Monday, May 30, 2016

Oh, wow, this is a pain in the *ss

Beren tugged my arm as I talked to my mother in law on the phone. "Momma," he said in a whisper. He continued so quietly that I could not understand him. I shook my head and wrinkled my eyebrows indicating I could not understand.

"Momma, I need a plate," he said in a more audible whisper. 

"Ok," I mouthed, handing him a plate.

Later, I realized he was being courteous. Though still interrupting my conversation, he was doing so at a lower volume.

When he was a baby, his needs were immediate, fast and at times, furious. I would say for me, at a "holy f*ck" sort of level (diaper plus missed feeding cues, or just woke from nap...no, he insisted despite my equal insistance, awaking from a nap is BY NO MEANS to be done calmly. Awaking from a nap must include a minimum of 10 minutes of screaming no matter what.) 

By toddler age, needs and experiences are down graded to "holy sh*t" (by no means are we leaving this playground)  level alternating with "oh crap" (forgot a change of clothes and fell in a puddle). By now things get up to "oh, wow this is a pain in the *ss" (another case of poison ivy, or it's very hot and his legs do not want to finish the rest of the walk home) level with occasional spikes to "oh sh*t" (tumbling off porch railing). "Holy f*ck" level is rarely reached these days. Maybe I have relaxed a little, too.  

Overall, a good weekend here - mostly a mellow flow. Beren did collapse on our road in aggravation, defiance, and tiredness (see "oh, wow this is a pain in the *ss" above") partway home from a search for wild edible mushrooms. Of course, any weekend that includes a couple hot afternoon hours floating in the Musconetcong River is a good weekend. Plus, full family camp out on the living room floor to beat the heat. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

First word

Towards the end of April:

Beren and I pulled into the parking lot of the only pharmacy in southern Warren County that stocked Tincture of Benzoin.

"What's 'on... ee'?" Beren asked me.

"Did you just read that sign, Beren? Did you just READ a WORD? Wow!"

Beren glowed in his quiet way.

"That's the word 'one'. O-N-E. One way."
 


Friday, May 6, 2016

Ridge Walks

Along the narrow, cedar section of the ridge
 
When we first moved to Pohatcong just over two years ago, spring finally came. Prior to spring we'd explored the woods. When the forest became green, so did our nursery. We barely left the confines of the deer fence - the heavily used and long abused farm field and home landscape. 

We saw many ruderal plants, and we celebrated them - lambsquarters, fleabane, dandelion, St. Johnswort. When we did exit the fence, well, when we left via another gate besides the driveway...we were rewarded each time we entered the forest. We tossed a fence around a couple lonely hepaticas and completely alone showy orchis.

This year, a few things have changed. We've taken on more business responsibilities, and our business has grown. Yet, we're more settled. We have better equipment that we've carefully chosen. And, our son is bigger. His own legs can carry him up the ridge and back down, farther than they have in years prior to this one. I also am no longer Beren's shadow. He's a capable woodsman.

Here are some of our rewards - 



Early saxifrage


 Linden - edible (and tasty) young foliage. Always been a favorite tree.
 
 Wild strawberry

 Columbine, Beren & I call the flowers "nectar pops"

Hearkening back to my art school days, I call this "Untitled #301". Why? Because I don't know what fern or sedge this is.

 Up he goes

 Up he goes

 Jack-in-the-Pulpit, the one and only

Hop hornbeam

Rockcap fern rhizome scrambles across the ridge.

 
Looking towards the Alpha Grasslands, hidden in the mist

Columbine and untitled #46 sedge

 
Trees on the ridge have personality and adversity

 Moss phlox - the right timing brings new sights