28 May 2014

junkyard musing

Edit: this whole time, I have thought the forest and junkyard were established by my grandfather while my mother was young. I just found out today that it was my GREAT grandfather; and it was my GRAND mother who was the young girl. How much grander is that!

On Monday, it was raining. I was out running the dogs, taking my usual walk up and around the forest. Lazily, enjoying the rich damp smell, I decided to go in and check the flower beds. Because of the rain, everything was very wet and silent and still, and all the vegetation was brilliantly green. The mosses growing over the dead leaves and rotting logs was vivid. Almost impulsively, I went over and gathered some: I was thinking about K's terrariums. 

Despite always having admired the idea of terrariums, the thought of starting my own had never crossed my mind until I started dating the terrarium aficionado that is K. He has three flourishing in his bedroom: a smallish growler, a sideways wine bottle, and a lightbulb. They are lovely and fantastic, so when I saw the lush moss brightly contrasted against the forest floor, I couldn't help myself. I only realized after gathering a large handful that I would need a glass bottle before I could proceed any further. Then I remembered the junkyard. 

Buried in layers of rose and raspberry bushes and punctuated by chokecherry trunks, the junkyard my great grandfather established before my grandma was born has stood untouched since my last proper visit, ten years ago. Everything that was old back then is even older. I remembered it differently: more abundant, more mysterious, less as a scourge on the environment--less of a junkyard, really. My young mind looked at it as a treasure trove, something exciting and secret: there was nothing to worry about concerning morality or danger, it was merely something to explore. I remember imagining that I would find something really valuable, then dream up all the things I would buy with my new riches.

Stepping carefully around anything that resembled broken glass or sharp rusty metal, a practice reminiscent of days long past, I elbowed through the branches in search of anything with terrarium promise. I found the bottom part of an oil lamp (unfortunately the glass part was broken), parts of a car and stove, a chicken feeder, vodka and ketchup bottles, a huge rusty and mossy barrel, rusty metal kegs, rolls of chicken wire, fully rusted tin cans, numerous teal plastic containers, and--my adventure's goal--varieties of glass jars.

After gathering a small but successful yield, I departed. I didn't stay for hours of further adventuring; I didn't double-check the inside of every tin can for lost treasure. When I left, I left any mystery that may have still surrounded the old junkyard behind. I have grown up. I no longer play all day in old forests in search of potential riches. I no longer see huge heaps of rotting tin as the houses of magical forest creatures. As the tragedy of adulthood would enforce, everything has become plainly exposed for what it really is. The forest is just a bundle of old trees, the junkyard is just some overgrown old junk. It was sad to feel the nostalgic wonder fade into drab reality as a scrambled into the clearing and made for home with my armful of bottles.

But, perhaps, one man's junk is still another man's treasure? Perhaps the fact that I even bothered to return to the junkyard demonstrates that there is still a little childish wonder left in me. Maybe these old fantasies don't have to die? Maybe they just transfer into the desire to watch a little moss take over an old beer bottle...

25 May 2014

the forest beds

Last week, K and I planted pansies and wildflowers in the forest behind my house, next to the wild pansies already growing there. It's given us a reason to visit the forest more often. It smells so lovely. No sprouts yet!

21 May 2014

cherry bee

I found this little guy bumbling through the cherry blossoms this morning. It was peaceful, lovely, and happy to watch. My day already feels more bright. Thank you, bee.

20 May 2014

growing things

Ah, summer. It is upon us!

The tantalizing but inconsistent spring has at last given way to a relatively constant temperature and no more threats of snow. It is possible to lay out in the sun with a book. The mosquito larvae in the swamp has hatched. Camping plans are in the works.

There are so many things to look forward too! A few weeks ago, I found a clutch of tadpole eggs in a ditch, and they have since hatched and reached a centimeter in length. The little black dots suspended in jelly uncoiled themselves into wriggling blobs with tails; little prokaryote-like things. I've changed out the water a handful of times, watching for the knobs that will become legs to appear.

Ivy likes to search for froggies, too.

And there are other growing projects. K and I planted three small garden beds in the forest. One rhubard, one pansy, and one wildflower mixture. We've been watering them with two old buckets found in a pile of junk that must have been dumped there decades ago. My forest seems so full of curiosities--no wonder I found it magical as a child.

As well, my mother decided to purchase a batch of painted lady caterpillars for the butterfly garden she plans to set up this year. They have been fattening daily.

In short, dears, there is a lot going on in the life of Laura, and it's wonderful. She will be posting pictures of these tiny lives as they grow. Life is exciting and full of growth and light. Happy May!
Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires, the wires away 

Arcade Fire