So it has not all been drudgery the past two weeks, no. Things that we did:
- picked blackberries
- pried broken bricks out of the front garden
- built inukshuks with the broken bricks, also a house for a mouse
- picked blueberries (all 3 of them!)
- gathered poppyseed (I didn't know how to do this)
- found things in Tess's things-to-find-in-Fairyland book
- ran through sheets on the clothesline
- ate apples from the tree
- watched the deer eat apples from the tree
- played with the cat from next door
- combed our cat
- dug holes for new plants
- dug the top half of an action figure out from the back garden
- swung in the hanging chair
- built a brick wall across the front walk
- ate sandwiches
It was fun, as well as a reminder of just how much attention child-minding requires. If only child-raising could be done in one-day-a-week instalments, I'm sure we'd all do a better job.
The encroachment of wildlife continues. Besides the deer, which pops by most days to see if the broccoli or tomatoes have any new shoots, there's a raccoon somewhere about, but fortunately not under the house. Yesterday morning I watched a grey squirrel chase a black squirrel up and down one of the power-poles, with a surprising clattery noise that must have been their claws. The downed cherry tree across the street, overwhelmed by ivy, is a prime spot for a flock of small birds that like to swoop up and down from street to ivy and back, on the basis of stimuli I can't determine.
As I was digging compost out of the bin for the blueberry and roses that I planted, I noticed two heaps of compost earth outside the bin. Odd, I thought, I wonder if next-door's dog has been in here, digging? Suddenly a ginger-fawn furry shape bolted out of the heap on the other side of the treetrunk, zipped around the outside of the bin, and was gone. Rat? Rabbit? I couldn't tell.
On Sunday, I went to pick up windfall apples from that same tree, and as I stood looking for the pale yellow shapes, I saw from the corner of my eye, something on the compost bin wall, about 7 feet from me. A hawk, 5-6 inches in body, tail another 3, pale brown flecked with dark brown over body and head, tail black and grey bars. At first it ignored me, there being a thin screen of apple-leaves between us, then it stared at me from those alien yellow eyes (is it the eye or the unreadable face around it?) for several seconds while I tried to memorise it. Then it flapped up into the oak tree next door.
I went inside and found the bird book, and my best guess is either a fairly large female sharp-shinned hawk, or a smallish Cooper's hawk. At any rate, it can roost on my compost bin any time it likes.
Celebration! There are no more than 8 Transparent apples left on the tree, not enough for a dehydrator load. Made it through with absolute minimal waste!