Firsts and Lasts

First Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas), one of my favorite flowers that I let seed all over the garden.

shirley-poppies-2008-06-012

They come on the heel of the orange-y wispy field poppies, and they come in shade of pinks and reds, from the clearest vermilion to dark wine; some have black crosses as their center, other white blotches. They are so graceful and so luminous in the morning light. Last year they were beautiful with the asparagus ferns, peaking in June.

Now is also the last of the dogwood blossoms, the petals falling off with the rain. It’s been a good year for dogwoods.

First Swiss chard of the season, chopped and sautéed with garlic and some of the last freezer cherry tomatoes.

Last of the spinach: it was a mistake not to plant spinach last fall; the seeds planted in late winter never made plants big enough before bolting. We had a few nice salads, but that’s it. This fall: no excuse, spinach must be sown in September!

First peas… soon. The peas are blooming now, pods won’t be long. Meanwhile, I pinch the shoots off to force the plant to branch, and they go into salad (pea shoots are edible, you know).

And finally: first black bear sighting of the season. This morning around 6:30 as I was on my way to let the chickens out of their coop. I first was not sure what that big black mass was – I did not have my glasses on, but it moved, slowly, so I knew it was not a pool of shadows. He (she?) was where I was expecting him (her?) to show up anytime now: in the skunk cabbage patch. I was expecting him. It does not mean I am happy to see him. I yelled, he raised his big head, look and me, and slowly, slowly, very slowly, turned his back, and walked up the hill.

He is not always that accommodating.



4 thoughts on “Firsts and Lasts”

  • Sylvie, I’m totally with you on the spinach. It didn’t take our December spinach long to bolt. We got a few good leaves. I don’t even want to talk about the spinach we planted in March. A complete waste of time. We’ll be planting it in September as well. (Or October?)

  • Field poppies don’t like it here or I would sow hundreds. The Asian varieties do well though. I remember the first time I went to Europe and saw those fields of red flowers: enchanting! But yeah. We’re ending the greenhouse salad season (sniff) and it makes me a bit misty.

  • A bear ?! Ca m’impressionne, parce que c’est un animal que l’on voit rarement en Europe dans son environnement naturel…

  • yes, indeed. While infrequent, black bears are not rare along these parts and decidedly a mixed blessing – if a blessing at all. As somebody who has bee hives, keeps chicken and is trying to grow fruit trees, bears can be very destructive, and they are not shy. They come quite close to the house. I only hope that electric fences are deterrent enough. Sigh!!!!

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