Friday, June 11, 2010

mccall garden

driving from boise to mccall in spring is like jumping into a time machine, going back about two months in just over a hundred miles.

their growing season is even farther behind boise’s than it was last year. it’s been so cold and rainy, everything is green and healthy but many plants are just starting to wake up. the trees haven’t even bloomed yet--i saw one in town with buds, but the apple tree in the yard hardly has leaves.

even the hops vines, which were above my head by this time last year, are barely creeping up out of their dormancy.

sunday night there was a huge thunderstorm, and on wednesday and thursday it stormed intermittently, but both monday and tuesday were bright and sunny with blue skies and puffy white clouds, mid-60s temps and not a single raindrop.

in my mom’s herb garden the chives are taking off:

and oregano is starting, but most of the other herbs are holding out for warmer, drier weather.

along the gentle slope at the bottom of this hill (“snowshoe ridge,” my mom calls it), i planted quinoa and borage seeds:

the wild strawberries colonized an even larger swathe of the back yard this year, spreading across probably 500 square feet:

whether we get any strawberries is up to my dad and his lawnmower.

the front yard and one side of the back yard were filled with dandelion blossoms when we arrived. the cabin’s previous owner is a very kind and helpful guy, he came by with his riding mower and cut the overgrown grasses, and sadly the beautiful dandelions too...luckily i had just finished picking about a half gallon of flowers to make dandy jelly. i’ll post the recipe on here if it turns out well.

a few months ago i thrifted a book called “the king’s pines of idaho,” by grace edington jordan (published 1961). it’s a biography of some mccall residents and a history of the town. a lot of the biographical info isn’t super riveting to me, but i love the passages where the author allows glimpses of the town itself, often illustrating the passing of seasons. this quote about springtime in mccall is one of my favorites:

Spring in McCall is more brilliant than anywhere else. The vapor scarves that have been tangled in the thick firs and tamaracks begin pulling themselves free to rise slowly. As they lift, distant ridges emerge against the sky. Behind these white peaks begin to assert themselves. Then the sun bursts from its bondage and suddenly a soft warm breeze flows into town.

While the lawns are still spongy the streets and walks grow firm, and the winter-bound population comes out to hear music, the music of water trickling under snowbanks. Tomorrow green shoots will poke tentatively through the wet earth. Where snow lies so long, so long, the odors of spring are sublimely sweet.

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