A Good Home, Maples, Nature, Poetry, Spring, Trees

In Praise of Trees

Blog Photo - Apple Tree and others

The apple blossoms soon will bloom

The lilac fragrance fill my room

Leaf buds will open on large trees

Gardeners will fall upon their knees


Blog Photo - Tree and Shady Garden

Bring forth your green, oh maple grand

Welcome the spring across the land

Whisper to me through rustling leaf

And I shall sigh with great relief

Blog Photo - Trees Woman hugs tree

Bring back your shelter, copper beech

With arms that dare to heaven reach

Bring back your green leaves, walnut friend

And cleanse the air, our bodies mend

Blog Photo - Ebor House back lawn

Give us your shade, oh mighty beings

Cover our spaces with your wings

Shade so the grass becomes a bed

Shade for the place where lies our dead

Blog Photo - Trees and Memorial Stone

Shade for the robin, perched on limb

Nest for the bugs that pester him

Blog Photo - Bird Scratches self For trees are gifts to creatures all

From those who walk to those who crawl.

~~

Dedicated to all my blogger friends.

A Good Home, Animals, Art, Artist, Country Living, Farm house, Garden, Gardening, Gardens and Wildlife, Home, Life in canada, Nature Paintings, Rabbits, Spring, Wild Rabbits, Wildlife, Winter

It’s A Wild Life

It is a truth universally suspected that a family in possession of a wildlife painting must be in need of some wildlife.

**

Years ago, my husband’s family had a farm and he and I became custodians of it. The farm was on a hilltop so we cleverly named it Hill Top.

Husband, children and I summered and weekend-ed there. I loved that farm and wanted a name sign for our front gate.  So my husband commissioned a local artist to make one for my birthday.  Author-illustrator Beatrix Potter – she of Peter Rabbit fame and a farmhouse named Hill Top — came to mind.

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting wide shot

The moment that sign went up, Peter Rabbit, his parents and all their friends took up residence in our gardens.

They ate us out of home and land. As soon as we planted vegetables, herbs and flowers, they ate them.  There was soya and wheat growing in the fields. But why travel so far, when there’s good stuff nearby?

My husband couldn’t bring himself to hurt them — not with that sign out front. So there we were, hoist on our own petard.

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting Mushrooms

When our family moved to another home, there were no rabbits — we thought.

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting Mushrooms2

And then two auspicious things happened:

We visited the old farmhouse.  Our daughter noticed that the new owners had removed the Hill Top sign and begged them to give it back. They graciously agreed.

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting CU of Rabbit Face

Soon after, our resident red fox – a predator of rabbits — upped and died. It might have been the sight of the sign that did it.  But there was his carcass, lying across our stream.

It took gallons of expensive fox urine to protect our gardens that year. (If you want to learn more about that inauspicious episode, you’ll have to read my next book.)

And now?

Years after moving to our current farmhouse, we’re besieged by wild rabbits — again. Squirrels too, but they don’t eat shrubs, herbs,  flowers and vegetables.

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting Squirrel

Last winter, the rabbits were so starved for food that they ate all my clematis vines, plus the barks of several tender young trees and shrubs.

My husband did a very manly thing: he shouted at them.  The rabbits ran  — and immediately returned.

We decided to sympathize. Wild rabbits, too, have to eat.

But soon it was spring — time to plant vegetables.

Husband decided the rabbits should be moved to a nearby nature park.  He set a humane trap filled with things that Beatrix Potter said wild rabbits love: carrots and lettuce and cabbages. But we might as well have posted a sign saying: “This is a rabbit trap.”

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting Medium CU

Truth is, these particular rabbits mostly eat grass and clover so far this spring.

Blog Photo - Rabbit cleans self

Truth is, our daughter has named them Fred and Penelope. (At least, she thinks there are only two. But where there are two, there are — or soon will be — a dozen.)

Blog Photo - Rabbit thinks he's hiding

And truth is, my husband has put the sign up again.

Methinks it’s a sign of surrender.

Blog Photo - Rabbit Painting CU of Rabbit Face

 Photos by Hamlin Grange.

A Good Home, Clothing, Fashion, Rain, Shoes, Spring

Stiletto Heels

As we stepped out into the rain

I looked down at the ground again

And saw her thin stiletto heels

And thoughts went round my mind like wheels

*

“Spring rain!” I smiled, instead of what

My mind thought, which was: “Id-i-ot!

As she walked dainty by my side

And went on out to catch a ride

*

Image via shopflyjane.com
Image via shopflyjane.com

*

She grumped and sighed and made a pout

At weather we’d been warned about

She looked down at her thin wee dress

About to turn a soggy mess

*

She looked down at her silly heels

That would have paid for many meals

And turned to me and fussed again

And said a rude thing ‘bout the rain

Thanks to: publicdomainpictures.net
Thanks to: publicdomainpictures.net

Perhaps my thoughts would have been kind

If she’d been humbler in her mind

About the wind and rain we faced

Instead of acting so disgraced

*

If she’d admitted her sheer folly

For dressing up like some vain dolly

This day when all the forecasts said

Take care outside or stay in bed

*

Thanks to: blog.creativethink.com
Thanks to: blog.creativethink.com

But as I stopped and hit “rewind”

The thought that came into my mind

Was that I should have been more bold

And said: “It’s spring! Expect the cold

*

“Expect the wind and rain and fog

And dress for it; you’re just a cog

In Nature’s wheel, so take a pill

And dress yourself to meet the chill!”

*

Image via: dailyregiment.blogspot.ca
Image thanks to: dailyregiment.blogspot.ca

But then I had an awful thought:

Were there times when I too had bought

Such crazy stuff to wear outside

And then blamed weather, not my pride?

*

Back when I had more cash than brain

Did I throw money down the drain

On things that mattered not a whit

Back then – was I, too, such a twit?

*

Back when I was a TV “star”

And thought that I had come so far

And had to look and dress the part

So this would set me well apart?

*

I felt a twinge of something then

At how judgmental I had been

How quick I’d been to so opine!

And took “some water with my wine”.

**

A Good Home, Canada, Canadian Wine, Canadians, Flowers, Garden, Gardening, Gratitude, Home, Homes, Life in canada, Lifestyle, Poem, Spring, Spring Bulbs, Storms, The weather, Tulips, Wine, Words

A Fine Canadian Whine

That funny sound across the land

Is not the geese in flying band

That sound across this country mine

Is just a fine Canadian whine

*

Photo by Hamlin Grange
Photos by Hamlin Grange ©

We whine and whine about our weather

Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter,

We whine at snow, heat, fog and rain

We whine, we carp and we complain

*

“Winter is hell”, we cried and said

(Forgetting hell is hot and red)

“Come Spring, come soon, or we shall rot”

So Spring herself is what we got

*

Blog Photo - Arbor and pink clematis

Blog Photo - Pink Clematis

We’d dreamed of Spring’s so-pretty flowers

Forgetting Spring’s cold wind and showers

Spring came with those accompaniments

Arousing such crude sentiments

*

“Can you believe this awful cold?”

“Come on now Spring, break Winter’s hold!”

“Can you believe this awful wet?”

“Good God, this Spring is the worse yet!”

*

Blog Photo - Bloodroot

And on and on Canadians go

As if our lives were full of woe

Day in, day out we moan and groan

As if bad weather were ours alone

*

But grateful gardeners aren’t such grumps

We take the good and take the bumps

We welcome all the days of Spring

And give our thanks for what they bring

*

Blog Photo -  Blooming rhubarb

And so we wait the Winter out

And though at times we feel some doubt

We know that flowers need the rain

Without it, we would toil in vain

*

Without it, what would be the point

Without it, we’d be rolling joints

Oh, wait – out by our West-Coast way

Some people do that night and day

*

Blog Photo - Crocus in Spring

Okay, alright that was a slur

‘Gainst folks whose Springs are oft a blur

Of rain.  Offense, they do deserve it not

(Their “B.C. Bud”  is known as hot)

*

My West Coast friends, I will refrain

From mention of your weed and rain

I will not write about your pot

At least I will not write a lot

*

Blog Photo - Blue clematis2

Back to my garden I will go

Back to a subject that I know

And walk between the growing plants

And tend to what the garden wants

*

At evening, sounds rise o’er the land

(It’s not the geese in flying band)

That pleasant sigh is me and mine

Sipping a fine Canadian wine.

****

All Photos by Hamlin Grange ©

I’m dedicating this poem to my friends on Canada’s west coast, hoping their sense of humour is working well today.

And  especially to Louise, in Niagara-On-The-Lake, who has a lovely garden, and her husband Neil, who loved his work at a winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Despite the uncertain weather of some growing seasons,  the story of Canadian wineries (in both the east and the west) is remarkable, with many award-winning wines. Way to go, Canadian wines!