This morning the temperature started out in the twenties, but it's April now, and with the sun shining by this afternoon it was glorious outside. Enough snow had melted for Ed to put his new lettuce plants out on the wall for a little fresh air and sunshine. He took his tools and headed down to work on the muddy driveway.
I got the camera and went to take a walk exploring today's newly uncovered patches. My spirits really got a lift when I spotted a wooley bear caterpillar. I've seen one or two very frozen looking ones before this spring, but this caterpillar was alive and moving. I gently picked him up and he curled up into a ball in my hand. It might have been awake for a very short time. Perhaps I should have let him be, but I couldn't resist. After all these years, I'm still just a big kid. The other great thing in this picture is the green grass. Once uncovered and heated by the sun the brown thatch is giving way to new growth. At last there is something green for the deer to eat besides my garden plants.
As I walked by the stone patio, I picked up this uprooted, dried out and dead thyme plant. Apparently the deer don't eat the roots, they spit them out and leave them for me. Once I had future compost in my hand it was inevitable that I headed to the basement to get my trug and garden cart. The rattle of its wheels was music to my ears and I only had to cross a short patch of snow to get to where I could work on the bed in front of the house. Mostly I cut back dead seed heads and stalks of New England asters, Black-eyed Susans and Brown-eyed Susans, Rudebeckia triloba. I picked up a lot of black locust seed pods. They are everywhere this year. It's too soon to do much in the garden beds when it is still so wet. I kept my cart on the stones and worked only where I could easily reach.
I wasn't going to pull weeds. It is really too soon. I don't like it when they break off leaving the root behind, but a pernicious garlic mustard was too much for me and I gave it a good yank!
What could give a gardener more satisfaction than pulling a hated weed and getting all of that incredibly long tap root? Oh my, that felt good! I didn't stay out too long. One container of weeds to compost was a great beginning. Like Ed's lettuce I had my time in the garden to enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air. We don't want any sunburn and I have hope for tomorrow without sore muscles!