Saturday, May 31, 2014

Time for gardening, baby animals, and the birds are back!

The green has returned!!  My front yard gardening is going to be different this year. In the past  I gathered my annual flowers from various green houses whenever I had spare money from whatever errand I was running. I liked to tell myself that the $100 invested was worth the beauty of watching my "flower painting" grow over the summer.

This year will be different. With the news of the possibility of neonicitinoid treated flowers sold at big box retailers, and the connection with these pesticides  to the decline of bee colonies, I decided to concentrate on my perennials, and put vegetables and herbs in my front yard planters this year.   I will search out organics, and try to be more vigilant in my seed saving.  The humming birds have returned and are feasting on the nectar of the wild Columbine.  There is a planting of tall Russel Lupine, and a nice border of Wild Plantain, not only providing a nice border, but a good remedy for burns and bug bites. Other wild medicinals in there are Yarrow, nettle, and catnip.  The Grandpa Ott morning glories are waiting to climb over all of the Staghorn Sumac, also a medicinal, and source of a tea high in vitamin C. 

Out in back, in the barnyard, I have one litter of bunnies, several setting hens,  and my lambs are growing like the weeds and grass they dine on.
But the biggest thrill this spring, the one that makes my heart leap for joy, is the return of my friends, the Barn Swallows.    It's been about three or four years since I have had these playful darters swooping around me as I work out in the yard with my animals. I can't think of another bird that I share such a connection with, or that seem to "talk" back to me .   Several years ago, the nests seemed to fail,  I found babies on the floor of the barn.  Something seemed to be messing with their nests. We still had tree swallows that visited the yard from their woodland nests, but my cheerful Barn Swallows were painfully absent.  Until NOW!!  There are several pair back and building nests, and I am just delighted to see them again.
So yay for Spring in Minnesota!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Well I had a fall post, and this I will call my spring post. in between ...

Yeah a lot of white.  It's been an old fashioned winter of glorious proportion, and April 1st is kicking off with a joke from Mother nature, snow flurries.  I sit hunched by my bright light, sorting out my tasks for the day.
The highlight of my winter was a workshop I put on last weekend for fiddlers, and a concert the same evening.   Our guest artist was Brian Wicklund and I had a great turn out for both the workshops and the concert later that evening with Brian and guitarist Mike Cramer.
The old Coin School was the perfect classroom
I ran the whole thing myself, and it wasn't hard until the very end. I will know what to delegate next time so I can better participate in the workshop.  Tired as I was from it all it just filled my heart with joy to see musicians from all walks of life and every age from 8 to( almost) 80 getting together and learning new ways to play.  The concert was superb, I had never seen Mike Cramer before and he created a stellar performance with Brian.  

One of the resources that was instrumental in my publicity for the event was KBEK the radio station in our area.  They so generously gave away tickets for the concert for three days prior to the event and gave me invaluable coverage in the area.  Today I found on my Facebook feed that KBEK  is off the air.   My heart is very heavy, and I really hope that they are able to reorganize and bring back our live and local radio.  My daughter worked there as a DJ when she was in High School.   I was so excited for her, she was living a dream of mine, I have always been a radio junkie. KBEK was the last of a breed of radio station that was not fed from some tower in colorado somewhere with a disconnected voice popping in and breaking up the music and advertising. 

I really liked the immediacy of a live DJ on the air when it came to weather emergencies, winter and summer, school and activity closings, area events, local news, the station is a big part of our community and radio listeners here can consider themselves a part of the evolving history of radio as we see the passing of our live and local station.  Whatever happens, I hope it is the best for all involved at the station.