In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rainy days

This is the second of three or four consecutive rainy days. I woke up to thunder this morning and we have heard it off and on all morning. The temperature is about 10 celsius (50 farenheit). Spring has been mostly wet and cool, with bright sunny days only now and then. I think it is just the nature of life so close to the sea.

Yesterday the rain didn't begin in earnest until afternoon so we were both able to go about our projects. Greg had chipped a big pile of apple branches the day before so I added the wood chips to the garden paths and defined the space below the grape arbour. I plan to put an old wooden chair under the arbour and then I will sit out there on a hot sunny day and look at the garden. If we ever have a hot sunny day. I found a small wooden cable spool on the shore that I plan to lug up to the garden, so there will be a little table next to the chair. It will be idyllic. Maybe I'll have two chairs in case someone comes by and wants to sit there, too.

The grape arbour seems to be doing well this year. I think it's what is called a Fox Grape, which is a wild grape. My reference book says that a wild grape vine may live for well over a century. I wonder how old this one is. Last year we trained its huge old stem to the new structure, and pruned it. There were no grapes at all. But I am hopeful for this year's harvest, even if we only get a bit of juice. And I'd like to preserve some of the leaves this year so we can have stuffed grape leaves later on.

We have begun to taste the garden in spite of so much cool wet weather. When I thinned the turnips Greg sauteed the greens in garlic and oil. We've also had mustard greens and turnip greens mixed into a salad. And he is using the herbs that are already flourishing in the little narrow kitchen garden next to the house: oregano, thyme, mint, sage. But we will go slowly with eating the greens until the plants are better established, in another month or so. Or maybe never, unless the sun can shine a bit more.

The rain varies from drenching to drizzle to fine mist. The harbour waters match the pale grey of the clouds, and whoosh in sheets away from the shore, but there's hardly any wind. The shore across the harbour is remote, grey, veiled. A few of the ewes and their lambs are huddled beneath the hackmatack trees. The rams stand silently staring at nothing, or lie about.

The rams have discovered the bird seed. One of them butted the pole the feeder sits on, and all the seed spilled out onto the ground. They were delighted with themselves. Greg went out and spoke to them but they were not at all remorseful.

LeRoy told us while he was here on Sunday that he raised the two North Country Cheviot rams himself, and that The Major was raised by a cardiologist in Lunenberg. We call the two Cheviots Balzac and Bertie. Nowadays the three of them slouch about the island, a little lazy gang, their work here finished.

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