Tuesday, May 31, 2011

P.O.P. Nature Study: Darling Buds of May

Carol and Michael sit on an old wooden bench by huge lilac bushes. (I like lilac bushes almost as much as I love Louisiana wisteria trees.) They talk about moving to Blackberry Inn in the country. Carol worries that Michael may be having false ideas about country/farm living. She remembers the strain and life-draining exhaustion it took on her parents' lives.

Michael combats her worries with the reality they would be less than an hour's drive from town, they would not need the money necessary to live in the "better" section of town anymore, and a garden would help their the food budget.

Who of us are driving less and growing gardens to supplement our grocery bill?

He gives her positive reasons for moving to the country like living near her brother, the quaint country church, and a big house with no mortgage to pay. He also wants more time spent with his family instead of tied down to a desk job in the city.

Carol finally consents in her surrender to God's will for their family and the wishes of her husband.

Who of us have moved to the country? What are the pros? The cons? The reasons?

Michael and Carol linger to enjoy a singing bluebird, a fragrant blossoming apple tree, and the annoying black flies of summer.

That night they have a celebration feast of fresh fried trout, cornbread, pickles, asparagus with cheese sauce, and custard.

* * * * *

Apple tree---Malus sylvestris

Black flies---Simulium

Brook trout---Salvelinus fontinalis
Eastern bluebird---Sialia sialis

Lilac---Syringa vulgaris

* * * * *


Do lilacs grow where you live?

Where there are flowers there are insects. Which insects fascinate you, and which ones do you call bugs because they get on your nerves?

How many different kinds of insects can you find in just one hour during a backyard insect hunt? You might be surprised at the variety.
 Personal observations and question:

I always know it's May when the first horsefly comes buzzing around the swimming pool. The kids duck under water, screaming. As far as bugs, my four-year-old dd is terrified of insects. If you hear her outside screaming as though she's been seriously injuired, chances are she only saw a bug. :-)

Has anyone read Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott?

My mother-in-law said it was her favorite book growing up. So I bought it for Kayleigh but she hasn't read it yet. I need to dig it out of the book closet and read with girls this summer, me thinks. :-) Alcott's life and books are always a wonderful bet for summer leisure reading.

On a personal note, I am currently reading Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen Alcott's life (especially her childhood) intrigues me on a personal level. So far I'm very pleased with this book.

I see there is also a new Alcott biography by Susan Cheever entitled Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography. Reading over the reviews I am not overly anxious to read it but, if anyone has read it and has found anything redeeming in it, please let me know. Alcott is a favorite author of mine.

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