Tuesday, July 12, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 160


The green-headed coneflowers in the potager have come into bloom this week. They’re one of my favorite things there and I am so happy to see them. They’re as tall as I am! Sadly the ones I planted in the shade garden bed have not managed to do much because of bunnies and/or deer. They were lush and thick, about 1.5 feet tall earlier in the season and then they began to get eaten. By the time I got the protective cages for them they were eaten nearly to the ground. They are holding their own right now in the cages but that beautiful early growth isn’t happening again, so it may be that all I can do is keep them alive for next year and hope that I can keep the munchers away. 

We’ve had a lot of rain over the past week and everything got a very good watering. I need to get out and do some weeding and enjoying of the things that are nearing their bloom time. 

This week I’m mucking the front pasture while the herd is rotated off and spreading the manure along the inside of the front fence. I’m leaving fallen branches in that area and in the fall when leaves begin to drop I’m going to layer them up there and then put a layer of compost on top to keep them in place through the winter. I may put in a few service berry trees in along that long strip as the foundation plantings for that new bed that we’ll fence off from the nibbling herd. It will take me a few years to get this project completed, but the thing it does right now is give a break to the manure going back to the big grandpa compost pile. When you have horses and the daily dropping of manure, you have to find places to use it! 

It’s hard to believe it’s already July. This year has gone quickly for me. In spite of the heat and the biting insects and the allergies I have had this year, I’m enjoying the high season for the pollinators and all the plants they are visiting in huge numbers. 

Writing report - a nonfiction piece I wrote called Everything Is Connected was accepted for Minerva Rising’s 10th anniversary anthology this week. I’m so happy it found such a great home. And I have gotten to the end of my TV series pilot episode this week. I’ll be setting it aside to simmer for a few days while I work on a long short story that hasn’t found a home for a number of years. It’s almost too long to be a short story and many journals have loved it but not accepted it for publication. It’s too short to be a novella. But I decided to add to it and bring it fully into novella territory to see it finds a home in that genre. It’s been fun to work on again. Once I get it done, I’ll shift back to the pilot to work on a pitch deck. 

Right now on November Hill there’s a soft breeze blowing the rainbow colored panels of the Tibetan prayer flag hanging on the front porch, and the upper branches of the button bush are wafting in the wind too. The button bush is as busy as ever with many butterflies and bees. Beyond the porch and garden beds the farm is a wall of green right now thanks to the trees. The fluctuating buzz of cicadas, crickets, and tree frogs is nearly nonstop this time of year. It feels like we’re in the midst of a protected haven, and that’s a good feeling in this crazy world. 


Kathleen said...

Congratulations on Everything Is Connected for the Anthology! Your very full days sound exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I too love the lushness of this time of year despite the biting insects and humidity (most of the time).
Have a wonderful & productive week!

billie said...

Thanks! I have gotten better at stopping just short of exhaustion the past few years. Part of that is letting go of my desire to completely finish large tasks and also embracing that the exhilarating part happens when I view the chore/project time as a daily pleasure instead of the checking off of tasks with that larger goal of completion hovering overhead. Today I mucked the donkeys and pony’s paddock and then finished off the front pasture, spread that load, and hosed off the mower and spreader. That was only a part of what needs doing out there but the front field is now complete and I still had energy to assist husband in trimming Keil Bay’s hooves and giving the big bay a little spa time in the barn aisle. Now I’m showered and have some time for writing. :)