106 Days

Wild Iris by our pond, at the Camp.

For the last 106 days I have not had a visit, or visited, in person, with anyone but Attila. No runs to the grocery store, or any other store, except for pickup, which does not involve contact with another human. So far, so good.

Since the mid-90s I have had very little in-person contact with friends or family, so the the transition to no in-person contact with friends or family hasn’t been shocking, just more of the same. Now that Attila is working again I see him for a few hours a day. It was unbelievably pleasant to have him here all the time during the lock-down! I think a lot of seniors have similar experiences with isolation, but who would know, they aren’t in contact with anyone, lol.

I have worked hard to strike an internal balance with isolation (not solitude, that is when you have a choice), it was a rough go at first. So I do feel some sympathy for those who are finding it challenging to be suddenly alone all the time during the pandemic. I acclimatized to isolation, so for me it eventually got easier, I hope it does for others too.

Attila and I took a run out the Camp, to check on things and trim the weeds. We drive there, no stops, and drive home, no stops. We keep masks and disinfectant in the car at all times. He trimmed the weeds near Grace the trailer, around the fire pit, down the driveway, and along the road. If he didn’t trim the growth along the road the weeds would cause visibility issues for vehicles traveling along the road, so he likes to keep up with it as a community courtesy. He also worked on the Hugelkultur bed we are building in the clearing, and transplanted some volunteer Ground Cherries that self-seeded from last year’s plants at Mist Cottage. As usual, we had dead mice to deal with, as we are still catching them in Grace the Trailer, our mouse house in the bush. He was very busy!

On our last visit I had pushed down three 20 foot high dead trees in the bush, and dragged them to the fire pit area. Yesterday they were burned, along with some logs from a dead ash tree that was felled two years ago. I tend the fire constantly when it is lit, never leaving it, because an open fire, even one in a legal, well built, contained fire pit, needs supervision. Usually at the Camp my day is spent burning dead wood, and there always seems to be plenty of that in the bush. Camp fires are wonderful, and one of their features is that they are great for cooking meals! We had a lovely lunch, cooked over the coals. Wieners were slowly roasted, then enjoyed on the 100% Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns that were baked last Friday, with a vegetable side of Home Canned Coleslaw.

The time at the Camp was at first quite hurried, as there was a lot to accomplish on a short day trip. It was cloudy, windy, and chilly upon arrival, only 11C. Within a few hours the sun came out and since so much had already been accomplished, the pace slowed and the day was enjoyed. Last summer there were few birds, but yesterday the air was filled with bird song, Robins, Scarlet Tanagers, Blue Jays, and many other calls that we did not recognize. The leaves rippled in the wind, and the sunlight played constantly across the clearing. A perfect day.

There were a few dozen Army Worms on the tree trunks, which were quickly dispatched. Perhaps this year there haven’t been swarming masses of them, as there have been the last three summers. They are usually plentiful in late May, early June. We may have missed them, as this is only our second day visit in 2020. However, they will strip a tree of it’s leaves, and none of the trees were missing any leaves, so perhaps they aren’t so bad this year.

On the last visit, a few weeks ago, the black flies were numerous but not swarming. Their season is over. There were surprisingly few Mosquitoes! There were a dozen or so young Dragon Flies in the clearing, darting here and there, dipping and diving. I love Dragon Flies, as they are pretty, and they eat biting bugs, like Mosquitoes. As we sat eating our lunch, we were surrounded by swooping Dragon Flies, who feasted on all of the Mosquitoes who thought to make us their lunch. We were surrounded by body guards! Mother Nature has her ways of balancing our universe.

Today Attila made Wild Strawberry Pancakes for breakfast, with the wild strawberries he picked at the Camp yesterday. Since breakfast he has been in the garden planting the small pots of plants that he started from seed. I’ve baked five loaves of bread for Attila’s lunches, and washed and hung to dry a load of laundry. I will also make 4 liters of Switchel for the coming week. So it has been a busy day again today!

Freshly harvested Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Garlic scapes for lunch! The Dianthus are just there to look pretty, I don’t eat them.

Worldly

Weather

18°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Sunday 14 June 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 18.1°C
Dew point: 3.9°C
Humidity: 39%
Wind: ESE 16 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Time is a cruel thief to rob us of our former selves. We lose as much to life as we do to death.”
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
1938 –

13 Comments

  1. Steve-Paul (SP) Simms

    The first 106 days are always the worst! Wishing you some good human contact soon, meanwhile stay healthy and happy. Love from us.
    You might enjoy Wild Strawberries the movie on youtube. I did.

  2. Eileen Barton

    Your dainthus is beautiful. I love dragon flies. I get so excited when I see one. Years ago my sister and I went to the shore and there were tons of dragonflies on the boardwalk. I have never seen so many at one time. Just the other day I had one hanging around me while I was watering the garden. Little pleasures. 🙂

  3. LOL Steave-Paul! Yes, I think I am “over the hump” on this isolation thing. Working hard on the healthy thing, the happy thing seems to just happen. Love to youse!
    I believe that Bergman film was on the DVD you sent me! Must watch again!

  4. Eileen, you are so right, “little pleasures”. That must have been a sight to see, all those Dragonflies at the same time! I’ve only seen one in the Mist Cottage garden this spring, I hope to see many more. 🙂

  5. Joan, I guess they would be rare in a dry climate, I hadn’t thought of that. I wonder what other insects you commonly see, that I don’t even know exist! The Strawberry Pancakes were delicious, althought they would have benefited from a great quantity of strawberries. Wild strawberries at our Camp are the size of very small peas, you have to pick a lot! Oh yes, pancakes with cut up strawberries on them, that would be wonderful! “Hugs”

  6. I have come here following your comments on my blog post and find the blog interesting.

    I live in a city on the Western part of India. The lockdown has enabled dragon flies to come to our garden too after may be two decades. So have three types of butterflies and humming birds. This has happened because there is no traffic and noise that perhaps kept them away.

  7. Welcome Ramana! I found your blog in a similar fashion, very interesting and uplifting. That is wonderful that the dragonflies have come to your garden! And the butterflies and hummingbirds! it is late spring here, so we haven’t seen any butterflies or hummingbirds yet, but we do see them in the summer. I love the reduction in traffic and noise, and I particularly love the decreased air traffic, as the I can smell the grasses and trees and green things growing, the way I did when I was a kid growing up in Ontario, Canada, the fresh air is amazing. This happened too just after 9/11 tragedy in New York City, when air traffic stopped in North America for a while, the quality of the air was just amazing.

  8. Sandy

    The Wild Iris and Dianthus are beautiful. Do you take the photos with a cell phone camera? The quality is really sharp. I have seen some people in my building but we are masked and social distance. Our conversations are also short. Some people may think things are returning to normal, but we’re all still vigilant. I talk to family on the phone most weekends and to friends on the computer. I do miss hugging people and going out to lunch occasionally. The camp sounds like a little bit of heaven!
    Hugs!

  9. Sandy, I love Dianthus, and the Wild Iris are a bonus, on the side of the swamp at the Camp, Attila spotted them and brought them to my attention. I take photos these days with my iPad, I am pretty happy with it. That is wonderful that people in your building are wearing masks, I hope you enjoy those short conversations. The people around us act as if things have returned to normal, but they are living in a fools paradise as I am concerned. If the virus begins here ignorance will not be bliss. Oh yes, I would miss hugging people oh so much. Sandy, do you have a pet? I love animals and I do find that petting a cat or a dog is very soul nourishing. We have no pets at this point, I still miss Mist the Kitty, was thinking of her just a few days ago. With my anaphylaxis I have had to give up going out to lunch, even going for a cup of coffee in a public place was potentially hazardous for me all these years. One adapts. I love the Camp, it is a little piece of heaven. Attila and I sit in the trees, listen to the birds, poke at the camp fire, and say to each other, “we are so lucky!”
    Hugs! Stay safe dear friend.

  10. Margarett

    Hello everyone. Here is the current update on my continuing health nightmare. After nearly 6 hours on the phone on Monday, I found my vascular surgeon…he had moved from a Baylor Hospital to UT SOUTHWESTERN…one of the nations top 5 hospitals in the US. I had scanned my CT scan report to him…” well, this will require a complicated and extensive surgery”. He also told, me that I will be enrolled in a clinical study for the use of a special device, only approved for the study. I go tomorrow for another round of scans from “ your chin to your bottom”. Then, I meet with him at 1pm. Surgery probably be next Monday. On strict bed rest…can go to the bathroom, and am not to pick up anything heavier than a glass of water. I am hoping that this finding may explain some of my fatigue and loss of stamina. Whomever your “higher power” might be….please ask for guidance for the doctors, and for me to heal quickly. I will stay in touch. xxoo Margarett. I love the Iris.

  11. Margarett, oh dear, what an ordeal. I certainly will be sending positive thoughts to your doctors and healing thoughts for you. Goodness, they are acting quickly, that is so wonderful! I am responding the next day, the 17th, so you are preparing for your meeting with the vascular surgeon, may that go a smoothly as possible! Stay safe and good health dear friend!
    The Iris was a lovely surprise in the bush!

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