Sunday, August 21, 2011
To me, zinnias are the perfect mid-summer garden flower: brilliantly colorful, oddly sturdy and a little sassy in their unwillingness to be carbon-copy blossoms, one just like the other. I never have any success growing them at my farm - they get eaten by rabbits - so when I saw them for sale today in a NYC greenmarket, I bought them, pricey as they were. The farmer who sold them to me told me that his trip into Manhattan from southern Jersey took him three hours - two hours for the highway trip - a distance of about 100 miles - then a third hour to creep along from the Lincoln Tunnel into the heart of the city, 15 miles at most. What a trooper!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
A little encouragement is a dangerous thing. I wasn't really going to say anything about this painting when I posted it - it is pretty self-evidently a barn - but my friend Judy told me she likes reading my blog. Not looking at it, but reading it. So this is for Judy! Judy has been to my farm in the mid summer and in fact, when she visited she and I had the most unexpected small-town kind of a day. When she arrived, I told her the brief history of our house, the area, the town and some of the people I know up here - the kind of deep background info that I always feel people like to hear. I mentioned several notable names - that of my running buddy Joan, those of my friends Jane and Harold who own the paint and paper store in town, the name of the estimable woman Faiga who runs Good Cheap Food, aka "the piano store" (but that is a story for another time) and finally a nod to Leland, the contractor who renovated our house - all people who one way or the other dip in and out of our life in the country. That afternoon Judy and I went to town for lunch and by golly, who should we run into on the Main Street, but Joan, Jane and Harold and Faiga - just as if I had stationed them there for Judy's benefit. At each encounter, there were introductions and a chat ("this is Judy - she is here from the Berkshires and this is Joan, my running buddy" etc.) After lunch, we got back in the car for a spin around the countryside on our way home to the farm and on one of the back roads, there was a house under construction and sure enough, as we slowed down (so as not to raise too much dust from the dirt road), who should we see coming around the side, but Leland, the contractor, the only personage we hadn't yet run into. So once again, introductions and a little chat and then home we went, everyone accounted for. Judy was at my farm at just about this time of year and though I don't remember if there was morning mist on the land, the yellowish late August foliage and the barn in need of a good paint job were probably much the same.
If you would like to purchase this painting, click here.