Friday, May 01, 2020

Five on Friday: Paying Attention

I did a quick reconnaissance of the garden this morning - there is so much growth just now - and the Mountain Cornflowers are having their heyday. I'll let them go, but they are crowding other plants, like the roses, and will have to be severely pulled back soon. They self-seed, so I know I'll see them again in a few weeks. I love them because of their feathery blue petals and that entrancing and precise webbing on the calyx. 

We often walk in the evenings, especially now with the light lingering until almost 9 pm. As we arrived home in the gloaming recently, we noticed a small greenish bird hopping in the front flower bed. I had never seen such a bird before and tried to take a few photos with my phone. The bird hopped furiously, trying to stay ahead of me (and succeeding), and finally disappeared into the lavender, but not before we saw a very orange tuft sprouting from his head, as if he were having a very bad hair day. 

I looked in my trusty bird book and identified him as an Orange-Crowned Warbler. That orange tuft ruffles up when the bird is flustered. I did a quick watercolour sketch later. The birds apparently nest on the ground and I wonder if there is a nest in the lavender. 

The first radishes. Aren't they lovely. It always amazes me that from tiny black seeds come these gorgeous red and white edibles. I've been snacking on them lately, and there are plenty more to come. Radish greens are edible, but can be strong-tasting. I'm planning to make some radish leaf pesto and see how that tastes. 

I baked bread yesterday. The angle of the photo is not by chance - there are two slices missing from the loaf in the back. Eating that first crusty slice of freshly baked bread with butter is such a treat. Tim adds a little honey to his slice. 

We followed the rainbow on last night's walk. It was ahead of us all the way, and at one point Tim noticed the other end curving over houses and trees just behind us. How beautiful the world is. Spring has never been my favourite season - too capricious for me - but this year I am delighting in it. April, in spite of the world situation, has been filled with sunny days and little rain that has made the earth sprout such amazing and colourful growth. I just can't get enough of it. 

Now the lilacs begin. Such a delicate, haunting scent, evocative of simple homes and homesteads in remote prairies or clearings where women of long ago planted a lilac bush beside the door, something pretty in a hard existence. Now the homes are abandoned, disintegrating into the ground, but often the lilac remains, a silent memory of times past. 

Other things are growing in my garden. I will need to provide support for the snap peas soon; the upright poles are in place for me to add the string. Beets and spinach finally decided to make an appearance, along with another seeding of lettuce. In the house my tomato seedlings are coming along well. The strawberries are blooming their little hearts out and we look forward to fresh sweet berries in a few weeks. 

Rain will fall over the weekend, so garden time might be spotty or not happen at all. If so, I'll sew, or read, or stitch. There are no grand plans for the weekend, and each day slips quietly by. Are you settling into this quiet life as I am? My mood varies, but I am mostly content. Is your garden delighting you? Oh dear, this is more than Five for this Friday. I lost count awhile back. I'll do better next time.

Take care, stay well. 


  1. I am like you settling in to this new way of life - I know we are lucky to have the space and a garden and the woods adjoining I might be less content if I lived in a tiny high rise flat somewhere! But like you the garden and wood continue to delight those who keep their eyes open I came across a few tiny violets in the wood along with the odd clump of blue bells and in the garden the lily of the valley are in bloom for the 1st day of May which is celebrated in France when my neighbour brought me a little posy of them from her garden each May. Yes definitely slowing down here and noticing how wonderful Nature is.

  2. Radishes, strawberries and lilacs blooming? One more time, your spring looks like our summer. :) A lovely, soothing post.
    You wrote about old, abandoned houses. They, and their long-forgotten gardens, are at the same time very sad and utterly fascinating places. All those dreams of people building their homes long time ago... Often there are garden treasures growing there. But I never break in. :)
    Happy gardening! Stay safe!

  3. Beautiful post, Lorrie. I too have been struck by the beauty of early spring this year. Oh, we have a long way to go; we are nowhere near having lilacs bloom, for example -- but daffodils abound and the forsythia is beginning to bloom. All reminders of the faithfulness of God and the intricacy of His creation. And that rainbow was a special blessing!

  4. What a pretty bird!
    Your evening walks offer up so many beautiful things to enjoy...the weather has been very mild this week although a wee bit breezy here near the Salish Sea.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend Lorrie.

  5. Like you we are settling into this isolating and quiet life and making the most of it. The bread does look delicious, like you we are always temped as soon as it comes out of the oven. Such an upbeat post with lots to admire, I loved your painting of the bird. Take care.

  6. There are so many beautiful flowers right now! It seems to me that the blue and violet flowers (my favourites) bloom in April/May.
    The weather is variable so we can just take it as it comes. Your bird painting is pretty. Enjoy the weekend!

  7. We are so very thankful for a garden. There are people living in high rise flats, with children, and I cant imagine how hard it must be at this time. To go out into my garden and greet a new little shoot, or tie up a wandering stem, gives me joy. I dont know how it would have been without that space.

  8. I'm mostly content, too. The only thing that weighs on my mind if I let it is not being able to hug the grands. The key is what I let weigh on my mind. Fun sketch of the bird you saw. Our outdoor spaces are getting more green and lush each day. So many weeds to look after. Have a nice weekend and Happy May Day to you!

  9. Your garden certainly is lovely. Happy Friday, I have to say I am enjoying this enforced home time.

  10. What a lovely post. From flowers to bread to birds, it just kept on getting better. Lilacs bring back memories of my childhood home. we had a long hedge of lilacs on two sides of the yard and they filled the whole yard with fragrance .

  11. Lovely radishes, sketch and all your photos. Radish leaf pesto sounds good.
    Spring this year does feel better than last year.
    The radishes I planted sprouted a couple of days ago in a cut in half gallon jug. It is still chilly here.

  12. Your radishes have such a unique shape and look beautiful as can be! And I say pass the honey!!

  13. Walks lift my spirits much like you! Your watercolor is super, Lorrie. Have you ben painting long? Years ago I picked up where I left off, with sketching as well...then stoped again. Should I say pause?!

    Please share what you do with your radishes. I can't resist their color and stems. I have a bunch now for a recipe but will have more left over.

    Stay safe.

    Jane ❤️

  14. It is almost as if nature, knowing that we all need something uplifting in our lives at the moment, has put on an extra special show for us. I love the cornflowers we have some here and they have been moved often but still bounce back. Lilac is another favourite as the colour and scent remind me of a huge tree we had at home when I was a child. Your painting of the little bird is lovely and both radishes and bread look delicious:)

  15. Dear Lorrie,
    Cornflowers are also one of my favorite flowers. One can see the radiant blue from far away. Yes they self seed but I don't mind. Only daffodils are blooming in my garden. I love how you describe the way lilacs still bloom in forgotten gardens and surrounds and near abandoned homes. Even though our house is new we have two lilac bushes that are more than a hundred year old. They still have the most delicious fragrance..

  16. A perfect post to read dear Lorrie - thank you for sharing so much beauty. You are a lovely artist too - surprises such as a new bird in the garden are always exciting - and I've never seen that particular one, so pretty. We have a new rabbit family this week - parents and a young'un - sadly they are chewing on my tomato leaves - but then that's nature - and they are pretty to watch early evening when we sit on the front porch.
    Yes, this spring is certainly different in so many ways - and personally it's the loveliest I can can recall since moving south so many years ago!
    Mary x

  17. I’m loving spring this year, too. So many lovely things blooming, birds nesting, trees leafing.

    Your photos are lovely and that bird is one I’ve never seen either.

  18. "No grand plans" about sums things up for the moment. 😊 I hope that you are having a very pleasant weekend no matter the weather. That purple Columbine is gorgeous. I see the lilacs are blooming...the leaves on my lilacs have just popped and I can see the promise of a few buds this year in spite of my pruning them badly last.

  19. Your Columbine is so lovely . We are weeks from flowers there, i think. But they are having a good leafy showing since planting from seed 2 years ago. I forgot the question. My lilacs will bloom in another week I'd say . It is glorious out. The sun is wonderful yesterday and today. Rain on the way we hear. 50s not 0s . I am okay with all of this but i am really trying to help a family member right now. Good thoughts appreciated!!! Its so hard to be away from someone who is struggling.

  20. So much spring loveliness! and fresh bread too!
    your flowers and the rainbow would just make my heart sing.

  21. Spring has been just beautiful this year! Or maybe I have just taken more note of all the beauty this year. I would pull out my camera to document a bird or bloom that crossed my path...but would never be able to sketch it. Good job! The sun is shining and it is beautiful out there today, so I plan to get outside. You almost have me tempted to bake bread though!

  22. What a great rainbow shot!

    The rainbow has become a symbol of hope during the pandemic.

  23. Those radishes look delicious and the lilac is wonderful.
    All great photographs.

    We have been enjoying some lovely spring weather and getting out for our exercise that we are currently allowed in the Covid 19 situation.

    Take care.

    All the best Jan


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