Today a bee flew onto my fingers as I was drinking tea in the winter sunshine. Now, I am not afraid of bees - I happily co-exist with them in the garden and they buzz past my ears as I prune the rosemary hedge or the lavender - BUT, I have never had one walk on me before. Well, not without me screeching and flinging it off. Today I held my breath and let the bee crawl in and out of my fingers. I think it was curious about the blue flowers on my mug. I watched its tiny, wiggly, furry body, its questing antennae, and waited gingerly for a sting. But there was no stinging, only tickling, then it flew away.
In a novel, that would be a metaphor for a newly awakened sense of trust in the universe. In my actual life I was tremendously proud of my bravery. I let a bee WALK on me.
Then I spent some time contemplating some seeds that have recently started appearing in my yard. This is the first year I have seen them. They are like tiny, perfect eyebrows. Someone, somewhere, has planted an eyebrow tree.
In other garden news, I have spent the week removing all traces of summer. Due to spring laziness, or as I prefer to call it, the Better Late Than Never school of gardening, I planted my spring garden in January, which is the equivalent of planting in July all you Northerners. Planted seeds, mind you. Anyway, due to my, ahem, scientific experimentation, I can now assure you that planting zucchini, beans, tomatoes and basil in the middle of summer will still provide a splendid crop, as long as you are willing to wait for food until late Autumn. Oh, and only if you plant close enough to the house to avoid frost. Only the cherry tomatoes will ripen, but the others will slowly ripen in the laundry, or even faster in the fruit bowl next to the bananas. So next year, maybe I will plant in Spring (fingers crossed) AND in Summer, when the new plants will take over from the spent Spring planting. I still have about a kilogram of cherry tomatoes on the kitchen bench (in JUNE!) and the very last Grosse Lisse. Last week I used the last fresh zucchini. So there you have it. Extending the season through sheer laziness.
Here are the skeletonised remains of the beans. The baby lettuces growing up underneath them? Last Winter's lettuces that I allowed to go to seed in the pots in spring. I love accidental gardening. This week I will cut the bean plants down at ground level rather than pulling them up, so I don't disturb the lettuce. Then I will plant snow peas between the lettuce babies. Also planted the garlic this week. It has to be in before the shortest day, to get enough time to bulb up nice and plump to harvest at Christmas. So I just squeaked in.
More lovely garden goodness this week - I picked a load of apples from our trees. The leaves are nearly all gone, and the remaining apples are like baubles on a Christmas tree. I kindly share them with the birds. Wattle birds hanging upside down to peck at the apples in the tip-top branches of the apple trees make me and the cats very happy. The birds are framed beautifully in our second-storey front windows; I call it cat TV. Anyway, a week's worth of stewed apple. Yum. Such sweet apples, they didn't need sugar, just cinnamon.
And a friend came for morning tea bringing her home grown limes and mandarins. The mandarins were wonderful, tart-sweet, not bland like the bought ones. I will be impatiently waiting for another year before I have any mandarins, but there are oranges on my trees that I am keeping my beady, greedy eyes on. Not long to wait now.. faith is the substance of things hoped for.. I have great faith in you, my oranges.
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (12). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much..