June is my favorite warm weather month. Generally the days are warm but not oppressively hot and humid. The garden green promises sun-ripened tomatoes and fresh cucumbers. Herb and flower beds are mostly free of weeds and insect pests. Long evenings of light are a balm for our weary souls. This week we ate several evening meals on the deck and caught sight of a yellow swallowtail butterfly on the flowers of the Japanese Lilac Tree.
After last night's thunderstorms, this morning is cool and bright. I walked in a long sleeved tee with sun warming my back. Basil in pots thrives. Most of the transplanted strawberry plants are surviving the rabbits and squirrels. I replanted the cucumber hill. The front yard with the patch of winter-kill and over grown bushes needs attention but that is why I tend the yard and garden. It needs tending and the changes get me out of my rut. Well - sort of. I am a creature of habit.
I do enjoy the Wednesday routine of writing a post and linking with Kat and the Unravelers. This week I knit some fingerless mitts from leftover self-striping sock yarn. The cable was fun and kept the knitting interesting. Color-wise, the mitts aren't an exact match but fairly close. I played yarn chicken with this project and was happy to have enough to finish the thumbs. Knitting up leftovers is so satisfying. Do you feel that way or do you give away and/or toss the leftovers?
When I toss the stash in January, I create the "up next" bin and put it on top for easy access. Sometimes I knit from that bin and sometimes I don't. Right now, the contents appeal to me so I cast on another Forager Sweater. This is the only sweater yarn I have in stash and I'm happy to knit with it. Time and knitting will tell if the yarn/pattern combination works well together.
I read The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America by Helen Humphreys. I found this little work of nonfiction more cohesive than The River. I also learned a great deal about apple varieties and orchards. I had never considered that Native Americans tended apple orchards. Humphreys counters the Johnny Appleseed story with one about a woman named Ann Jessup. She also wrote about Robert Frost's orchard as well as watercolorists who were part of the USDA's effort to disseminate information about apples to prospective growers. Plates of the watercolors are included in this book. They are beautiful. My library didn't have this book so I found a nice used copy online. I am also reading The Painted Drum. Interestingly, Erdrich writes about an apple orchard in the novel.
As I finish this post, a wee (young) chickadee hangs upside down in the birch. House finches feed youngsters at the feeder. The little ones with tufts of down remind me of typical toddlers. They make me smile. I hope you are enjoying these rare June days.