ides of January – yard observations

on March 4, 2012 I got a surprise in my email - notice from Jack Matthews that he had given me one of his Prairie Sagebrush awards for this post here. He has awarded a few more very wonderful pieces of internet writing this time. You may link to the list as well as to his inspiring blog at the link here http://swamericana.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/the-2011-prairie-sagebrush-awards-for-blogging/


Spent way too much time yesterday (beloved day off) on the computer. So today I promised myself not to. And did go outside this afternoon and did putter in my yard. I see a direct link to joining facebook and to the slackened attention to my yard.

So, today I brought out the shears and lopers, stick matches and torn newspaper. I picked up dog poop. I clipped yarrow stalks, aster stalks, iris leaves, an ornamental grass clump – raked some of them into a pile; collected dried bindweed and the morning glory tendrils, threw them on, too. Put a small piece of newspaper under the pile, struck the match and watched the orange flame grow up and consume those dry bits. Added small amounts onto the black ash and coaxed the oxygen under by lifting. Looked around and the eye rested on tidier-ness.

Then I moved into the fenced yard area where the bulk of the morning glory vines waited in the old sand box (which now serves as fire pit). Kept my eye on the little black pile of ash through the spaces between the slats. I brought the rake and the last two matches and the shears. Click click click over more dead yarrow, dead oregano. Click click click over lambsquarters and globe mallow (Quelites y Yerba de la Negrita en espanol). Gather and pile. Take the rake to the piles of leaves near the outdoor play kitchen – has to be ready for Easter time. Rake the leaves piled up against the raku kiln: big surprise! Ice still there from our last snow – how many weeks ago? More raking and more frozen moisture! But of course, not on the beds, but on the paths. Maybe this moisture released will encourage the moisture to collect in the sky? No such luck.

The sand box fire climbed high for a minute or two. Afterward I realized it would be great to plant some pansies, and wondered if I could walk to the greenhouse a mile away in time. I stood for a while looking at my pobrecito pinon tree tilting away from the drooping elm limbs above it. Then those elm limbs were golden – the light was coming at them directly from that western mesa edge (miles away) and the whole damn wild elm tree was shining in its massive shagginess. (I so curse that tree at times since its roots tangle into every vegetable bed.) Smoke on my hands and clothes, I stand and gaze at the afternoon in my yard.

8 Responses to “ides of January – yard observations”

  1. January 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Great, yet elegant, comment on conflict: computer vs yard, ice vs clean up, elm vs garden. I loved the last sentence, makes the writing so complete. Thank you very much for sharing these thoughts with all of us.

  2. January 18, 2011 at 7:42 am

    You are welcome. And thank you for sharing your observations, Bill – did not see those – and they help spur more thoughts.
    -Cirrelda in Albuquerque

  3. February 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Detailed post. I really like to follow this kind of writing. You had time in your yard and smelled of smoke. Just really fine writing and I always like your Spanish words, mi compadre.

  4. February 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you so much for feedback, Jack.
    Do you remember your mom ever using Spanish? Cause you all lived in a border state. I remember my grandmother, and dad for that matter, having Spanish sprinkled in their daily English, though they wouldn’t have been able to speak in sentences hardly. I remember specific phrases they would use – “No tiene dinero.” “Sit down on your como se llama” “Uno momento porfavor.”

    Just curious if it was something from that generation of English-speakers who lived in this region – or not.

    • February 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Mother used a few phrases sprinkled in. Most of what I have I took in junior high, high school and college. I’m rusty with it right now. Mother attended St. Mary’s in San Antonio for a while and picked up a lot of the language.

  5. February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    This is interesting to me. My dad’s family lived in ABQ, Tuscon, Phoenix and LA from the late 20’s thru the 60’s and seems the Spanish language was accepted. I know my dad took it in school like you did. Thanks for sharing with me.

  6. March 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you!!!!! This means very much to me!

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