Ventures, New and Old

A bit of housekeeping first: Yesterday's video is now working... in case you could not access it.  It is not a typical video, but a really sweet capture of the determination of a three-year-old.

The magic is happening all around, right on schedule, isn't it?  Here, in our little corner of the world, with our very own little chilly microclimate, Spring's energy is bursting forth in an unbridled manner.  

The daffodils that randomly dot the front pasture are once again lifting their cheerful faces towards the sun.  I have developed a very personal relationship with these flowers.  Each spring I lie on my stomach, face to face with the daffodils, enjoying their bright yellow hues.  They bloom, each year, just in time for my birthday.  As as result, I feel quite tied to them. 

There is a huge jungle of forsythia that grows next to the old log cabin. 

Any day now it will be ablaze in yellow.  And not long after that, the flowering quince and lilacs will join the party.  Just the anticipation of all that color and fragrance makes my heart sing!

The grass is beginning to thicken and turn green. 

 And although I am not ready to add mowing to my chore lists, I love the fact that the animals will soon have lots of lush grazing land.

Luckily, the front pasture is the last to green-up.  My chubby equines can still enjoy time out there without me having to strap grazing muzzles on them.  Those days will arrive soon enough!

I was happy to find, yesterday, that the radish seeds I planted in the garden have germinated... just the beginning of many!

The whole farm is abuzz with activity. 

 Birds and insects are busy once again and the breeze carries their intricate symphony.  Above my head, as I clean up the dry lot, I hear the lilting, metallic "Bubb-zee" of a male brown-headed cowbird in the scrub pine that grows nearby.  He calls and calls, but his calls are un-answered.  Hopefully the spring winds will carry his song to a worthy mate.

The pond is much quieter these days.  Forty-eight of the fifty transient winter ducks have moved on for mating season, leaving behind our three domestic ducks and two lone mallard drakes.

As I sit, enjoying the peace of the pond, the two mallards begin to challenge our lone khaki Campbell duck. 

 Testosterone can be such a scourge... ruining the peace of the moment!

Our Campbell finds refuge on the shore... waddling towards me as if to say, "Isn't there something you can do about these two freeloading bachelors?"

With Easter just around the corner, I've been thinking a lot about eggs.  Perhaps it is the fact that our egg supply is dwindling (as are our chickens... due, in part, to another fox attack this past weekend)... but, really, it is mostly about a life philosophy that I adopted years ago.

During my 64 (as of tomorrow) years on this amazing planet, I have come to realize that I tend to be a Jack-of-all-trades, but master of none.  And while I do envy those who have spent a lifetime honing their skills in a particular area, I long ago decided to not put all of my eggs in one basket.  As a result, I have a very varied repertoire, but am not an expert in any given subject.  I have traded expertise and well-developed skill for mediocrity and a whole range of interests and hobbies.  For me, that's not a bad thing.  As I get older, I realize that I will not always be able to do everything that I do now.  Having a lot of interests insures that I will stay busy no matter what physical impairments befall me.

At some point the reality hit me that no one cared if I was particularly good at any one thing, and that truly, the only person I had to please when it came to this subject was myself.

I will tell you this - it is incredibly liberating to have the freedom to try anything you might like without the fear of failure.  Armed with the knowledge that as I leave this earth, my regrets will be the things that I didn't do.... I have made it my motto to "try" doing whatever it is I think I might enjoy.   I have also reminded myself many times that if someone else can do "it"... then, most likely with a lot of patience and practice, I can probably do "it" as well.  

And so, without giving up anything that I am currently doing... I am adding a new hobby (did I need another hobby?) to my repertoire.  I enrolled in two online watercolor painting courses.  I want to learn to paint beautiful botanicals to help sustain me during the months when my garden lies barren and brown.  One of the benefits of this activity will be a deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature.  Because, in breaking it down, analyzing it and trying to re-create it,  one gains a new perspective.  It hones critical observation skills.  

To know nature is to love nature.... and I hope to know it even better than I do now.  

Yesterday I took the techniques that I have learned and played around with some paint.  It's a start.

Now, if someone could tell me how to squeeze another couple hours in each day... that would be helpful!


Anonymous said…
I am sure that there is an hour between two and three in the morning when you are not doing anything important... seriously, it's hard to imagine how you squeeze in everything you already do in a day.

The watercolor painting captures a mood. I'm looking forward to more.

jaz@octoberfarm said…
i've always been a jack of all trades. i see nothing wrong with it at all. i'd actually rather be able to do a little of a lot than a lot of a little.
colleen said…
I'm a jack of all trades also and if you could see some of my bloopers you would call yourself a master of all trades lol. I draw whimsical flowers and watercolor or use colored pencils and that is as close as I can come to drawing a flower. I cannot wait to see what you do with your new skills. xoxoxox
daisy g said…
Happy Birthday Eve! You have certainly mastered so many things in my eyes. Those cookies you decorate! That bread! The knitting and sewing! Oh My!

Enjoy the wonder of spring's awakening.
Carolyn said…
Happy Birthday, Bev!
Marsha said…
Happy birthday to you!
Sue S. said…
Birthday wishes to you and your daffodils. Just before my birthday arrives in August I watch for the pink amaryllis belladonna ("naked ladies") bulbs opening in our yard. It always feel like good luck for my coming year.
Happy birthday to a true Renaissance woman.
Marcia LaRue said…
Happy Birthday, Bev! πŸŒ»πŸŽ‚πŸ¨πŸŽ΅πŸŒΉ
I swear you have more talent in your little finger then I [or most folks] have in my entire hand!
You do so much ... you are so doggone creative ... everything you do certainly adds up to the sum total of who you are! You are like a mosaic picture of yourself! All the bits and pieces fit together perfectly!!
This N That said…
Love your artwork. I am looking forward to the botanicals.. So glad you found something to do in your spare time.Enjoy! You are
so talented in many ways.
Sorry about your chickens and that the ducks have flown the coop or the pond so to speak for the summer.
Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful day. Hugs
Karen said…
Happiest Birthday wishes to you Bev!! For the first time EVER I head a Barred owl calling earlier in the day - I've never heard one during the day! He must have known it was your birthday:)

And by the way - if I had painted such a beautiful ocean - I'd HAVE to frame it! You captured the feeling of the ocean - and your sky looks like a storm brewing . . . WHAT a way to start!!

Love your new hobby....that will be awesome for you. I love that you are multi-talented, Bev. That's a great way to be. Happy Birthday to you on the very last day of March! By the way ....your Campbell duck sure is cute!
Glo said…
A very Happy Birthday, Bev ~ thank you for sharing your life with us.
Lynne said…
I love your sprit and energy.
Your reflection here was inspiring.

For me, putting energy into trying something new
seems much wiser than saying, “I can’t. “
Like you said, “if others can do it, why not me . . .”
Beautiful painting Bev . . .
I am looking forward to more . . . and your botanicals . . .
Can you share, I would enjoy the online class name/ link . . .