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Saturday, June 13, 2009

time to mow

When the grass gets a little long in the west yard at the Cottage it has an old fashioned look. Prior to the 1870s the grass would have been mowed with a sythe about 4 times a year. I remember my grandfather using a sythe to cut grass (I was 10 or 11 years old) and I've tried many times but never got the hang of it. I remember him methodically stoning the blade from time to time, and when he swung the sythe the blade sliced through a narrow swath, neatly laying the grass down. I know my Dad had a sythe and used it to mow hillsides, but for some reason the image of my Grandfather mowing grass sticks in my memory.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

mock orange

The mock orange along the lower edge of the yard has been blooming for well over a week but has almost no fragrance. Same over west of the cottage. Last year this old one beside the house bloomed about the time I moved in, and it's fragrance was very strong. It's just now starting to bloom and I hope it smells as good this year. Its blossoms seem more shapely and petals thicker.

crow beach

I was cleaning off the garage roof today and wondering why it had so much coarse sand on it. It was directly beneath the crows that roosted here last winter. I looked it up and crows eat large amounts of sand and gravel for digestion, and unlike many birds that retain it till it's worn out, they eject it constantly. So the sand is a feature of crow roosts.
They arived last October and I finally convinced them to move along sometime in December. They went down along the railroad tracks for the rest of the winter. I hope they liked it down there.
I also learned one of their favorite berries is poison ivy, so they spread the seeds of course.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

living history portrait

Group portrait of the living history cast by Tim Mckee.