I convinced Bhavna to come with me to the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market. Earlier in the week, I ordered a rustic loaf of bread and a 7 year aged reserve cheddar from Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse in Milford. I ordered online, but pick up is at the farmers' market.
Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market is hosted at the Case-Dvoor Farmstead in Flemington, about a 45-minute drive from home. We didn't know what to expect, but we pleasantly surprised. Beside Bobolink, we bought a few containers of spicy pickles from picklelicious for Kiran. She loves their pickles. I bought some native wildflower plants for my garden and roasted coffee beans.
Now for the strange bit. We stopped at one booth where a woman and her family were selling a sort of Balkan calzone and a sweet pastry which she thought I "needed". When I explained that I don't eat too many sweet things due to Type 1 diabetes, her husband, who was seated on the grass nearby perked up. He got up and insisted on praying for me to be healed. I was polite, but then it got weird when he tried to lay his hands on me. I did my best not insult the man when I insisted that I had to leave. But he persisted in explaining that disease was all in my mind and that he could cure me with prayer. Did I mention he was not wearing a mask and insisted COVID-19 was a hoax? Yup. Weird.
After the market, Bhavna wanted to go for a hike. We quickly ate our "Balkan" lunch, changed, and drove over to the St. Michael’s Farm Preserve. The last time we hiked this trail it was winter, the air was cold, and the ground was frozen. We had a blast then, but this time, we were miserable. The preserve is mostly open fields. The air was humid with temperatures just above 30ºC. We were wilting. Bhavna wanted to turn around, but we persisted and found a fork in the trail that took us into the forest. That was more fun, but the trail wasn't as beautiful as the Rocky Brook and Mount Rose trails.
I was in the kitchen when I looked out the window and saw this foal strolling across the lawn. I grabbed the Canon 70-200mm, gingerly slid open the sliding door and was able to snap some photos.
You would think that after over two months of living with COVID restrictions on my life, I would have adjusted. That I would find ways to get out of bed with a purpose. But I do not. Some days are "meh", and some days I feel down. I looked at my calendar, and I saw how many of our planned trips and experiences that won't be happening this year. Some are seasonal. May and June were going to be busy months.
The one thing that is bothering me is cancelling the warbler photography field trip and workshop with Ray Hennessey. I had planned that experience with a friend. I could not fathom how the three of us would socially distance in the woods while from a distance, Ray tried his best to help us photograph birds. This week I was feeling angry and bitter. I am sure it showed in the tone of my blog posts. My friend was not interested in doing the workshop anymore, so I cancelled. But I think I want to ask Ray if we can work out a way for just him and myself to do the workshop.
Bhavna has a way of sensing what I need even before I know what I need. Bhavna, Kiran and I went for a walk around the Aunt Molly section of the St. Michael's Farm Preserve Trail in Hopewell Township which is a 15-minute drive from home. The ground was not as wet and muddy as we had expected. Bhavna marvelled at how much the vegetation had grown, changing the look and the experience of the woods. As usual, because my observation and photography slow things down, Kiran walked ahead. Bhavna commented that the air smelled "weird" and I agreed. I think it was the smell of damp decaying vegetation which was becoming compost for the newer growing plants.
I saw many fresh wildflowers but the Jack-in-The-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) was the only one which I recognised. I think this was my first time seeing them. I saw tall-growing stems with white and purple flowers and small delicate spike white flowers lower to the grown growing in between thickets of low growing plants. But I also saw a lot of green.