Last evening as the sun dipped behind the trees on the wooded hills above our farm, I set off with my trusty wheelbarrow heaped with pussy willows we’d rooted last year and wintered over in the garden, where they could not possibly remain, and a shovel. My aim, the farm pond in the meadow. Highly curious heifers with no regard for personal space followed at my heels like pet dogs. If I turned around, they were breathing down my neck. A little disconcerting, so I waved them back. Repeatedly. I was also slightly concerned about chancing upon a coyote, but decided with this lot keeping me company that wasn’t likely. Might not have been anyway, but coyotes do visit the meadow when making their rounds late in the evening or at night. Rarely in the day.
My two farm dogs chose not to go with me on this particular venture. Wise. I had to toss the pussy willows, contained in feed sacks after I dug them out of the garden, and my shovel over not one, but two, electric fences and then roll beneath the wire to reach the grassy edge of the water. For those of you who think it’s easy to dig in wet muck sucking at your shovel and your boots, I can assure you that it’s not. Already worn out after a day of overdoing it in the garden, this final endeavor took the last of my reserves. And I sank in the squelchy mud up to my boot tops. Then my knees. Digging and clawing my way along, I shifted clumps of saturated grass and oook to get my plants into place. Then heaved myself back up the bank to the meadow and pushed my barrow home. A task I desired to accomplish before dark so I could still see the electric fences, installed, btw, to keep the cows out of the pond.
If the pussy willows are happy there, we will have lovely catkins next spring. Supposedly, they prefer swampy places and the edges of streams, so this spot ought to suit them. But I reserved one to plant someplace else, just in case.
As ever, I am in pursuit of Eden on earth. My own bit of heaven. And I have the aching back to prove it.
(***Images of Lance in the muddy creek near the pond and daughter Elise on a different outing. And our oh so friendly cows. To be expected, really, as they were hand raised and bottle fed, etc).
I did a search on pussy willow quotes and found this rather unusual one: ““Everything that anyone would ever look for is usually where they find it.”
― Margaret Wise Brown
I have no idea how that relates to pussy willows, but liked the quote. I hope to find my willows where I planted them, growing happily.