Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Garden Musing

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

                ---by Mary Oliver

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not an early morning person. For years I dreamed of the day I could sleep in on weekdays.  Ironically, now that I finally can most days, I find myself getting up between 6 and 6:30 AM.  That's not the crack of dawn at this time of year, but it's still early enough to enjoy the first rays of sunlight as they streak through the trees and highlight the gardens.  Sitting in my favorite perch, the front porch swing, with a cup of tea in hand, I can watch the birds fly about and listen to their morning songs. 

Even Sasha with her dark calico coat, seems to glow in the early sunlight.

Sometimes the morning can bring something unexpected.  One of the old apple trees fell victim to the very strong winds we have had the past two days. 

I was out doing some trimming yesterday morning because it was just too windy to plant any of the new plants I recently purchased, and I noticed the top of the trunk actually swaying in the wind.  I shouldn't have been too surprised then to see this main branch break off as the trunk was nearly hollow close to the ground. I guess it was only a matter of time, but it was rather ironic that this should happen the day before Arbor Day.

Fortunately, there are enough trees in the front yard for a perfect Arbor Day celebration. Did you plant a tree for Arbor Day?

Garden Muse Day is sponsored the first of each month by Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.  Thanks, Carolyn.  And thanks to fellow bloggers who first introduced me to the poetry of Mary Oliver.  She is truly a nature-lover's poet!


  1. Rose girl : ) Your new template is working so beautifully .. it is a pleasure to read your blog with such ease and enjoyment !
    I loved that poem .. that is how I feel each morning .. well .. most mornings ? LOL
    I'm sorry about that beautiful tree .. there had been a few days here that the wind was scary too.
    But .. you have so many of these beautiful trees .. they will "sing" to you for Arbor day : )
    Sasha is also another beauty in this post : )
    I'm looking forward to seeing how my new hydrangea works out , thank you for commenting on it Rose !
    Joy : )

  2. I do like to get up and get going in the morning, to feel like I haven't missed anything of the day. Even on the weekends, I am usually up by 6 am or so... with the promise of a whole day before me.

    Yes, you have a lot of nice trees!

  3. The winds have been horrible the past couple of days. Poor old apple tree. Don't you just hate to lose one even if it is old and sick.?. You know I love Mary Oliver. A great poem to start the month with. Happy May Day.

  4. Spring mornings are made for rising early to enjoy nature. Although I much prefer coffee. :)

    So sad about the apple tree. I wonder why they hollow out like that-is it insects? Maybe for a late Arbor Day celebration you could plant another one for future generations.

    Happy May!

  5. Rose I loved the poem about sun on your face!
    How alive we feel now that we can get up early and walk out to our gardens and start off our days with glorious sunshine!!
    Oh dear your poor apple tree..Rose you have an orchard of trees in your front yard!! blessed you are to have such a space!

  6. Hi Rose....beautiful poetry. I can relate to the content.
    I have always been an early riser. I was up at 5.25 am this morning and it was amazing. I walk the garden and get totally lost in the sounds......the plants......the atmosphere. It always makes me feel so happy to be alive.

    How sad.....I hate to see a tree in the final stages of it's life. I think of the time the tree has spent giving to others....the insect world.....nesting sites for for the table.

    Poppi and I planted twelve silver birch trees this year....eleven have taken. They are around six feet high and looking very elegant. I love our native trees.

    I hope that you are enjoying this weekend and that the sun is shining on you......

  7. I don't like to be up too early. 7 am is about right for me.
    Wonderful photos and I love the new look on the blog.
    Pity about the tree.......
    The cat is lovely. Purfect.

    Nuts in May

  8. It is ironic about the tree, but now you have the opportunity to plant a new one! I have a new baby tree that is spending this season in a container until transplanting this fall.

  9. Ironic indeed that it fell when it did but judging by the pictures I think it was tired and ready to go. Time for a new one.

  10. Sorry about the tree. Sasha looks stunning. When I was working, I ALWAYS started early (7:00 to 7:30, per my choice). Now that I'm "retired" it's embarrassing how late I sleep. My whole biorythms have shifted. I miss seeing the sun rise. Hmmm, the big question is, will I set an alarm to see it happen?!

  11. So sorry about the old apple tree Rose! That wind was fierce. I was a little worried one of our maples was going to be toppled, but it just dropped a bunch of twigs and branches, and helicopters in big clumps - such messy trees!

  12. Sorry of the loss of your apple tree!

    I sincerely wish I was a morning person -- but I have such a hard time getting to sleep at night that rising early is also difficult.

  13. Your photos really portray morning freshness Rose. Great poem - Mary Oliver rings vague bells with me - I am going to research further :) Sorry to hear that you have lost an old garden friend.

  14. If my front yard looked anything like yours, I'd stay outside all the time. You have your very own park.

    Sorry about the fallen apple tree branch. Our local orchards are looking so pretty right now all covered in blossoms. I used to live on Apple Blossom Court.

    We have something in common -- I also enjoy my morning coffee on the porch swing watching the neighborhood come to life.

    No, I didn't plant a tree for Arbor Day and should have done that with Phillip at his house because they live on 3 acres but there are only a couple of trees. We are going to plant a pot of posies today for him to give his teacher for Teacher Appreciation Day/Week.

    Your Muse Day poem is just perfect for today. I enjoyed. Good choice.


  15. Joy, thanks; I'm glad the new template is working well.

    Carol, I knew you were an early riser!

    Lisa, I think your blog was where I first read Mary Oliver. Thanks for introducing me to her poetry!

    Beckie, You know my morning ritual--first a cup of tea, then lots of coffee:)

    Anna, Yes, I am so thankful to have so many lovely trees. And you're so right about the joy of getting up in the sunshine!

    Cheryl, We'll probably cut off the limb and see if the rest of the tree still stands. We have several little oak seedlings waiting to be planted. You and Poppi have been busy!

    Maggie May, I was never an early riser, but my body clock seems to have changed in recent years.

    Rose, Exactly! I have some new seedlings, too, waiting to be planted.

    Tina, You're right--I was more surprised than sad when the big limb broke.

    Monica, This was my plan--sleep in and stay up late:) Somehow my biorhythms have changed.

    Linda, I couldn't believe how strong the wind was. I wanted to plant two new roses, but was afraid they'd be beaten down before they had a chance to settle in.

    Sweet Bay, That's always the way I was, but I have changed in recent years.

    Anna, I'm really not too sad about the tree--I have more than enough apples in the fall, so it's a chance to plant a new one. Several bloggers have posted Mary Oliver poems before--do check her out; I think you'll really enjoy her.

  16. Donna, I'm lucky that all these trees were planted long before we moved here, so that I can enjoy them. It's a great way to start the morning. How sweet of you to help Phillip honor his teacher--she will be so appreciative.

  17. Hi, Rose;
    I need to set the alarm to wake by 6 for work. Though I hop out of bed, happily, at that early hour when it's gardening chores calling to me. Sorry to see your apple tree took a beating. I did plant a tree for Arbor Day and now it's snowing on that poor little tree. I guess only time will tell if it decides it approves of these strange weather patterns.

  18. Happy Muse Day, Rose! (I'm not a morning person either and need strong caffeine to get the juices flowing ). Love your photos and friendship ...

  19. Oh how I love early morning hours. Just this past Sat. a.m. hubbie and I sat outside enjoying our coffee and listened to the birds wake up.

  20. Hi Rose, sorry about your old apple tree. Just when they get that wonderful old, gnarly look they start breaking apart.

    We had those 50 mph winds here too. Lots of trees damaged and power out but no rain. Guess it could be worse like the folks in Tennessee are facing.

  21. I agree that early morning is the best time of day. Especially here in the desert in the summer because it is not too hot yet :-)

  22. Hope you had a good weekend Rose. Your poem for Muse Day was perfect. :)

  23. Belated May Day greetings, Rose!

    I loved the poem :) I do enjoy Mary Oliver's work. How I wish I was a Lark and not an Owl! I find early mornings so difficult even though I know they are the best part of the day.

    Such a shame about the tree but you do have some beauties there.

  24. Dear Rose,
    I am enjoying the mornings too. I guess it is being with the Dawn and the birds that makes getting up early wonderful.
    It was very windy today and I watched my neighbor's trees sway in the wind. You have a marvelous stand of trees. Sorry about the old Apple Tree. Always sad when a tree dies. Woodpeckers do love them and the rotting wood is nice for bugs.... I planted a Pear tree for Earth Day and 3 Paw-paws for Arbor day. The Pears are for me and the Paw-paws are for the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. I hope to see the leaves eaten!


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