The last days before the solstice, time stretches like taffy. At almost 9 p.m., it\’s still light, which means that I feel as though I have all the time in the world. Which is good, since there is a lot to do.
I came home tired and starving from a meeting at 6, having spent the morning euthanizing the last of the spinach and planting the nightshade trio (tomatoes, eggplant and peppers). I figured I would be no use to man or beast until I\’d had some of Virginia Slim\’s cheese and a glass of wine and a little reading time. But Virginia Slim spotted me eating the product of her, um, loins, and reminded me loudly that it was time for the evening milking.
So I milked her. And the air was so cool and the grass so bright that I had to let the herd out for a little evening browse. Wolfie hadn\’t been out in a couple of days, due to heavy rains, so I thought I\’d better let him out too, on leash, lest he freak out the goats.
Blossom, Alsiki and Virginia Slim sauntered into the yard and nibbled on a few sticker bushes, and the tips of some sumac, and a few blades of grass. They refused to go into the field—I think it scares them because the grass is so much taller than they are. Instead they dove into their evening follies, which consist of leaping up on top of the picnic table, leaping off, and taking off like bats out of hell for the edge of the woods, whereupon I call “girls, girls, girls!” and they come racing back, throw themselves up onto the table, leap off, and start the whole thing over again.
By the time I put the goats to bed it was after eight, but poor Wolfie had been on sits and downs while the goats cavorted, so I thought I should throw some balls for him so he could let off steam. And Lexi, despite her limp, might enjoy a saunter in the evening air.
There was dinner to think about, of course, but the light was so beautiful that I kept on throwing balls for Wolfie while Lexi limped around the yard vacuuming up goat poop.
It was almost nine when I served my uncomplaining husband some leftover quiche. But who needs to eat on a night like this? There will be time enough for slow-simmered stews and careful sauces when night comes at five and there\’s a blizzard outside and a fire in the wood stove.
June in these latitudes is not a season for storing up food energy, but a time for storing up and getting drunk on light.
I really want this to be our first summer for 13 years we don't come to New England but your word paintings make it almost irresistible. The contrast about the wonderful Wolfie and the wily goats is perfect. I don't have that here since the rabbits are winning.
That sounds scary, that the rabbits are winning. What kind of rabbits do you have in the South?
ah, how lovely.and how unlike my city life. except for the long long days, and the late supper….
Brown ones with cotton tails just like Peter rabbit. And because we don't have many cats, the squirrels, rabbits and moles are taking over.
Laurie, I swear I can feel my body storing up sunshine for the winter!mrb, doesn't your dog's presence help to keep all these critters away?
We live in the city with a leash law and he's a 85# German Shephard. Cats and squirrels he'll chase, and rabbits, but they stay out of his backyard when he's out. And he's 10 so he's not as spry as he once was.
Ah, our Lexi is almost 11, and succumbing rapidly to musculo-skeletal issues. I'm trying to keep her comfortable….
Stuck in the middle of winter, I just love your last line.
Mali, isn't it curious how in the middle of winter it's so difficult to imagine summer, and vice versa?