Friends from Rome are visiting the Sabine Farm.
Alas, they must drink my poor Sabine wine rather than the Falernian and Caecuban and Formian they are accustomed to quaff.
We do, however, know how to prepare Sabine meats on the grill!
One of the kids (there are four), can’t eat beef. He got some nice little frenched lamb chops.
There were some fine pork ribs with barbecue sauce.
And the grown ups had T-bones.
It was great to watch someone else at the grill and just have a beer and shoot the breeze.
It was a perfect evening, temperature-wise. Sunny skies and a breeze.
We started our revels in the late afternoon with Holy Mass in the chapel, with the Votive Mass of Christ the High Priest.
Then we trooped out to the bee hives to bless the bees!
From the Roman Ritual:
O Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth! Thou didst create all living things for man’s use. Moreover, thou didst order by the ministry of thy holy Church that candles made from the industry of bees shall burn during the Sacred Mystery in which we consecrate and consume the most holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, thy Son. Send thy holy blessing + upon these bees and this beehive to make them numerous and productive, and to preserve them from harm, so that their yield of wax can be turned to thy honor, and to the honor of they Son and Holy Spirit, and to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through the same Christ our Lord.
I am told there are 40k bees in each hive.
They had no comment on the whole affair.
The kids are having a great time: I believe there is a lot of frog catching going on even as I write.
I don’t think a kid has been a kid until frogs have been caught, fireflies captured and put in jars, and dragonflies pursued.
There may even be a measure of chipmunk terrorizing taking place.
I’m with Martial on this one:
Ludi magister, parce simplici turbae:
sic te frequentes audiant capillati
et delicatae diligat chorus mensae,
nec calculator nec notarius velox
maiore quisquam circulo coronetur.
cirrata loris horridis Scythae pellis,
qua vapulavit* Marsyas Celaenaeus,
ferulaeque tristes, sceptra paedagogorum,
cessent et Idus dormiant in Octobres:
aestate pueri si valent, satis discunt.
Penjing has been perfectly fine during my trip eastward. As usual.
What surprised me was the incredible growth shown by Penzai, the Chinese Elm.
Irohamomiji, the Japanese Maple, is still doing its best to bud, but this tree is pretty slow. I am wondering if perhaps it was dropped on its head as a sapling.
My rosemary, which survived the winter, is blooming like mad.
From the feeder, there is some news.
The birds seem now to have changed some of their eating habits. I have noticed that some birds have changed what they prefer to eat. For example, the Goldfinches, who are getting ready to nest, have been less after the thistle but the other seeds on the other feeders. On the other hand, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak was hanging out on the finches’ thistle socks. Odd.
The Goldfinches are really arguing these days.
See? Mrs. Grosbeak on the thistle sock. Odd.
But wait! The Grosbeak is now getting in on the Oriole’s action.
* a very cool verb. It is sort of the opposite of a deponent, active in form but passive in meaning.