A short distance beyond the stone terrace in front of Tasha’s house where the land tilts south and the jewelweed and nettle possess the ground between lawn and woods, a population of creatures surprising in variety has taken up residence. A doe and her fawn wait out the heat of the day in the shade where the moss grows, along with several porcupines. The porcupines make their appearance at dusk, generally near the crown of the pear trees where the leaves are especially to their liking, or else in the raspberry patch where this year’s canes are on the menu. It is harder to keep porcupines out of a garden than deer.
Tuesday brought our first official afternoon tea (lemonade) on Granny's porch! We were all so excited! This tradition is full of happy memories, and this occasion was no exception. Marjorie brought out our favorite picnic basket and juiced all of the lemons, Amy and Ellie picked some mint, and Seth carried the basket of goodies through the garden to the porch.
Red efts are a familiar sight in New England in muddy, soggy spring, but the first glance of one brings excitement indeed! I tweeted two weeks ago that the Red Efts were crossing, as they make the journey from the muddy woods to the ponds. The Tudor family has long known this is a sure sign of spring, one of nature's many clues to us that winter will soon be banished for a few months of glorious Vermont summer.
Over the years the clapboards and shingles on Tasha’s house have darkened from sunlight, rain and time. Winter brings a moment of rest and peace to the land, gardens and house as it sits in the quiet landscape. Christmas is here, as is a cardinal not indifferent to the sunflower seeds scattered around the back step and under the lilacs. Balsam needles and melting snow from the newly set up tree have been swept from the floor, along with bits of paper left over from wrapping presents now under the tree. Indoors everything is alight in reds, greens and gold.