Vintage Poop And Victorian Ladies

autumn fern in morning light -

This lovely is an Autumn Fern, and I actually sat there this morning sipping the rich brew from my French Press, gazing at it for a good 15 minutes, mesmerized at how the light touches its beautiful bronze fronds in the morning light.

Had to share. Ah, details are what has me out there for hours on end, watching, taking big breaths of pleasure, at peace with the world; least at peace in my little part of it.

Since Derrick left, I have been still at odds, unsure of what will replace him, who? What? How?

Whatever, so far I’ve basked in the solitude, quietly taking in the changing light in the garden, watering, moving this, weeding that, I call it puttering about, and has become one of my favourite past-times.

It’s kind of this intimacy I have established with my garden, like the Mom wiping some dirt off their child’s face with a wet finger, as by the time I’m done puttering I have a fine layer of dark earth beneath my nails, I’m in OM state, and all is right with the world again.

For instance, I have of late found myself squatting and just admiring the Ostrich Ferns from The Homestead. With their plumes of Kelly Green, flouncing around in the gentle morning breeze (what there is of it). Yet, by mid-June, they’ll be looking all bedraggled and tuckered out so the big ol’Hosta Grandiflora’s will have by then finished spreading out their giant shiny leaves, shading the delicate Ostrich from the heat of the summer.

Perhaps I’ve mentioned this before, but those ferns actually at first confounded me once I learned what they were, and couldn’t figure out for the life of me why they had done so well underneath those giant Norway Spruce out back of The Homestead.

Well, mystery solved, and I gave you a clue already.

Ostrich Fern -

Yes, my lovelies LOVE that spot and have grown into a gigantic colony BECAUSE they have grown in about 80 years my ancestor’s poop.

My Grandmother woulda loved that, her being a big one for how to achieve healthy bowel movements, as she put it. To know that those lovely ferns are a product of generations of Calvert number 1 and 2’s.

This mystery was solved by a bit of online puttering, not in the garden, to find out why on earth those rotten ferns where so unhappy here. It was that moment of clarity, putting the pieces together, and all at once I had a snapshot of where they were, under that stand of Spruce, the huge Butternut behind, and then I remembered where the outhouse had been when I was very small – right there among those ferns.

Well, golly gee.

I was maybe 6, it was the summer before we moved down to our rental place in the village. At some time, maybe even that summer, Mom said to Grandma: “Mom, when are you going to let us tear that eyesore down“?

And then I forgot about it. Completely. Until of course I read about what sort of conditions Ostrich Ferns liked, boggy, swampy dark places, and are the true fiddleheads.

In ideal conditions along shaded streams, ostrich ferns form thick mats. They thrive in moist flood plains with the coolness and high humidity associated with canopied streams.

So, there you go, learn something new every day.

Yet, all due to puttering. Gets you to the intimate nature of things, the truths behind the thing you think you see.

So the solution to the little dears desires is all thanks to Derrick, and the composter he gave me before he left, with a nice batch of the stuff almost ready to go. Or, ready around the time those plumes begin to droop and start looking like, well, shit.
You will find me, a pot of composted veggie detritus in hand, dividing it up amongst those old Victoria ladies. Hopefully, it will suffice, as I have no intention of pooping on them, I think the neighbours would object.


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