Saturday, May 22, 2010

Snowballs in Spring

These two photos were taken a few weeks ago during a small stretch of dry weather. They are some of the flowers from my Chinese snowball bush (otherwise known as Viburnum macrocephalum 'sterile') which I adore. I got the plant several years ago and it has grown into a nice little tree/bush that produces dozens of these large, white flower clusters every year in early spring. They start out lime green and gradually change to white and are beautiful to look at but do not produce any noticeable fragrance.

Speaking of spring, it has - technically - arrived. Practically speaking, however, it might just as well be winter. We have had rain nearly every day for the last two weeks or so. And not just sprinkling rain but downpours that produce sheets of rain and turn what used to be our gutter into a lovely water feature. We have always wanted a waterfall in our garden, although this is not exactly what I had in mind. Just about the only creatures on the Unfarm who don't mind the rain is the ducks. They are frequently seen sitting in their pools in the middle of a rainstorm when all the other animals: dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and humans, take shelter. The rabbits, I should mention, don't actually take shelter so much as simply do not go out in this weather. They hang out inside unless the weather is over 70 degrees, at which point I permit them to go out on the deck or in their secured run.

The chickens, the only animals that do not regularly come inside, frequently sit under the redwood when it rains as it is one of the only dry places in the entire yard. So there they sit, looking out at the rain with miserable expressions on their little faces, plotting a way to hitchhike south to drier climates.

Ordinarily, rain of this volume would result in multiple accidents in the dining room due to Buddy's refusal to go out in any kind of wet weather, but I am happy to report that he seems to have - finally! - realized that going to the bathroom outside is not, in fact, an optional thing, to be done only when the weather is nice enough. He is, it would seem, finally learning the rules. (Knock on wood.)

I can only hope that there is an end to this rain so that the ground will dry out enough for me to be able to weed the garden before my dad gets too restless and decides to take a weed wacker to the entire front yard. In fact, I had a nightmare last week that my dad had gone out into the garden and pruned all the roses until they were mere stumps in the ground. This dream was made especially scary by the fact that he has done this before. We have a lovely climbing rose - an older variety that we rescued from my great grandmother's garden that actually climbs, as opposed to the (rather pitiful) climbing roses you seem to find nowadays - and my father chopped it back to the ground because it was getting "too leggy." Fortunately it made a comeback and is now climbing all over a large portion of the dog run fence, providing plenty of habitat for the various wild birds that visit our garden and producing a multitude of gorgeous white flowers in summer. Should summer ever deem to make an appearance.

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