Warm Winter Evening
At last the days are long enough to take a short walk around the farm after dinner. I walk out and see the sun go behind the hills in the southeast while a great horned owl gives it’s five beat hoot from somewhere nearby.
The chickens have not yet gone to roost. A striped skunk surprises me at the compost pile where he’s been eating apple skins. I back away and he trundles off into the field. He might be looking for a mate. I wish him luck. He is very handsome fellow.
After weeks of bitter cold, today the sun’s warmth made me think that spring is at least on the horizon, coming to my little river valley soon. Of course we are also expecting snow tonight, and that is good, even better if it’s rain as I expect it will be. I walk to the greenhouse and check the temperature inside. I turn the heater down a notch. The lettuces, kale and chard stand up so green and lovely I almost hate to eat them. I cut a head of butter crunch to take into the house.
Should I order my garden seeds and plants? Those onion sets I had last year, “Candy” were delicious, big and sweet. Gin Fizz again, for sure, a gorgeous red tinged yellow heirloom tomato with good heft and perfect size that tasted as close to a Southern tomato as I’m likely to find. No Early Girls this year since they’ve disappointed three years in a row. And I’m going to go all in on pole beans, an Italian variety this year. What should I do about my squash bug problem? I can’t get what I consider to be a straight answer from the master gardeners around here about squash bugs. Why is that? Maybe I’ll just skip squash this year. But the thought of never getting big butternuts makes me sad, not that I’ve gotten them for the past four years. I must do my research.
In the kitchen the PBS New Hour is on as Eddie clears the table. I can’t bear to hear any more about the people suffering in Turkey, Syria and Ukraine. It won’t help them for me to feel miserable. What I can do, and did do is mail my check to the UNHR. But what can be done about the people in Syria that no one is helping? There is bound to be something we can do. Again, I must do my research.
A small flock of pinon jays flies over bringing me the joy of their dark blue bodies, swift flight and warbly cries. Hope. Eddie is over his cough. My back is better. The novel is coming along well. My poetry book is almost out. I have people who love me. I need not fear. It’s dusk. I close up the chicken coops. The cat is sitting in my office window looking out at me as if to say, “Why don’t you just come inside?” It’s time for me to clean the kitchen. As I open the front door I feel happy. I am grateful to have this moment at the end of this one and only day.