Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 15 - Income Tax Day and our first "green stuff"

After a frost last night, and a possible one tonight, we may be out of the woods now. Temps yesterday were colder here than in Maine, but they'll be up to 70 by week's end. We picked our first lettuce -- granted, only 2 leaves to go on top of sirloin burgers (we ground some inexpensive steak). The first of the flowering trees have gone by, but there's always something else coming along.

BTW, if you haven't figured it out, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

The Bradford Pear is now all green, having lost all its white blossoms. They're everywhere around here -- some people have a couple of dozen of them lined up their driveways.

The forsythias are beautiful -- they don't get winter-killed as so many do in Maine. There's one down the road that looks like a bright yellow fireworks display! Ours is fairly small, but still quite nice looking. Maybe in a few years if we let it naturalize, it will become more spectacular. These were about the first flowering shrubs to bloom in Maine, and I always looked forward to seeing them. It surely meant that spring was on its way.

Many people also have flowering crab apples. We happen to have three -- two of one variety and one of a third. The two are deep red, and the other is pink. We're not sure of the actual genus or even the common name, but the nursery down the road can probably tell us.

One sign that summer is almost upon us in Maine is when the lilacs bloom. Well, ours aren't quite out yet, but in another 3-5 days, they probably will be. That's fully a month earlier than what we are used to seeing. NICE! We also have a white lilac, but it's mostly leaves now, with a few blossoms here and there hidden, so it's not going to be as attractive as the blue lilac. But it's nice too.

Finally, there's a tree here that has a very weird name. When we first saw it two years ago, I asked Laura, Barry's daughter-in-law, what the tree with the red buds was called. Her answer -- a Redbud Tree! I thought she was being wise. Nope. There are several varieties, and they grow apparently wild all along the roadsides. Some are up to 20-25 feet tall, and the really weird part is that the flowers can grow directly from the stem, not just on the branches. We have one here that technically isn't on our land, but we're the only ones who can see it, so we've sort of adopted it.

This photo shows flowers growing directly on the trunk. Never seen anything quite like this before.

Tomorrow, I finish painting the front porch, then I tackle the side porch. The previous owner put a primer coat, but didn't get to the finish coat, so I'm working on that. We'll mow for a fourth time as well. We didn't think we'd need the riding mower here with only an acre of land, but it's nearly all lawn, and it would take all day to mow with the other mower, which we do use for trim, and along the hill.

Barry, as usual, is a planting maniac. He's put in (or will tomorrow) about a dozen day lilies, ten calandulae, half a dozen hostas, who knows how many hollyhocks, and that's only what I can remember. He's happy as a pig in **** with nearly an acre of rock-free land to play with. PLUS, right now I'm feasting on a gingerbread cookie with cream-cheese frosting (a Betty Crocker gingerbread mix, baked into cookies!) -- and WOW are they good! We do limit ourselves to one a day though. I always tell him, "Thank you for cooking my eating" whenever he does ANYTHING in the kitchen. Gawd, he's a great cook! I can't wait until he begins to harvest the garden for the dinner table.

OK, got to go back to work on Boyle County cemetery records and census transcriptions. Who said retirement was going to be boring? And we have 2 movies to watch from the county Public Library.

Life is good!

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