The Language of Cranes

flock-of-sandhill-cranes-canada-david-stanleycommons-wikimedia-orgYou know that spring in Saskatchewan has arrived when you hear that unmistakable sound of the sandhill cranes returning on their way to Condie Nature Refuge.  It’s unlike anything else in the world, different from the hundreds of geese that fly over.  I’ve been hearing them a lot lately.

Yesterday I started dismantling the rocks from the west flower bed, a couple of milk crates worth, and took them over to the house to put around the round flower bed which is going to become the Marian shrine.  It only took about half an hour, but under a lot of rocks were little ant colonies, some red, some black, all panicking because I was taking their warmth and shelter away from them.  I felt a little bad about it, and I actually had to talk myself out of not taking the rocks.  Its trivial perhaps to be working about ants, but even they have a part to play in aerating the soil, bringing in small bits of debris that slowly compost.  And they pollinate!

The rocks in the back yard are stunning.  I think originally they were placed there to keep the lining around the garden in place, but I couldn’t help but pull them out and stipple them between clusters of the rocks I collected 2-3 years ago from Last Mountain Lake.  I may yet return out there to get more rocks for the pond, which won’t be going where I though it would be.

Dave was at the house again, and we spent some time in the back yard discussing how the deck will come off of my bedroom, which direction the stairs will go.  The place I thought would be best for the fire pit ends up being the worst place, so the fire pit will end up in the middle of the yard, and I’m actually seeing a circular patio of stone or brick around it, and of course more places for flower beds to go around that.  Wood ash is good for fertilizing lots of different plants so the fire pit will not only be recreational, but a functional part  of the continued growth of the yard front and back.  The pond that I initially thought would go into the centre of the yard and create a kind of parterre is going to end up being the long rectangular pond I had wanted, but pressed against the east side of the garden.  Because it was so nice yesterday, 20C, I took the opportunity to put in the perennials I’d dug up.  The garden isn’t just garden anymore, the peony is in the south-east corner so that it will come up and bloom behind the existing peony bed, the lilies and gas plant are now lining the east side of the garden so there’ll be a wall of green and colour separating the vegetables from the rest of the yard.  And I may still yet take turf up along the back pathway to plant the perennials I have growing in my house on the windowsill and under the grow lights.

And just when I thought it was finishes…I look up to see that the ivy geranium I’ve kept in a pot for the past four years has just opened it’s blooms.  Burgundy.

Life is freaking good in a garden.

The Language of Cranes

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