Monday, June 15, 2015

A meadow properly reclaimed

I want to start today's posting with a shout out of "thanks" to Abrahamson Nursery. The "snowsweet" apple tree that was planted as a father's day present almost two years ago, suffered terminal damage this Spring. Abrahamson honored their plant guarantee and provide us a replacement tree that the Daughter Person and the SIL (that's short for Son-in-Law) planted yesterday.

Off and on since we bought this property, I've felt a compulsion to "do something" with it. Then, last year, after all the rain we had, and several years of benign neglect, the property seemed to come into its own. Here's what it looked like a year ago.

sand plain meadow wildflowers
sand plain meadow wildflowers
Photo by J. Harrington

That's about as pretty a picture as I could ask for. Beauty has a value that I'm slowly learning is as critical to a balanced life as is production. Our little piece of Anoka sand plain, given enough rains, produces wildflowers and beauty without any real effort on my part. The work and the problems arise when I try to turn the property into something it isn't. I'd rather watch whitetails and turkeys than wrangle goats or sheep. The meadow doesn't have to be turned into a pasture.There's still too much buckthorn to be pulled, and I'd like to find a use for an excess of cedar trees; the SIL is hoping to created a small black walnut plantation (I suspect whitetails enjoy black walnut seedlings), but all in all, I think I've reached a point where I'm satisfied to sit back and see what happens next. Except for pocket gophers, trash middens (all cleaned up now?) left by former occupants, and poison ivy, most of the surprises around the property have been pleasant ones.  If I work at it a little more, I might be able to overcome years and years of exposure to advertising designed to make me chronically dissatisfied with what I have so I can try for happiness by buying more, bigger and better. Aren't we all starting to learn that madness lies in that direction? I hope so!

Planting the Meadow

By Mary Makofske 
I leave the formal garden of schedules
where hours hedge me, clip the errant sprigs
of thought, and day after day, a boxwood
topiary hunt chases a green fox
never caught. No voice calls me to order
as I enter a dream of meadow, kneel
to earth and, moving east to west, second
the motion only of the sun. I plant
frail seedlings in the unplowed field, trusting
the wildness hidden in their hearts. Spring light
sprawls across false indigo and hyssop,
daisies, flax. Clouds form, dissolve, withhold
or promise rain. In time, outside of time,
the unkempt afternoons fill up with flowers.

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