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Archive for the ‘remembrances’ Category

I’ll never forget my first encounter with a lady slipper.  I was playing hide and seek with my buddies on my grandfather’s farm. I remember running up a dirt hill in the deep pines and then racing down the opposite side to find the best spot to hide, but I was instead to be stopped dead in my tracks when I reached the bottom. What was this odd looking plant? We didn’t have these in our yard, at least none I’d ever seen.  At the end of the day of outdoor fun, as we sat down to Grampie’s dinner table I told everyone what I’d seen and asked what it was.  My grandfather spoke right up.. “it seems you’ve found the lady slipper patch” he said.  And then went on to say, “ that is one of the only flowers you must never disturb.. it’s against the law to pick them”. I nodded my head listening intently as he spoke of this lovely, yet unusual plant.. but in my mind I wondered? Do they have sheriff’s hiding in the woods ready to pounce and arrest the lady slipper touching culprits?? LOL Of course, I never said this to Gramps though!

Many, many years later when we bought our farm, I was pleasantly surprised when out walking in our pine grove in late May, a profusion of these lovely plants.  All pink, with only one lone yellow slipper.  Finding them made me smile with fond remembrances of years gone by and my Gramp’s farm and finding my first Lady slippers. Alone, they are unique.. in clusters.. simply striking, and as the breeze blew through our grove — hundreds of pink pouches bobbed gently… an incredible sight!

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On a night much like last night.. windy and raw.. by lantern, as we were without power due to the storm,  Vidahlia our oldest and best Mom delivered her triplets like an old pro…

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and not two hours later Pansy, a first timer.. delivered with only a little assistance from me… young Jonah.  Historically not all of our birthing ewe’s deliveries went so well.. but we were blessed  that chilly March night. 🙂 I’m wishing all shepherds as smooth deliveries this lambing season.

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It’s a raw, cloudy dismal day today in Maine, and getting ready for a rainy/snowy mix…. sigh 😦  When  I came in from my walk I was reminded of warmer days and a delicious soup.
While once vacationing in Sorrento we spent a week at the Albergho Lorelei Hotel located off the main Piazza, overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. Within it’s vine covered patio overlooking this breathtaking view, they serve their  guests and visitors scrumptious meals..all made to order.

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One cooler afternoon after shopping all over Sorrento.. we returned back to the Lorelei exhausted, but not too hungry, as we had been sampling all the street vendors we came across, tempting treats. Not wanting a full course meal, I asked if they could make me some minestrone soup. They were more than obliging… a half an hour later I was served my soup. It was the best minestrone I’ve ever tasted.

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I asked if the chef would share his recipe with me.. and graciously Marco agreed, though it took another hour for me to translate all that he was explaining to me. LOL! I make this soup often, sometimes as I recorded it.. and sometimes with my own twist.. either way, it’s one of my favorite meals.

So while waiting for this wonderful soup to cook.. pour yourself a nice cold birra and dream of blue blue seas, with the warmth of the sun lounging lazily under a bougainvilla vined pergola. My kind of day! 🙂

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TBT…. He’s come a long way since that first terrifying experience! 😉 They all have for that matter! Ho ho ho

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It was a great thing in this world where so many bad things are happening, to see this expression of love and goodwill. Portland’s famed Love Locks fence on Commercial Street, where once you could find hundreds of padlocks meant to symbolize everlasting affection, but after three years the powers that be– deemed the leaning fence unsafe, thus removing it 😦  I’m glad to have these few shots in remembrance of a little bit of Paris right here in our Portland.

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Well, the weatherman goofed on yesterday mornings’ forecast, luckily for me, so I pounced on the chance to go walking through the woods before the rains moved in on us. Without my four legged companions by my side, not a typical route for me this time of year, but it was refreshing with still enough colorful foliage left to make it another memorable day.

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I was reminded of days gone by, and as I cut down the path to take in the river color, and was pleased to spot some Autumn kayakers taking in the color too!

 

IMG_0158Walking in our fields each afternoon in Fall was a favorite pasttime of Jackson, Molly & Duffy. Leaves would drop in whispers. Behind us, there snaps a twig which is not timed to our own footsteps… and acorns fall with a bounce to the ground as the wind stirred through the leaves…. freezing my guys in their tracks. Are the woods haunted???? I think not…  though I did bump into an alarmed grey fox that I think startled the both of us!

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But yes,  I do believe the woods to be haunted in October by the same ‘little people’ who inhabit them every other month of the year. Thoughts of witches & goblins & elves and fairies in October have filled the world with fright longer than anyone can record with certainty and the season wouldn’t be complete without them.

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There are fairies at the bottom of all woods and gardens, and we all have often found their traces there.. If you do not believe in fairies in the garden you cannot a true gardener. They touch a box with a wand & make a palace for a homeless bird. In mischievous play, they pull up seeded flower heads  & plant them in more surprising places. They weave silken webs from flower to flower & paint the wings of butterflies. In October they blow on the bittersweet & make berries pop open into gay necklaces of red & orange and gold.

At the bottom of an old-fashioned garden the fairies arrange their mushroom conference stools in a fairy ring, and name all the flowers! Who else could have thought up such delightful names: Sweet William, foxglove, cowslip, Sweet Annie, snow-in-the-summer, larkspur, bee balm…. morning glory, johnny-jump-ups & bleeding heart. These fairies name them all!! But of course...there are fairies in the bottom of the garden. 😉

What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of applewood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and bluebirds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom this past Spring. Happy Autumn!

 

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IMG_0057Well, it’s official… I finally finished up down at the farm for this year. It sort of killed me to pull the remaining zinnias, cosmos, and coneflowers. I’m going to miss having my vases filled with fresh  cut flowers 😦  for the next endless few months.

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I suppose I always have mixed feelings around this time of year when I’m closing up everything for the season, but the memories of a fantastic growing season remain in my mind, and the trials and tribulations with this year moving to my new farm, even moreso! LOL But that part is behind me now… next years garlic beds and spinach bed good to go. This morning I buttoned it up, mulching  all in just harvested salt marsh hay– a final tilling and top dressed the rest of the fields with cow manure seaweed compost to work it’s magic over the winter.  I even spotted my buddy this morning briefly and wished him well, until next April.

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Tomorrow, in the herb garden, the last of the rosemary, sage and thyme will be harvested for a few winter remedies that I like to keep on hand. All in all, a great season! Boy, thyme does go by….. winter well.

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