Basil can’t know.
Can’t know its own deep spicy fragrance
and how one long sniff of it
can ignite digestive juices
and a breath-long moment of bliss.
Can’t know its own flavor,
the complexities of green that
combined with the oil of olives
and the fresh flesh
of a petal of garlic recently pulled from the earth,
create food for the gods.
Basil just is.
The taking in, the savoring,
is up to us—
our gift to the life
take for granted
the wonder of life
that is an organically-grown,
Thank you, Ann!
Let’s just take a moment
on the porch
with the coffee.
Look, there, that rose bush,
almost gone from one hard freeze,
Then one shoot
rising fast and high,
into a sort of rose topiary.
Set down the coffee.
Just look deeply
into lush yellow blossoms.
I wondered if it would be too warm,
even in the shade of the Mimosa,
at the end of a warmish day.
But there was a breeze,
and the perfume…
So we set the table
in the shade,
beneath the flamboyant pink blossoms,
and gathered round
for our annual potluck,
these dear friends
who weekly, freely, share
around thoughts and feelings
that ring with the resonance
Years of sharing deeply
has formed a beloved community.
Reluctantly, we abandon our weekly gatherings
for the summer,
but only after sharing a meal—
a delicious meal,
We were lingering at table
when the sky in the north grew dark
and the wind changed
and the temperature dropped 15 degrees
while we scrambled to bring everything inside
(feeling extremely fortunate
at the prospect of rain, two days in a row!)
on the front porch,
we watched the storm arrive,
stayed in place
even though we wore summer clothes
and the north wind brought chills—
then rain. The air grew fuzzy and soft
Our conversation rang again
with meaning (we just do that!)
but now was laced with spontaneous outbursts—
“ah, that smell!”—
that otherwise had nothing—
“oh, that sound!”—
to do with the subject—
“oh my, what a lovely rain!”—
Or, perhaps, the uncontrolled exclamations
Eventually, as the chill settled,
a cup of hot tea
along with (why not!) a chunk of the first—
of the summer.
So glad humans are not
in charge; so glad when we stay
to life’s surprises.
We couldn’t have ordered
a lovelier, richer day.
grows wild here.
It has powdery-looking leaves
and grows to almost six feet.
It can take over an area,
so when it took over a flower bed
at the pond house,
I scooped up an arm full
of discarded plants
that had actually been laying in the sun
I transplanted them into my new wildlife plot
last summer and they grew thick and tall.
Even the grasshoppers
couldn’t keep up with their growth.
Last summer’s Lambs Quarter crop, after a rain
the Lambs Quarter grew up early
and spread out into the yard,
overtaking the Bermuda Grass. Yay! and,
Wow! This stuff is great!
I picked early tender leaves
and stirred them into hot pasta,
for a nutritious supper.
Friends told me how to preserve it
which I planned to do,
It’s hard to describe
the invasion of grasshoppers
we’ve experienced the last couple of years.
Maybe thanks to cooler temperatures,
they’re still tiny this year,
(Growing in diversity too. I’ve seen a new design:
gray, with black and white striped legs.)
But they don’t have to be large
to eat a lot.
The chickens and guineas,
which spend their days feasting
can’t keep ahead of their population growth.
Even though most of the grasshoppers
are still less than an inch long,
there are so many,
the devastation happens
In a week,
most of the Lambs Quarter
became a ghostly patch.
Walk up to the ravished stalks
and grasshoppers fling themselves every which way.
But I’m not sure that’s what killed
the Lambs Quarter. Looks like bug action,
though I don’t see bugs.
(Update: yep, Ann found the bugs—
tiny non-fuzzy caterpillar-looking bugs.)
I didn’t think anything could kill
Lambs Quarter. I thought I’d found
a wild, nutritious, hardy, natural
well adapted to this bioregion.
that is true…
Deeper into the wildlife plot,
I discover two four-foot high plants,
next to the ghost-of-Lambs-Quarter,
almost untouched. I’m hoping the tiny bugs
turn into moths and flitter off
before they devour these beautiful plants.
And some of the plants devoured
already have fresh growth atop.
And, grasshoppers are also on
the Johnson Grass. Yay!
I hope they’re not just sunning themselves
on those wide, smooth,
Scooping alpaca manure
there was this smell—
but not the usual one.
was in the air.
Couldn’t be Honeysuckle;
those blossoms are gone.
there, those pink blossoms—
like the fancy heads of African birds—
floating in the ferny leaves
perfuming the farm.