Summer at hand.

“A Joker and His Wife”. This 18th-century lubok is a copy of a German popular print.A cool, perfect day at the lake. I started late, but within a hour I had several small plants begging for mercy and others looking quite trim and manicured. More tomorrow. The Osage Orange, otherwise known to us as the Monkey Brain Tree, is lethal with its sharp new green thorns ready to scratch and gouge. And the arctic willow, randomly sends out hundreds of long, new wands, making the plant look quite hairy and unelegant. The trumpet vine (which really is manifested more like a tree) was sending vertical shooters into the grass…wild in its prolific desire to grow and reproduce. I brought 2 of the six tree peonies I bought from Song Sparrow up here and have been giving them sun and water and they are delighting in being here. Transplanting is soon. The first tree peony I put in has flourished and I am hoping for three as the blooms are so otherworldly, having three bushes might permit me to pick one for a vase inside. Or at least, that is my hope.

Alex has just gone to his job (dishwasher/busser at the Rongovian Embassy). Kitty and Rob are shuttling. I am back from grocerystoring…and have 4 logs of pizza dough in the fridge to bake off tonight (King Arthur Baking Companion bible recipe). Seems like we might be overrun with friends of Kitty and Alex tomorrow for dock jumping, bonfire making and the like. I think the extra packages of hot dogs and the pizza shells might come in handy tomorrow. Let me check on the drinks and tea situation. My hope is to clip some more tomorrow, and draw a bit. I am fusing Lubok and Bees with some various ideas I want to try out.

It is remarkable not having a graduate school summer this year. The long thread of sunny evenings and open time to “mess about” is so remarkable that I am a bit taken back by the luxury. No deadlines, no late nights and raw nerves from the lack of sleep and some of the idiotic high jinx of our classmates, no shows to hang, no papers to write…just a lovely unbroken summer with Grassroots in the middle and Hampshire at the very end. There is berry picking and music, friends and quiet…something I havent had since 2005. Rob has a week at Sagamore this September that I might tag along on…as my break from reality and of course, there is the hope of a few days at Art Basel Miami in December..But, we will see.

I need to go and check on a few things. I am steeling myself for a dunk in the lake later this p.m. whether I want to or not. A dunk in the lake guarantees wonderful dreams.