May Day

Tra la, it's May, the lusty month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it's here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear

It's May, it's May, that gorgeous holiday
When every maiden prays that her lad will be a cad
It's mad, it's gay, a libelous display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes, the lusty month of May

-Lerner and Loewe, Camelot

May 1st, Sugarloaf Open Space, Walnut Creek, CA

I don't know if I feel quite like THAT during May (though maybe I'd like to!), but this month does seem fresh and bursting with life and full of possibilities. (If May DOES make you feel like that, perhaps this event is for you! World Naked Gardening Day.) The wilting heat of summer is yet to come, there is still green in the hills, and wildlife abounds.

Speaking of abounding wildlife, we are having serious continuing issues with the deer. So, near the top of our list this weekend is to start our fence-raising project. The list, you say? What list is that? Why, it's the list that I start on Monday and add to all week long, until by the time Friday night comes around, I'm confident it won't all get done over the weekend. Somehow it always does. See, we really are weekend hobby farmers - almost nothing happens in the yard over the working week. Spot watering, yes, sporadic weeding, yes, an occasional digging in of a plant, yes. But nothing substantial, that is all saved for the weekend. We're just too busy with work, school, and kid activities. And this weekend, I'm going to be gone for a day, and that's stressful, because we have so much to accomplish in such a short time.

Here's this week's list of projects for the weekend.

Notice the lack of a nap on this list. :)

Last night, I cut off the largest artichoke and we all shared it! The smell coming off it right after I cut it off was heavenly, and it tasted pretty good, despite my mistakes during cooking. (I thought that since it was fresh, it would cook faster. No.)

All the seedlings are coming up - corn, beans, squash, collards, romaine, collards - it's the miracle of gardening. I never get tired of this wonderful surprise, that life begins from a tiny seed, so small you think it will never sprout.

It's hot, though - 91 today. The hot weather brings other surprises. At work each day, we take a walk with the kids. Many of them like to walk off to the side of the path, through the weeds. Earlier this week, the child I was walking with bent down in the weeds to pick up a stick and a movement caught my eye - a four foot long snake slithered away from us and stopped about a foot away. Not shy at all, and definitely not a rattlesnake, I stopped to take a picture, which was difficult because I was wrangling kids. Not the best shot.

Just his head and neck

I thought it was probably a gopher snake, and Gary at California Herps agreed with me when I consulted him. This was an exciting find for me, but I think it freaked out the other teachers. It also makes us realize that we need to be more careful with the kids walking in the weeds!

May also brings flowers on the buckeye trees, spotted all along paths and woods.

The blooms are actually poisonous to honeybees, and we have one in our yard that I planted years ago. It's only gotten about three feet tall, and the deer eat the leaves constantly, so I won't mind removing it. (That's on the list!) But they sure are gorgeous in the wild.

Farm Tour tickets are selling, and we hope very much that you can come be a part of it.

Catch you on the flip side of the weekend, and when I do, we'll see if everything on the list got done.