Boys, carrots and nosegays.

After the long winter, springtime has arrived, with nosegays in little dishes on my kitchen counter. The nosegays were assembled by my four grandchildren on their first morning of a short visit their family is making, from Colorado. They arrived last week, bringing the first day of Real Spring with them, leading me to throw open the windows and put on sandals.

We’ve taken many walks already, prompted by pleas from the children who wanted to head right down to the creek to taste the wild fennel. Last night my older son “Pathfinder” arrived from Oregon, too, so I’ve got both of them under my roof at the moment. It was balm to my soul to sit with those two last night and talk in person about everything under the sun, the way we had long been accustomed to doing — but it’s a kind of nourishment I have missed for a while.

On our walks we did find new and tender shoots of fennel to chew on as we walked, plus many species in the Family Apiaceae:

“Comprising 434 genera and about 3,700 species, the carrot family (Apiaceae) is a significant group of flowering plants. Its members are often aromatic and are characterized by hollow stems, taproots, and flat-topped flower clusters known as umbels.” Here is a list of major subgroups: Apiaceae 

My Seek app told me that along the path we were seeing Cow Parsnip, Poison Hemlock, Hogweed, and Wild Carrot, but I’m not fully confident that it knows the difference between all of those. We didn’t see any Queen Anne’s Lace! This morning the older boys were helping me tidy up the overgrown bed by the driveway, where I try to help the Mexican Evening Primrose to thrive, and one of the stubborn weeds we got to calling The Carrot, because it appeared to be a member of that family, too. I forgot to take its picture, but I know it will be back.

Buttercups and daisies are thick on that walking path by the creek, one more example
of the natural response to a rainy winter. Clara was captivated.

In the last couple of years one of my friends gave me a great quantity of scrap lumber to use for kindling; my son-in-law “the Professor” sawed up quite a bit of it for me when he was here for Thanksgiving. After Soldier arrived another friend lent us his miter saw to make it easier to finish off the sawing, and one day he organized his work force of three sons to get everything done in short order. (I found enough earplugs to protect the hearing of all.) They showed that the adage is not universally true, that when it comes to work, “One boy is a boy, two boys is half a boy, and three boys are no boy at all.”

Liam handed boards to his father, Soldier sawed them into the right lengths for my stove, and Laddie stacked the wood in neat rows; Brodie hauled the last of my old logs into the garage and laid them on the rack, and then raked up that area. They took a load off my mind, and changed it into a load of kindling for next winter. That utility yard is greatly opened up, and now I can use the clothesline without tripping on all that stuff.

This morning the boys and I leafed through my “Sing Through the Seasons” songbook, finding all the Spring songs we could remember the tune to. When we came to “White Coral Bells,” we took the book to the garden where my own white coral bells are taller than ever before. They thought my heuchera were a little greenish to qualify, but nevertheless were willing to sing the round right there by the waving flower spikes.

White Coral Bells, upon a slender stalk,
Lilies of the Valley deck my garden walk.
Oh, don’t you wish that you could hear them ring?
That will happen only when the fairies sing.

9 thoughts on “Boys, carrots and nosegays.

  1. It must be so lovely to spend time with your sons and they have done so many useful jobs. The nosegays are really pretty. I love the thought of you singing so joyfully together round the flowers. I bet the flowers enjoyed it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that “one boy is a boy” quote! It reminds me of John Adams: “One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three is a congress”!
    You are a family of serious walkers – the photo of the dad with the kiddo on his back, striding along. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What great joy to have so much of your family at home. The weather looks beautiful, perfect for walks. And I love the nosegays, too. Happy you could put them all to work — and they all seemed to be enjoying it. You are a fortunate woman.

    Liked by 1 person

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