Monday, June 4, 2007


I accompanied Mick to Avalon today, a delightful holiday for me from the workaday world. It is so good to see all the foliage along our route in good health again. Only the Bradford pears have been seriously damaged, of all the trees. They received some kind of bacteriological blight which affected places where the freeze had caused ulcerations in the bark.

The country comes to new life this time of year. There were brand new tobacco sets out wherever we looked, and one amazingly large field of tomato sets. Now there’s one ambitious farmer! Soy beans and peppers were also being planted and the apple and peach trees were in much fuller and healthier shape than a month ago when I was up this way.

By golly, the largest barn I have ever seen was still standing. Ever since we bought Avalon Farm nearly twenty years ago, we’ve been expecting it to collapse. It is no longer used, as the farm has been sold off for houses, the new crop of exurbia. It is entirely overgrown with various vines. It leans. It totters. But amazingly, it’s still standing! When we pass that barn, we’re almost at Avalon.

The wild flowers were gone from the steep banks of the ravine along the access road. Everything has greened out now and all the small weeds are growing happily away in the permanent shade of that access road. In the dooryard, the iris was in bloom, and the clematis climbing the back porch of Sugar Shack was in glorious blossom up to the roof. Two of the volunteers had refreshed the paint on the signs for Avalon and Sugar Shack, and they looked fine indeed. It is such a blessing to be here.

I sang to Avalon and then did some work, hunting quotes for my next UPI article on Dana Redfield, while Mick repaired the fire pit and did some road work, as well as placing large bundles of branches along weak spots in the ravine bank which edges the access road, trying to head off more erosion.

And then we came home amidst a very much needed rain! I could almost hear the earth drinking up the much-needed water.