Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our First Campout in 2009

Larry and I are back in the camper again. We found a great used Yukon (only two years old) which was a certified used car and still under warranty. We decided to take a short shakedown trip and stay close to home so we traveled about twenty miles south to the Harrisonburg KOA which is nestled in at the foot of the Massanutten Mountain. Our plan was to go to the Green Valley Book Fair one day and drive to Skyline Drive the next to hike. But there was a four-mile roundtrip hike from the campground up to the southern ridge trail on the Massanutten. So we decided to stay right there. A walk in the woods, wherever you are, is a delight and this was a trail new to us.

The trail meandered through the woods, always up, but for the most part not to steep and, an advantage to me, not too rocky. We passed a lot of budding mountain laurel that will be glorious later, but finally came upon a patch already blooming. How I love it! Some is such a pale pink it's almost white, but others are a true pink and remind me of my little granddaughters -- the pretty-in-pink princesses. We also saw wild iris and other flowers I couldn't identify.

We came upon a fallen tree across the trail that I had to lift up and move out of the way - good thing I'm so physically fit! There were also some places along the trail as we travelled higher up with spectacular views of the Shenandoah Valley, one of the most beautiful places on earth I think. All in all it was a great short trip and we've put the KOA on our "camping with grandkids" list because it also has a pool, a playground with a great assortment of equipment, and free miniature golf.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

April Showers and May showers too!

The sun is FINALLY shining. We have had rain, rain, rain for several weeks. I can't complain too much because in between showers I went out and worked in the garden and there's nothing like rain to make weeding easier. Of course, it makes the weeds grow faster too -- but it also makes the flowers grow like weeds. So my circle garden is looking wonderful! Les fleurs sont tres belles!

I'm a cool weather gardener and the temps have been low as well - perfect working weather. In fact, I've been so energized I decided to cut down the shrubs in the front of the brick stoop. I'm not particularly fond of Japanese holly and these were overgrown, required lots of cutting back during the spring and summer, and just aren't very pretty. So I got out the clippers yesterday and cut down the ones closest to the driveway. Amazing -- those huge shrubs came from only two plants on each side! I'm hacking them down to the ground and then letting them stay for the rest of this season until I decide whether I want to dig them out altogether. I know they'll start sprouting and fill in by the end of the summer. You can never get rid of things you don't like without great effort. It's the flora you love that shrivels up and dies! LOL! Well, not entirely. I love most of it and my garden is thriving. Especially the Black-Eyed Susans which would take over the entire garden if I let them.

If you want some Lambs Ear, Chives, or Black-Eyed Susans come see me. I could start my own nursery specializing in those. The chives are delicious in salads and have beautiful purple flowers so they are a win-win plant. I really do love gardening - at least before the weather gets hot - and kneeling down in the dirt gives me much food for meditation.

One last bit of news. The hummers are back and came looking for the strawberry feeder. I posted about them at Les Femmes along with some of my other favorite birds. Gosh, I love Spring!