Monday, May 6, 2013

Blustery Days of May

range cows sheltering "neath the spreading juniper tree"
April showers did NOT bring May flowers to this part of Northern Arizona this year.  Maybe that's because we didn't have any April showers...While other parts of the country are experiencing late spring snows, here on the Homestead it's balmy temperatures and blustery winds.  Early mornings and late evenings are the best part of the day, not just because of the delightful play of light and shadow, or the gazillion stars that are visible, or the overwhelming quiet, but also, those are the times when the wind dies down or stops.  

This time of year I like to have my morning prayers outside, sometimes walking the property with a homestead dog or cat tagging along.  This is when I find the freebies - wild growing plants and herbs to add into the daily meals.  Dandelion greens for salad, tender horehound shoots before they send up flowers for cough syrup.  Soon the algerita bushes will bloom - or not - and I will know which ones to watch for fall berries.  Ditto the prickly pear cactus.  These fruits are bitter and take determination to collect because they are protected by thousands of tiny stickers, but they cook up into delicious syrups, jams and jellies in the fall.

Another month and I'll have to get out early in the morning just to get the outside chores done before it gets too hot.  But for now, spring on the Homestead is a welcome respite from frozen water pipes, frozen water troughs and generally cold bones.

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