Summer night

This morning was my first chance in awhile to sit down at my desk and draw. There was a short list of things I should be doing, but doing what one wants always seems like a better idea to me. Without a ready idea in my mind, I checked in at Illustration Friday for inspiration... This is for their Space theme.


Home and away

I spent nine days away, visiting my parents in Vermont. I have not been to the countryside much this season, so when I am there, I breathe deep and smell the summer I grew up with: haying, jewel weed and cool creek. I worked on an illustration project with my dad, planted a wild meadow driveway border with my mom, and enjoyed cocktail hour with them both under the apple tree each evening. I miss them since they've moved away, and a long week of time spent together was good for my soul. Matt joined me for the last few days. We camped, explored, picked chanterelles...

Back at home, we celebrated our first anniversary, beginning with Matt's amazing sour cherry waffles and ending with an evening on the back porch, beyond which lilies are blooming, elders are berrying, and all the unseen inner workings of soil and garden are bumping along. I am fortunate, so fortunate, to love and be loved. Thank you, Matt, for taking the slow trail, and spying cranberry blossoms, wood nymphs, and warbler nests with me. I want to grow old finding treasure together.



The bakery is two-steps-down from the outside, and when we gutted that floor of the house, we replaced the back door with one that has a window. I am always surprised by this view of the garden... sometimes things look a whole lot better with a slight adjustment of perspective.


At home

It's been nice being home this spring, close to my own garden, instead of in someone else's. I've planted things on time, and kept up with strawberry picking. My truck worked for about two hours this week, and it just so happened that my woodchuck was caught in the hav-a-hart trap right in the middle of those two hours, so he and I were able to take a little drive together.

Matt and I have made elderberry cordial, and then made it again, the second time with the flowers from a schoolyard Sambucus canadensis instead of Sambucus nigra. The canadensis batch tastes like insanely sweet lemonade, while the nigra batch tastes like ambrosial nectar that fairies concocted. Do you think this has to do with the species?

We also made cream cheese for the first time, and we've foraged dryad's saddle and oyster mushrooms, which we ate, and Ganoderma tsugae, which we dried to brew medicinal teas with. I've hiked up on the ridge, to the Big Puddle, and watched Toad Wars - which involves toads, croaks, and wrestling - whenever I've felt like it. Along with having more time to work on art, these are the things I was really looking forward to when I closed my business, and for now, I'm soaking up every minute.


Rosebush cottage

Rosebush Cottage was the old chicken coop my mom played in as a child. This rose grew in its windows... Or at least that is the story I remember. The rose disappeared into the brush surrounding my grandparents' house for many years, and was presumed dead, or simply forgotten, until one summer it fought its way to the edge and stuck an arm out. I spied it, and I said are YOU Rosebush Cottage?!, and I smelled it (citrus and spice), and I knew it had to be. I planted a piece in The Thicket, at my house.

My friend Rosie came to visit, and sniffed this rose, and said, that is an old rose, a real rose, from a grandmother's garden. And so it is, or close enough: from a grandmother's woods.