As I sit down for a few minutes to write this, we are bracing for one final cold snap, a late one by some measures but also weather that is completely on par with… (gestures widely to the entire past year). The overnight low in much of Oklahoma will likely flirt with 32 degrees for an hour or so, which is enough to trigger damaging frost. So I am happy to have not yet planted any tender tropicals. Today I spent a few hours moving soft, sweet smelling compost in gentle heaps and pillows to all the roses and brassica vegetables, plus the few cannas that have broken ground already. Fingers crossed for all my hydrangeas and viburnum; they are way to big to cover without letting the cloth touch the foliage. Nothing has bloomed yet, only leafed out, so that seems good.
Both yesterday and today while flipping and moving compost, I spied a baby snake. It is a silvery grey thing, narrow and shiny, fast as lightning. Had I not seen its tapered tail I might have guessed it to be an overfed earthworm. This is the time of year for both fat earthworms and skinny snakes. And they are both likely to be found in the compost.
The compost heap also produced a trio of humble, cheerful little squash plants, a wonderful surprise. I lifted them out of the fertile ground, along with some of that magical black stuff, and potted them up for transplanting soon into the proper garden. They will have a head start on all the other squash plants and maybe thereby escape the scourge whose name we dare not speak.
The strawberries I have been growing just for fun in small pots are, to my surprise, actually growing. And ripening! Look at this sweet pink baby.
Klaus kept me company all day while I moved compost and pulled wild greens for the chickens. We now have four big raised beds clean and fed in advance of planting this weekend. He played hard with Meh and Little Lady Marigold, then he came inside with me, visibly exhausted. He napped hard for about twenty minutes while I ate lunch and caught up on messages. Then we went upstairs to the Apartment to do the ironing. As I got started, he perched himself dramatically on the guest bed there and gave me the most pitiful face. Clearly, he had rested plenty and wanted to be back outside with his brother Meh. Or, and this is a legitimate possibility, he wanted Meh to come inside with us and play babies in the Apartment.
We are having soup tonight at the Lazy W, a cozy dinner to thaw our bodies, round out a hard working day, and embrace what will hopefully be the end of very cold weather for a very long time. I feel my heart thawing in so many ways, too. I feel the loosening of this vice grip of worry for our kids, and I feel the swell of peace and the energy of joyful work. All of it flowing.
“Well being is the only stream that flows.”