12 April 2007

Sun and shadow

It's early spring, and while the weather is exceptionally warm, the sun is still fairly low in the sky. The trees are just starting to grow some leaves. The shadows are long and deep.

The tilleul, or linden tree, also called a lime tree,
casts a long shadow right now.

It's the kind of weather that encourages you to put outdoors all the potted plants you brought in last fall to protect them from frost and freeze. You have to be ready to bring them back in, though, because we could still have a good cold snap. Neighbors tell me they remember having a couple of inches of snow on the ground one year in early May.

Putting the potted plants back outdoors

It's also the kind of weather that makes you put the patio and yard furniture back outside. Our living space expands significantly when the warm weather comes back in the spring.

The deck railing also casts a long shadow these days.

I'm taking the day off today. Yesterday I dug up a section of hard rocky ground that weeds had completely taken over. I had to do it with a shovel and pitchfork, because it was a narrow strip bordered with rocks. Using the rototiller wasn't an option.

The fence along the street

Later in the morning, I did use the rototiller to plow up the second garden plot, which was also completely covered in tough, thick-rooted plants and weeds. The tiller is heavy and you have to pull and push hard on it to really dig up the ground, not to mention to turn it around corners. Sometimes I think I'm too old for this kind of work, but then I tell myself I'll be a better person for having done it.

Sun and deep shadows in the side yard

When the grass is well trimmed, the yard on the north side of the house looks like a park. It gets shade from a couple of big fir trees, so it's a good place to sit and read on hot afternoons like the ones we've been having.

Setting up a chaise in the shade of the bay laurel hedge

Another nice spot for reading is in the shade of the hedge on the south side of the yard. That's where I sat and read, listening to the radio, for three or four hours yesterday afternoon after that hard morning of digging and tilling.

A shadow of my former self? No, not really.

We're trying to take advantage of these nice days to get the garden ready for planting. The growing season, when all danger of frost has past, starts on May 15 in Saint-Aignan. By then we will have the new puppy to take care of and train, as well as the garden to put it. May is going to be a hectic month.


  1. It all looks lovely...serene.

    I saw the first lawnmowers of the season in the park down next to the sea today. The smell of fresh cut grass was intoxicating. I don't like to mow, but I do miss the sensations of grass on barefeet...but, of course, not until May 1 (at least that's what my grandmother used to say).

    Meilleurs voeux!!

  2. Love the shadow, Ken! Shadows can be so flattering, if you get the right angle!

    Glad you're taking it easy today. You don't want to destroy our vision of you leading the good life over there. :)


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?