Matfield Green - Our first years

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pioneer Bluffs Open House

It was a windy day at Pioneer Bluffs for our Open House on Sunday afternoon, but we couldn't have asked for a better turnout. 90 or 100 we're guessing. Bill and Tom and Jim Worster and Floyd Beck had worked like maniacs getting the place cleaned up and accident-proofed. Brad and Brianna Talkington, teens from Matfield, mowed the lawn. Barb made countless cookies and I mixed lemonade and made sure we had coffee and decaf and all the trimmings. We even hung a brand new American Flag on the porch.

Annie Wilson's band, Tallgrass Express, played music from the period and Bill gave informal tours and answered questions. At the end of the day we even received our first donation!

The excitement of others is a great boost of energy for us!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bird central

Two days ago at dusk we spotted a flock of Pelicans heading south behind the bunkhouse - taking a detour perhaps to spend some time at El Dorado Lake before proceeding to their summer home in Canada. At lunch yesterday, out the backdoor of the bunkhouse, 4 harriers soared on the wind. It seemed like playing or dancing from our point of view, but every once in awhile one would stick out its talons an dive toward the ground, suddenly full of purpose. Bluebirds are everywhere - always in pairs. The larks guide me home along the lane, skipping from fence post to fence post as I return from my morning walk. And perhaps best of all, yesterday afternon the Scissortail Flycatcher returned.

Phil Miller reports seeing, for the first time ever at their feeder, not one or two but **15 ** Yellowheaded Blackbirds.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


These are photos of Emily Hunter's Guinea Fowl, taken by the wonderful Susi Lulaki.

It's been cold around here. Down to 16 degrees two nights in a row. Phil & Kathy's tulips have gone limp and we fear the worst for our fruit trees. I haven't gone down to look at the lettuce, spinach and strawberries yet, figuring that a few more days spent cozy under the mulch won't hurt anything.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mulching the spinach

Yesterday I drove to Council Grove (to meet with an accountant on Pioneer Bluffs Foundation business) it was a warm spring day. I saw two hawks sitting together on a branch, as if the day brought out the romantic in even these solitary creatures. But even by noon there was a change in the air.

I stopped and bought home grown lettuce at the Strong City grocery, commenting that I'd soon have some of my own. The clerk suggested that I'd want to mulch that lettuce cause it was supposed to get down to 30 degrees last night. I did and she was right - I woke up to a light frost this morning. Stopping at the gas station I ran into Kathy Dean. She was planning to wrap her fruit trees too. I passed that on to Bill who wrapped the three little ones (plum, peach and pear if I remember correctly) that we planted last April.

And now they're predicting 24 degrees on Saturday night. So out I went this afternoon to cover the spinach and strawberries in a mulch of straw.

Wish us luck.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Adding at "s"

I've added an "s" to the title of my blog so that I can keep on writing. We've been here a year and a month now. I've considering closing the book, but I decided that it is a good excercise to keep calling upon myself to see with the eyes of a newcomer.

Through my pregnant newcomer eyes, the colt across the street is particularly compelling. He couldn't be more than a few days old. He wasn't there when I left for Madison last Wednesday, and Friday there he was (or there she was) standing beside mama, blending into her color. As skinny as can be. He's been sleeping most of the day today (or at least every time I pass). Mama stays nearby, watching and grazing.

The Millers' yard looks spectacular. Tulips, crocuses, fruit trees of all colors. My apple tree is blooming and the red buds (those buds are good in salads) are stunning purple in yards and along riverbanks.

The gooseberry and raspberry bushes we planted yesterday have resurrected themselves and I've tasted the first asparagus from the seeds I started back in Chicago more than a year and a half ago. Delicious. A small bed behind my office telling me to plant more, plant more, plant more.