Friday, April 27, 2012

In The Moment

We are enjoying an extended spring season this year, not the usual weeks of endless dry 50+ mph wind gusts that cause you to contemplate suicide. For example, last year both of our screen doors were blown off of their hinges. In the past, I wondered if Bisbee even had a spring season since usually the dry-gusting-wind-filled days roll seamlessly into the egg-frying-on-the-cement days.
For too many days to count, I have been waking up to discover the fine weather beckoning me to play outside. While I’m pleased with the unusually mild weather, I am feeling the effects of the obligation to make some progress on the garden. The odds that the next day or coming weeks might prove to be impossible to work outside are high. Today is a one of those gusty days so I’m listening to the wind blow instead of digging and sifting.
Dig, sift, and dump. The repetition of the movements allows my mind to shift between various states of mind.
Digging Pictogram
Pick up shovel, place it down, rest foot on top, shove my weight down, bend knees & swing up, turn the dirt on the screen, roll the dirt with my gloved hand, pushing harder on the clay balls until they crumble & fall through.
Continue with the circular rolling motion over the rocks until the pieces of grass & roots forms into a ball, toss it out, tilt screen rolling rocks to one side, rubbing the screen to catch the remaining roots and finally plucking out the remaining Bermuda grass stolons tangled in the rocks. 
Repeat until the screen is half full with rocks.

Lift the screen to give a final shaking and pluck out the last unwanted bits and walk it over to the designated rock filled areas. Return to the wheelbarrow and replace the screen. Repeat this rhythm until the wheelbarrow is filled with dirt. 

Remove the dirt by returning it back into the hole or carry it over to another area in the yard.

The rhythm of digging, sifting and dumping pictogram
From the task at hand . . . to meandering thoughts... to simple observations . . . to abstract impressions.
The action becomes a dance, the mind lulls into meditation and the essence of life and death is acknowledged.
Being so intently focused upon the task of removing the Bermuda grass from the yard, I realized that a healthy balance to this activity was in order. I started to take longer breaks to take the time to notice the life that the spring season offers. The following photographs were taken when I put the shovel down.

Moonshadow birding
Apache Plume in bloom
Pipevine Swallowtail - Battus Philenor (identified @
Ladybug on Mullein
Clusters of mushrooms sprouting in the straw bales

New mushrooms sprouting through the blackened remains of their predecessors.
Coprinopsis atramentaria from Wikipedia
Coprinopsis atramentaria, commonly known as the common ink cap or inky cap, is an edible (but sometimes poisonous, see below) mushroom found in Europe and North America. Clumps of mushrooms arise after rain from spring to autumn, commonly in urban and disturbed habitats such as vacant lots and lawns, as well as grassy areas. The grey-brown cap is initially bell-shaped before opening, after which, it flattens and disintegrates. The flesh is thin and the taste mild. It can be eaten but is poisonous when consumed with alcohol – hence another common name, tippler's bane.
Great Ash Sphinx, Sphinx chersis, resting near the Swiss chard. (identified @

The passing of the Sphinx Moth within hours of the first photograph was disheartening. I buried it under the bale that will house the King of the Desert Watermelon.

Amaryllis Buds
Amaryllis blooms

Thank you for taking the time to stop and smell the roses for being in the moment and touring through the garden with me.


  1. Totally dig the digging notation.

  2. dealing with dirt in Bisbee seems like a metaphysical pursuit