By CHRISTINE TAILER
Spring is the time for new life. Over the past two weeks, I have set out 24 styrofoam trays in our two float beds. By my reckoning, I have started about 4,472 herb and vegetable seeds.
This morning, when I went down to the lower field to feed and water the horses, I cautiously lifted the corner of the largest bed’s covering. I could not help but smile to see new green emerging from just about every cell, in every tray. The first two leaves of new spring life were easily unfurling from the damp starting medium and 4,472 new plants were delightfully springing to life.
The sun shone beautifully, and I decided that it was the perfect day to catch up on some laundry. I knew that the cabin’s batteries would be fully charged by the solar panels.
As I hung the last load of laundry, standing on the deck and pulling the line, so that the clothes danced their way out towards the windmill tower, I was struck by the sharp silhouette of the waving laundry shadows on the new green grass below. The wind blew gently and the clothes fluttered on the line like multi-colored flags.
Delightfully new grass, and freshly clean clothes. I smiled again.
Just as the line of clothes reached the windmill tower, my eye was drawn to the white juneberry tree that grows on the far side of the tower.
It was covered, every square inch, with bright white flowers. They seemed to have blossomed overnight. I walked out to the back side of the tower.
The breeze carried the light fruity scent of the white flowers to me. As I got closer I was able to see twenty or more of my honey bees gently flying from flower to flower, gathering the white pollen and light nectar. I could hear their soft buzzing.
I picked and smelled one of the new white flowers, from which my bees would make wonderfully new spring honey.
How could I help but smile? I moseyed over to the chicken coop and, one by one, opened the back doors to the nest boxes. No need to hunt for brightly colored eggs here at the creek.
I reached inside the eight boxes and retrieved eight freshly laid eggs, two blue, one green, three bright white, two dark speckled brown, and two a light beige.
“Delightful dining!” I thought to myself. New springtime egg abundance had finally arrived.
And then it occurred to me, the perfect photo opportunity for this particularly beautiful Sunday in late April. I set the eggs on the porch table.
I went up to rabbit row and asked which of the critters would like to be a part of my photo scheme. The white doe with black lined eyes blinked lazily at me.
I reached in and picked her up, holding her tail to her nose to keep her calm. I set her on the table, eggs surrounding her, and held her still with my right hand firmly placed over her hindquarters.
I maneuvered my smart phone, set to camera mode, with my left hand, into photo position. The doe jumped, the eggs rolled, but I somehow managed not to drop my phone, or lose the doe.
I gathered up the eggs and set them back around the doe as I gently stroked her back with my camera hand, still holding tightly onto her hindquarters. In time, her eyes fell shut and the tension left her body.
I reached for the phone and quickly took several blind photos before she opened her eyes and realized that this was an odd situation indeed, and she jumped again.
The eggs rolled, but I did not care. I had my photo.
I sat at the table with her, stroking her back and thanking her for her brief pose. The sun shone down warm around us.
The laundry blew gently on the line. The pigeons cooed from their gazebo, and the windmill blew against the clear blue sky.
New spring green surrounded us, new life rising from the damp creek earth, life for which I am particularly thankful, on this ever so special, springtime Sunday.
Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.