Archive for May, 2013

Food For Thought

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

bee on dandelionI had the pleasure of listening to Diane Ott Whealy, Founder of the Seed Savers Exchange, at my Master Gardener Annual Training Day at the University of Maryland this week.

She made a comment that really hit home.

In the past, gardeners grew food in their gardens. Only. Flowers were a luxury. Who could waste the space on something you couldn’t eat?

These days, flowers in the garden are a necessity. There is so much concrete (vs. open land) that the pollinators (bees and such) won’t necessarily find your zucchinis to transform blossom into veggie unless there are flowers to pull them in.

The good news is, you don’t have to waste ground on decorative inedible flowers. Herbs (which blossom) will do just fine. And they are incredibly scented, flavorful and nutritious too!

But the moral of the story is: Don’t kill the dandelions. It’s a brave new world and flowers, especially wildflowers, are more important than ever…especially if you want to eat.

Billy Goat Goose

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Billy Goat Goose

 

Come late afternoon each day, I work my way over to the poultry pen to give the geese fresh water and food for their evening lock down. Ming Wing has 22 eggs in a nest just inside the door, so Mr. GQ patrols and protects.

This proves problematic for the hand that feeds them. Me. I need to cross the stream via this little footbridge. Guarding the passage is GQ.

It’s a coin toss every day as to who ends up in the water.

He’s a “take no prisoners” kind of guy, but I’m a nimble negotiator.

If I have the time to sweet talk him, everything goes swimmingly. If I’m in a hurry, feathers get ruffled and it turns into a Monty Python drama to “cross the bridge of death”.

“What is your name?” asks GQ

“Your mama, and don’t you forget it!”

“What is your quest?”

“To give you fresh water and food.”

“Are you going to touch the eggs?”

“Well…er…I’m going to take a peek.”

Aaaaaarrrghh!

Sequel Teaser: An Excerpt from “Touched by the Moon”

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The trees creaked eerily in the wind, their trunks and branches sounding very much like moans of distress. Tom quickened their pace stopping abruptly at the edge of a clearing.

There was a timber wolf. Its eyes gazed lifelessly back from a puddle of frozen red snow. And there was a huddle of life off to the side, not thirty feet distant.

Two wolf pups twitched with nervous energy, protectively wrapping their bodies around Elliott. They licked him. They nosed him. They whined in anxious panic. They pawed gently at his unresponsive body.

The animals stood to attention when the two men arrived, then backed away slowly.

“We’re here now, little brothers,” said Tom Running Deer in a gentle voice. He waved his hand in a westerly direction. “Hurry home.”

Both animals bolted through the woods as if their tails were on fire.

“They didn’t eat him,” said Dan woodenly.

“No.”

“They… what were they doing?”

“Keeping him warm. Nosing him alive.”

“Why would they do that?” Dan shook his head in disbelief. “Predators don’t help the wounded.”

Tom Running Deer opened the steel trap pinning Elliott’s leg while Dan lifted the badly mangled appendage gingerly out of the metal vice.

“Who here is the predator?” asked Tom.