Tuesday, May 10

springtime outside our doorstep

Springtime at our new apartment has been a lively and surprising affair. When we decided to move our main stipulation was that we wanted to find a place having at the very least a small yard where we could begin to garden and grow some food. I don't think I knew at that time, but now I'm realizing that we were both feeling starved for an outdoor space. Of course our growing endeavors have been an exciting and fun process, but our interaction with the outdoors has extended far beyond the vegetable patch in the back yard.

And beyond the raised bed that Luke crafted from some discarded bricks and planks from a dumpster.

During our time spent immediately outside the house we have discovered a host of edible, wild-grown plants that make excellent salad fodder. Luke even discovered a patch of morel mushrooms nearby, which are a very tasty, very rare and highly sought delicacy.

We've created a few 'walking paths' in the back yard that wind around the wild flowers that are beginning to bloom, creating an almost labyrinth-like feel.

We've watched the house finches building a virtual suburb on our back porch, some mourning doves acting out a soap-opera-worthy saga of birth, life and death on the front porch, and just tonight we helped the neighbors rescue a squirrel that was trapped under a porch. A few weeks back we even found a mallard duck egg belonging to a female duck who'd been hit by a car in front of the house. We are about 10 days into the incubation process and hoping to hatch a healthy little mallard by the end of the month!

And of course we are enjoying lots of time on the porch. Whether just sitting, or reading or feasting with friends.

Obviously our niece Emma approved of the spare ribs we grilled up for a spring dinner.

And this, my friends, is what I'm learning to love about having an outdoor space. When we lived in the city I couldn't have articulated exactly why we wanted a yard. But after just a few weeks of warm weather and unexpected discoveries, I think I'm starting to figure it out.

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