Wolfie and Bisou are exquisitely exhausted after their stay at the Halfling B&B, which is wonderful, since I am exquisitely exhausted after our trip to Montana too.
My eyes are having to adjust to the contrast in the two landscapes. In Montana, and especially Yellowstone, everything is vertical and spiky. The mountains and the pine trees all point to the sky. In Vermont, while things are not exactly horizontal, the mountains are low and rounded, and so are the trees, which, shrouded in their summer foliage, seem to be without trunks or branches. The intense green of les verts monts needs some getting used to as well.
While I was gone, the annual June explosion took place around our house. The chicken shed has disappeared under an avalanche of roses, which need to be deadheaded, as do the peonies and the lavender. The lilacs need pruning. The espaliered apricot needs further espaliering. The rampaging mint and chamomile need to be brought under control. The suckers growing at the base of the apple trees need to be decapitated. Wolfie needs to be brushed. And the broccoli and the chard and the peas and the kale and the zucchini need to be picked and processed and frozen. The last of the spinach needs to be dealt with and replaced with beans right away, or it will be too late.
And I need to hold a tiny funeral for the three lavender plants that didn't make it through the mild winter because there wasn't enough snow to cover their sensitive Mediterranean feet.