flora gardening homestead

Where there’s smoke

Wrestling with wild grape vine, trying to corral it for fall’s jelly harvest, I’m suddenly surrounded by smoke. I freeze, but my brain can’t work out where the smoke is coming from. Unexpected fires are usually from neighbours burning garbage, but unless I’ve forgotten again, it’s not garbage day. And those fires generally make smells not smoke anyway. This smoke is doubly strange — forming low-hanging yellow clouds that are now billowing lazily towards the driveway. I move again, and even more smoke joins this curious yellow fog, and finally my brain solves the puzzle. It forgot to remember where I’m standing — under the juniper trees, their branches so thickly slathered with pollen that the whole tree is the colour of creamy mustard. As I flail the spent vines over my head, I’m knocking the pollen from the tree behind my back, and it is agreeably taking flight in great plumes on the spring breeze. Later, I see a red squirrel do the same thing as me. She’s not tending grape vines, but leaping through the copse of cedars with the sort of gravity-bending abandon only a squirrel understands. She lands at the tip of a branch, and the tree bounces heavily under her four soft red paws. She’s suddenly invisible behind a curtain of exploding pollen. *Poof* and abracadabra, she makes herself disappear.

Hope you’re having a good week folks. Between the big magic of the eclipse, and the daily wonders too. 🌲💛