Don’t Miss the Magic

Blink and you miss the magic that happens this time of year in the garden. Me, I actually have to remind myself to look up and all around me, as I tend to focus hard on one thing at a time (a trait—along with nearsightedness—that I inherited from my father). I can be concentrating so intently on picking peas that I don’t notice the ruby red nasturtium blossoms that have flung themselves out from a dark cool hidden place among the pea vines and are spilling across my feet. Without my glasses on, the world can be a blurry place, too.

But I don’t want to miss anything. The other day I happened to have the camera in hand when a butterfly landed on our new coneflower, blooming in a smoldery pink and orange hue that reminds me of a Peter Max sunset poster. It’s lovely to capture this in a photo, but even the camera can be a hindrance to just experiencing a warm early summer day.

I am trying to find more time in the day to simply take it all in, so I got up extra early this morning, just after the sunrise. Nothing’s more beautiful than the garden in the fuzzy morning light when all the plants are shiny and taut. It’s the best time to harvest leafy things for the farm stand, too, while they still have water in their stems and before the heat of the day comes on. Tiptoeing around this morning with Roy, who’s always an early riser, we made all kinds of discoveries: four big cucumbers, fully ripe, which we had completely missed, lying on the hay mulch beneath their blowsy leaves; potently fragrant fresh basil absolutely ready for harvesting under the Remay; little green tomatoes everywhere; a frog living in one of the bean beds; the first ripe black raspberries down near the old barn foundation; a new swath of wild pink roses in bloom by the chicken coop; wren babies in the barn; our own first ripe blueberry. Much later on, I took patient Farmer for a long walk and we saw tiny pink blossoms on new raspberry canes and sampled our first ripe wild blueberries. Farmer played his favorite game of hide and seek with the  bunnies, and on the way back we stopped to say hello to the chicks, who rushed to the fence to greet us.

The rest of the day—the parts in between—were more focused and less serene. I think I’ll get up early again tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Miss the Magic”

  1. Ah yes, the lovely early morning light; and since we are in the midst of a horrific heat wave here in East Tennessee, it is the only time of the day that I am able to do much of anything outside. Early evening is a good time to water things, but still too hot to do much else. It’s so hot and dry that any water that gets on the leaves dries quickly reducing the possibility of mold-like disease.
    I recently discovered your blog through Splendid Table which ran your Greek Spinach Pasta Salad. That post led me to order your next-to-last cookbook and I am enjoying it so much that I will probably order your newst one soon.
    Also, thank you very much for reminding me to “stop and smell the roses”!!

  2. Hi Ginger,

    The heat has reached us too — not nearly so bad as you have it though, so yes, I am inside–after checking to make sure chickens had enough water!! Thanks for reading and enjoy cooking from Fast, Fresh & Green and hopefully The Fresh & Green Table!! Stay cool, too, Susie

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