Today is the first day of summer and a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Red and white roses in full bloom – my fig tree has not only survived the winter but is growing apace – a wee brown bunny apparently lives in my yard and has eaten my parsley to the ground twice so far.

It seems I’ve been given a second chance when it comes to baby birds. My spring trauma was that there was a nest in the rose bush with three baby robins in it and nurturing parent birds going back and forth. Then, all of a sudden, an empty nest! And not a clue as to what happened to them. But now, in the hanging verbena that Dan gave me for Mother’s Day, there is a wee nest containing five little white eggs. The verbena blooms profusely with red and pink flowers but needs to be watered daily or it dries out. Imagine my surprise when I climbed up on the porch rail to water the verbena and a slender brown bird flew out of the plant.

I guess it’s a sparrow, but I read that sparrow eggs are speckled and I see no spots–-and the eggs seem to me to have a tinge of blue. Anyhow, in spite of daily watering the momma bird keeps coming back and this time around I have hopes of seeing the entire birdie cycle completed.

I don’t know what to do about the bunny. There seems to be only one – at least only one at a time – with no big bunny ever apparent. When I raised bunnies as a kid they came in litters of five or six but my research tells me the smaller bunnies only have 3-5. Whether this little fellow has siblings that take turns eating my garden I couldn’t say. Thank God they don’t like tomato plants, which is all I really have left. All the peppers but one have been demolished. The broccoli and the parsley were the first things to go. Bunny has also taken a fancy to the green peaches that have fallen from the peach tree. Since broccoli is a member of the cabbage family it’s obvious that the old tale about Peter Rabbit in the cabbage patch was based on sad reality. The tomato plants are blooming now and I have hopes of salmonella-free tomatoes in a month or so. Plus perennial rhubarb, horse radish, and asparagus. Oh, yes, two basil plants are still alive.

I’d like to put in a plug for my Craftsman Combo Clipper. It’s a lightweight battery-operated clipper that is great for old folks that like to putter around in a yard or in a garden. It’s good and sharp and runs quite a long time on a charge. I use it for light hedge clipping, trimming about trees, discouraging weeds, and think it was just about the best gift ever. Thank you, Johnny.

SONG IN PRAISE OF SUMMER
(with apologies to James Russell Lowell for abbreviating his lovely poem)

AND what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
~…~
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o’errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,–
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
~…~
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
‘Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
~…~

From: “The Vision of Sir Launfal”

BUNNY

Bunny is a teenager now; picture looks bigger than he really is.