Saturday, 20 June 2020

Time Travel

Ottawa South is in the throws of a sizzling hot spell and prolonged drought. No appreciable rain has fallen here for months. Lawns are brown and crispy. My vegetable garden is pretty much a write-off -- with the exception of my tomato plants which I keep watered.

Despite the harsh conditions, my late mother's peonies are now in full and sumptuous bloom. Their bouquets are short lived but transform even a modest home in to a palace. As I bury my nose down into the blooms and inhale their delicate rosy fragrance, my mind time-travels back to my childhood. I hear metal clinking on metal as my father tinkers with some repair or other in the barn. I hear a cow bawl for her calf. In the distance a neighbour's dog barks. Barn swallows twitter and swoop to their mud nests in the tractor shed rafters. Uh-oh, I hear a familiar call from the house. "Flow-w-rinse. Florence!" Mom has a chore for me. Quickly back to 2020 reality.


Fresh bouquets of peonies grace my kitchen window sill. Thank you, Mom.


The white ones are my favourites.

The wonderful fragrance of this pink peony would rival any rose.


I can picture this magenta beauty pinned to a lady's frock at a garden party.


An evening or so ago, cat roomy Ellie May called my attention to an interesting scene. Jenny Skunk was spending considerable time and care in gathering up grass cuttings in front of my little garden shed. She was rolling the dried grass into a bundle with her body and tamping it into place to close up the entrance to her den. She's apparently starting a nursery and wants to keep it's location a secret.

Remember the old saying, "About as welcome as a skunk in a chicken house."? Well, times have changed. Mom used to raise chickens in that little building and I now enjoy having this mother skunk around.  Baby skunks are simply adorable and Jenny and I are on good terms.

The small cut out between door and window was for a chicken ramp.


Jenny Skunk used dried grass to reduce the entrance to her den under the building.
 

7 comments:

  1. It seems like just weeks ago your homestead was covered in snow--hard to believe you're now in a drought! But the flowers are really lovely, and I enjoyed hearing about Jenny--very hospitable of you, Florence. So is this where you grew up?

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    1. Yes, Doug, this is indeed where I grew up. And now, after living in city apartments during my working years, I'm privileged to spend my retirement at our good old family farm. The flowers my mother planted almost a century ago still bloom as lovely as ever. Who said "You can never go home again?"

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    2. My gosh Florence, that's wonderful. Love it.

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  2. That is so amazing!The peonies are gorgeous. I have some, but haven't brought any in. I think hubby is fighting pollen.
    We have a drought, as well. The lawn looks as if it is August. sigh.

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    1. I think your area actually got a decent rain a couple of weeks back. Missed us but for a few drops. (double sigh)

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  3. Oh my, you have made me a peony fan. They are just beautiful. I checked and they do grow here. Now it is up to me.
    So glad you and Jenny are on good terms. Hope you can get a shot of the babies.

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    1. I do hope you add a peony bush or two to your flower beds, Patti. They certainly are show stoppers! I believe Mom was given the tubers by neighbours of long ago. I'll try my best get daylight photos of Jenny's babies when they toddle out. Peonies and skunks. Two very different aromas.

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