Our peonies began opening up yesterday, and this year we're extra excited because the one above comes from a plant that has never bloomed before. We weren't even sure what color it would be. The plant has been in the ground for four or five years, and this spring we finally, finally got two beautiful yellow flowers.
This one is our "Bowl of Beauty" peony, which I've posted before, and we still have one more peony plant with dark pink flowers that at the moment has only buds.
Last year the peonies didn't bloom at all, and we're not sure why -- perhaps because last spring was so unusually dry. At any rate, this is a significant improvement!
This looks like such a peaceful photo -- Olga with our yellow peony -- but what you can't tell is that at the moment I took it, landscapers were next door on one side with mowers, trimmers and blowers, kicking up an incredible racket, and on the other side, Mrs. Kravitz was giving a lot of instructions to her poor sainted gardener. When did gardening become so noisy? Dave and I run the lawn mower for about 20 minutes every few weeks and that's it.
At work, the library is finally coming together. We have all the books out of the fiction room, which is now completely bare and ready for its transformation into a classroom. We've continued to get rid of some old stuff, including a huge two-volume edition of Henry David Thoreau's journal that's older than I am. This may sound like sacrilege, but neither volume had been checked out since 1977, and they weren't in great shape. If we replace them -- and the jury is out -- I think we need selections or highlights that are more accessible to a high school student.
I looked through them, and though I admire Thoreau, they can be a bit tedious. He can go on for pages about the clouds on a particular day, for example, but he does occasionally have funny passages. I liked this one, from March 25, 1860:
The boy's sled gets put away in the barn or shed or garret, and there lies dormant all summer, like a woodchuck in the winter. It goes into its burrow just before woodchucks come out, so that you may say a woodchuck never sees a sled, nor a sled a woodchuck -- unless it were a prematurely risen woodchuck or a belated and unseasonable sled. Before the woodchuck comes out the sled goes in. They dwell at the antipodes of each other. Before sleds rise woodchucks have set. The ground-squirrel too shares the privileges and misfortunes of the woodchuck. The sun now passes from the constellation of the sled into that of the woodchuck.
I was just out in the dewy morning picking slugs off my wildflower seedlings. I put copper slug rings around them to protect them overnight, but I found the slugs inside the rings, munching away, so apparently that was a futile exercise.