22 May 2013

Sweet and Sour

Mr. Fuzzy returned from the Fort Frederick & Kentucky journey a bit tired and with prodigious sinus production. Two days later, it made a turn for the worse and Mr. Fuzzy was bedridden. After three trips to doctors over fourteen days, the problem is still unclear except that the lungs were struck and a ten day asthma attack was part of the mix. Sinus cavities and lung lobes are at long last back to normal but stamina and strength still prove elusive.

Even these pregnant does realized Mr. Fuzzy was no real threat as he yelled at them from the the front door. Only when the dogs of war (Rufus & Rocky) were loosed did they meander elsewhere. From the four does observed this week, they should be giving birth any day now.

Although Mr. Fuzzy still was running a low grade fever and was more than his usual level of fuzzy-minded, he managed to attend Rebecca Shannon's class on making vinegar. It was a most interesting class full of learning and theory but the unique portion was taste testing some of Rebecca's various vinegars. Most of the class preferred the maple-syrup vinegar but it was too sweet for Himself. He has begun two vinegars, one based on red wine, the other on white wine; he had never tasted a white wine vinegar until the class and found it a most appealing flavour.

The flame azaleas (R. calendulaceum) have begun their spectacular bloom, shaming all else which bloometh in the forest at this or any other time. There are two basic colours with many shades, orange and yellow-peach. There are some at Stratheden Farms but the Blue Ridge Parkway is lined with thousands of fine specimens in their great glory.

More subtle & modest are the two varieties of wild iris found on the farm.  The native blue flag iris (Iris virginica L.) is ubiquitous in this area and are found in numerous sites at Stratheden. Some are natural and others are where Mr. Fuzzy has transplanted them; they seem thrive in damp or dry conditions, full sun or half-day shade. They are smaller than modern garden iris but no less beautiful.

The other native iris found on the farm is the brilliant yellow bog iris (Iris pseudacorus), a plant so successful that it is considered invasive. Unlike its blue cousin, this only lives in wetlands. Although considered invasive, it is an excellent solution to erosion; the roots run six to eight inches deep and are strongly interlocked from plant to plant... and they are beautiful during their relatively brief bloom period. Flowers are only fresh for one day and the group will be in bloom only a week or so. A damp meadow filled with this brilliant yellow is a sight to beheld.

The Creator surely blessed the Blue Ridge region more than its share of beauty.

1 comment:

JudyB said...

Sorry to hear you have not been at your best! Hope this affliction is completely gone soon. Spring and early summer certainly must be a beautiful sight in your fair county.

Sarah and family will soon leave the great Commonwealth of VA for a home in the lovely state of MD--buying a home in Silver Spring. Of course, still in the wilds of metro DC area.