Berries, bucks and me

When I pick berries it is not in the carefully laid out rows of a commercial operation. It is out on the edges of our fields and rife with the potential for difficulty and excitement.  There are wild rose bushes to grab skin, hair and clothes and while the blackberry bushes are not quite as lethal, they are not much better.  Then there are the chiggers.  For anyone who does not know, these little mites will drive you to distraction with a red bump and serious itching that lasts for days.  I’ve never seen a snake, but I’m sure I came close a time or two and didn’t know it.

The rapidly approaching blackberry season and the appearance of the first fawn in the yard put me in mind of an adventure my Great Pyrenees mix and I shared some years ago at our last home.  Like here, it had large fields surrounded by black raspberry and blackberry bushes where I was able to pick gallons and gallons of freshly ripened fruit.   She loved to accompany me on my meanderings around the fields, relaxing in the shade when I found a patch to pick.  We  were lazily moving  down the edge of the woods to a little outcrop that was mostly berry bushes and a few smaller scrubby trees.   We had been out about an hour, me juggling three buckets half filled with fruit and her following. 

Suddenly, directly in front of me, a large buck with a huge rack leapt out of the underbrush.  Leaves, branches and who knows what else went flying though the air in all directions as he crashed out of his supposedly hidden bedding spot.  We must have jumped about three feet into the air.  Brandy was so surprised she didn’t make a sound – not even a woof.  We looked on in startled silence as the huge buck bounded away, his sleep rudely disturbed and with vines and underbrush hanging from his large rack.  It was quite a sight.   Brandy looked back at me as if to say What Just Happened?  All I could say was Wow!  After we caught our breaths and our hearts started to beat again, we continued on with the picking, once again treated to the wonders of nature all around us.

Resting does

I’m taking a short break from the art experiments right now for a very good reason.  I just started on a commission home portrait of a cute town home that will take me into the weekend or thereabouts.  I’ll post it when I’m done.

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The sun will come out – maybe

We have strung a few nice days together lately  – or at least parts of days,  We have had some  pleasant mornings into the afternoon before the thunderstorms pop up. I am grateful that we haven’t had the terrible storms and tornados that parts of the rest of the country has seen.  I don’t think there is a building code established that will help a structure withstand a direct hit of a tornado.  I have started on the next work, lining it out and beginning a little of the landscaping.  Not enough to show yet.  I did look at some animals to do but wasn’t drawn to anything in particular, so I just went on with the next Ohio entryway.  This one is definitely a Tudor. 

In the meantime I have been keeping a close lookout for this year’s crop of fawns.  They often start to show up about now and I would love to get some pictures this year.  We did see a herd of deer earlier in the week.  I thought it was all does but when I got out the binoculars to get a closer look at least one was a buck with half-grown antlers in velvet.  I think it was the “big guy”.  The antlers were multi-tined and very fat,  Unfortunately, I was on one floor and the camera was on another.  They were crossing the lake at the shallow end, slopping through the water and then quickly moved into the trees, so no picture.  I will keep a lookout now that I have seen them.  I never realized that the antlers started to grow this early and that is going to be quite a set.

Chinese (?) irises in the yard

I have started to pick flowers from the beds to bring into the house again.  All through the year, my husband gets me a small bunch the first of the month as a year round birthday present.  One year when he asked what I wanted as a gift, I said flowers every month.  He just has to go to the grocery store and spend $5-8 on flowers and I am happy.  In the months that I have blooming flowers like my daffodils, irises and peonies, he gets a break.  Otherwise he finds me some nice carnations or daisies that are long lasting and we are both happy. This is a great gift and not too expensive.  I have told this to a few other women I know and everyone thinks it is a great idea.  No one has done as well as my guy though, from what I hear.  Anyway, right now there is the lovely smell of peonies in the kitchen.  They are from my Grandmother’s or my Great-grandmother’s stock and have to be at least 40-50 years old – maybe up to 80 years if Great-grandma planted them in the twenties.  I just don’t know.  They always make me think of Grandma though and that is nice.

Peonies, an iris, and store carnations