I went out this morn­ing for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.

Any­way, I digress.

I went out this morn­ing for my daily run/walk. Most days I lis­ten to books via Audi­ble on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a com­pelling sto­ry­line and a tal­ented reader who keeps me hang­ing on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fab­u­lous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit vir­tu­ous. I’m read­ing and exer­cis­ing! In fact, I am pretty much on track to fin­ish 100 Kin­dle, tra­di­tional and audio­books this year as part of my Goodreads goal.

fall in the potager

Lemon grass and pineap­ple sage salvia in the potager — October

This morn­ing I had to fum­ble a bit before get­ting Audi­ble up and run­ning. (Thank you iOS 7 for mak­ing me add a pass­word.) While I was mash­ing vir­tual but­tons on the minus­cule screen with­out ben­e­fit of my read­ing glasses, I ran/walked sev­eral yards, not look­ing at the first thing except that tiny screen.

Sud­denly it hit me. Smoke. Specif­i­cally, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.

Now, I’m not big into fire­places with smoke because of sen­si­tive sinuses and a strong ten­dency to get painful sinus infec­tions when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of out­side smoke from some­one else’s fire­place a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot choco­late and take a nap!”

It’s a smell with dozens of asso­ci­a­tions from child­hood and from the hap­pi­est (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accom­pa­nied by the nature music of my feet brush­ing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.

Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)

I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yel­low, brown, green and every color of fall, punc­tu­ated by the occa­sional, fear­less rose, salvia and celosia.

celosia cock's comb

Celosia–commonly called cock’s comb–in the potager

If I could bot­tle up that fan­tas­ti­cal com­bi­na­tion of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.

Alas, no one has fig­ured out how to cap­ture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, musi­cians and per­fumers still try.

But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appre­ci­ate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to any­one will­ing to pause in their run/walk through life and appre­ci­ate it.

Namaste.

 

 

Robin
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I am in the movies! Okay, not the big screen. More like the lit­tle screen—say, the size of your com­puter mon­i­tor. I and my gar­den are the sub­jects of a  video and Q&A story for Pan­era Bread’s new web­site and to pro­mote their new “Live Con­sciously” cam­paign. (Update: The story and video have moved tem­porar­ily off the Pan­era web­site while they move things around. You can still see the video here on the Pan­era Youtube chan­nel.

If you have one of those Pan­era guest cards that earns you dis­counts on sand­wiches and free cook­ies, you prob­a­bly received the same invi­ta­tion to be in the (lit­tle) movies that I did. I received the email last fall. “Tell us about your hobby!”

myinterest-gardening-as-a-rewarding-pastime02

Well, it was evening when I opened the email. I maybe had a glass of wine. Maybe two. I fig­ured, “Hey, I’ll tell them I gar­den!” So I filled out their online form and rather than pro­vid­ing them with a bunch of answers to their open-ended ques­tions, I referred them right here—to my gar­den blog.

Months went by and I didn’t hear any­thing. Frankly, I for­got about it as soon as I hit send. After all, gar­den­ing isn’t exactly an unusual hobby. Surely tons of gar­den­ers wrote to tell the Pan­era folks about their rose gar­dens, their peren­nial gar­dens, their exotic gardens.

But then one day I received an email, “Hey, we want to come visit your veg­etable gar­den, talk with you and make a gar­den video!”

There was a bit of back-and-forth and a few weeks later two video­g­ra­phers, an art direc­tor and account exec­u­tive flew in from Boston and other parts north for a visit. They were at my house for nearly seven hours! For a two-minute video!

The older of my two Papil­lons, Sophie, was delighted at the oppor­tu­nity to be in the movies. Sophie is one smart dog. She’s not the kind of smart dog who will do tricks. She’s the kind of dog who knows exactly how to make you do tricks.

Dur­ing the inter­view por­tion of the shoot, which took about 20 min­utes, Sophie sat right next to me, ears up and with her best I’m-ready-for-my-closeup smile on her face. Sarah was busy sniff­ing cam­era  bags and cables.

Sophie-on-Red-Chair

Sophie, the elder Papil­lon, never made it into the video.

Nei­ther dog made it into a sin­gle shot!

The video­g­ra­phers were keen to see me work and move around, which was more than a lit­tle uncom­fort­able. The weed­ing was fine. I’m used to weed­ing. Sit­ting on my lit­tle stool and scratch­ing out the unwanted weeds is as nat­ural as breath­ing for me.

But hav­ing two guys with cam­eras fol­low me around as I walked in and out of the house, pot­ted up a lit­tle plant, pick let­tuce? Believe it or not, that’s not some­thing I do every day. It was a wee bit uncomfortable.

But it wasn’t until I watched the video that I real­ized my unfor­tu­nate wardrobe choice.

Mom jeans. I was wear­ing mom jeans. Seri­ously? I had to wear mom jeans when peo­ple came over with cam­eras? What was I think­ing? Ugh.

Watch­ing the video now I also see how bar­ren and new my first-week-in-June veg­etable gar­den looks. The cam­era dudes were unin­ter­ested in my hosta gar­den.  The wis­te­ria, peonies and roses had just fin­ished their big dis­play. But really, they were inter­ested in the fruits and veggies.

And the east­ern box turtle.

eastern box turtle

The east­ern box tur­tle is the res­i­dent tomato muncher—and run­away star of the gar­den video.

Actu­ally, the east­ern box tur­tle stole the video. That’s the first thing every­one com­ments about. Even my brother’s first com­ment was, “Cool! You have a turtle?”

Well, no. The tur­tle actu­ally has me. I am his per­sonal gardener.

I’m pretty sure this is the same box tur­tle who has lived in the gar­den for about three years now. I often stum­ble across him as I’m dig­ging and plant­ing, water­ing or weed­ing. I know he’s the one who takes bites from low-hanging toma­toes because I caught him red-handed one day, front legs on a big red tomato and mouth open. I’m sure he’s the guy who nib­bles at my straw­ber­ries too. That’s okay. I planted extra for him.

So, here’s the video. Watch for the shot of the turtle.

No com­ments on the mom jeans, please.

 

 

Robin
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Filed in: Blogging, Gardening

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, will be released later in 2014 from Taunton Press.

Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.

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