Sunday, May 6, 2012

Duckworthy Days

Yesterday morning the ducks of Hidden Lake assembled on our piece of shoreline and reminded me of why I so love where we live, and why I named our place "The Duckworthy Estate" on the day we moved into the house in 2010.  When I was a wee lad my family lived on the shore of what was called a "lake."  It was actually a dammed up stream that flowed through New Egypt, New Jersey.  My younger sister and I were not allowed to walk across the dam on the way to visit my grandparents.  We had to go an extra block into town and play it safe.

The "lake" was wide enough for small power boats to cruise short distances back and forth from the dam up to a narrow place where boating wasn't fun or possible.  My dad owned a canoe, so canoe rides through patches of lily pads on the lake are part of my memory of boyhood.  We passed an old "ice house" and my mom explained the old-time practice of harvesting blocks of ice in winter and packing the blocks with sawdust inside an ice house so there would be ice in warm months.

We fished with bamboo poles over the wire fence that surrounded our small yard.  This was catch-and-release style, catfish and some "sunnies."  Sometimes after supper Mom gave us pieces of bread to toss to the lake ducks.

I feel enchanted by the view of waterfowl cruising our small lake.

We usually have the sound of alto wind chimes in our life.  Here's the set I bought myself as a retirement present two years ago.  It hangs over our patio.

While I took this picture a pair of swallows flitted overhead.  I turned around to see what they were up to and noticed the nest they've built on a deck beam.

Out in the yard the clumps of blue Siberian irises we brought from Vermont have come into bloom.

The daylily season began for real on May first, when little yellow BITSY came into bloom.  That plant was a Father's Day gift almost twenty years ago.  Three other daylilies were in bloom in the back yard yesterday, all new arrivals a month ago.  Here is Jane Trimmer's DRAGONFLY DAWN.  It has been blooming on "Florida scapes" for several weeks.  Lately the appearance of the flowers has picked up as the roots have begun to establish themselves.

The eyezone is composed of several bands of color.  The Trimmers highly recommend this cultivar for breeding patterns.

Here is Jamie Gossard's PHANTOM WARRIOR, part of a small collection of Tet. spiders and unusual forms I assembled so that Kathy Bouman can explore the fun of hybridizing.

And here is Jane Trimmer's LAVENDER ECHOES, a large flower with a gray blue eye surrounding an applique pattern in the throat.  Very complex and quite pretty!

Yesterday Kathy learned how to collect pollen and freeze it in gel caps for future use.  If not exposed to prolonged heat or moisture, a gel cap of frozen pollen can be refrozen for subsequent use.  I have some frozen pollen that I've used for more than five years.  On the other hand, I've spoiled a gel cap of pollen in less than a minute by dropping it onto wet grass!

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