list of semi-relevant things which I’ve done whilst not blogging:

  • I started up a medicinal herb offering at Allandale Farm, featuring the seeds, plants, and handmade products derived from over 50 of our own medicinal herbs. (I still have a lot that need a new home, so if you’re in Boston and have a bit of free soil or container space come by and give us a look.) allandale herbs A sampling of what I’ve been tending to. Clockwise from top left: resina calendula, mad-dog skullcap, lemon thyme, peppermint, lemon balm, sacred basil (tulsi), and heartsease (Johnny-jump-up). Credit: Helen Glotzer.
  • I went to Wisconsin and learned how to ride a tandem and hold on tight to the back of a cargo bike. Pictures forthcoming.
  • I also danced with my family and friend Murray to THE ZOMBIES as they played a dream-come-true show at Summerfest!!! This song was played and sung impeccably–and was the first thing to yank us all off our feet.

  • I happened upon the Paul McCartney concert at Fenway Park last week. One of my favorite moments in Boston ever: sitting on the sidewalk outside of the stadium with lots of other strangers, smiling my face off, listening to Sir Paul sing “Something,” initially accompanied by a ukulele and brushed drum before blissfully breaking into that sweeeet guitar solo that we all know by heart. Holy holy holy.
  • I started reading The World Without Us. Mindblowing!
  • Matt and I saw our first luna moths (again in the Dacks). Talk about mindblowing.
  • luna moth Photo credit: http://www.fcps.edu/

Anyway, it’s been a busy while, but I really am back and am happy, as ever, to be here.

Boston Wild Herb Walk

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Folks in the Boston area – what better way to spend this Sunday but in the arms of mother nature (and Allandale Farm)? Please join Jessyloo Rodriguez (and myself, for just a wee bit) on a wild herb walk through the Allandale landscape, sponsored by Urban Moonshine. Time will be spent with elderberries, dandelions, motherwort, and some other pals. Hope to see you there! 

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Dandelion image courtesy of donnieyance.com/.

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