Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wrens, Etc.

From the frantic "zicking" I hear all over the yard, the house wren babies must have left home this morning. The parents are going nuts under the tall mint, under the rosebush, then near the lilac where the snake resides: "Over here! I'm over here I said! No, no, don't go that way! O.k., I'll bring you some food. Be right back. Don't move!" I remember that feeling.

The little wrens picked a fine day for fledging, sunny and crisp. Fresh from my husband's hands, one of the raised garden beds now stands where the spinach used to be. Today I added a load of compost to the topsoil, and planted beans. It felt strange, this gardening without stooping.

When the peas are ready to come out, I'll install the second bed in their space, and plant beans there as well. The remaining seven beds will have to wait until the end of gardening season sometime in October, since all the other spaces are taken up with tomatoes, broccoli, kale, chard, eggplants, peppers and zucchini. Then I'll have to race to fill them before the mountain of topsoil that the patio builders left for me freezes solid.

It's been raining a lot lately, and the earth is pushing up veggies faster than I've ever known it to. I froze ten quarts of chard the other day and didn't even make a dent in the stuff. On the other hand, the (ostensibly) edible-podded peas are a disappointment. For the second year in a row, no matter how early I pick them, they are as fibrous as S.O.S pads. I guess the thing to do is to let the pods mature and then shell them like regular peas. But that's a lot of work.

We have our own mini version of the Gulf oil spill in our yard. The patio builders' truck leaked transmission fluid all over the grass, leaving big wet-looking dead spots. Hoping to avoid having to dig it all up, I covered the spots with topsoil and will throw some grass seed on them and keep my fingers crossed. Don't I sound just like BP?

I dragged some big flower pots to the edge of the pond under the watchful eye of the resident frog, who was sunning herself on a lilypad. Wolfie has been peering at her with that sharp look of his, but I have looked him in the eye and told him that she belongs to me.

6 comments :

  1. Transmission fluid...reminds me of stripping the paint off one of our doors. In the backyard. That was 12 years ago and nothing grew there for at least the first 5 years. I mulched it, turned it over, nothing. Then the most noxious weeds would take root. Two years ago I gave up and we built a deck over it....

    Peas: I have the very same problem!

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  2. Wolfie! Keep back!

    I saw some photos of your new patio. Beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the raised beds too.

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  3. Actually, it was hydraulic fluid, not transmission fluid -- from the truck-bed-raising system.

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  4. Transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid...now we'll have to put a deck on the far side of the patio!

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  5. Hmm - don't know about hydraulic fluid, but some fluids supposedly taste good to animals. Antifreeze comes to mind - it apparently tastes sweet and is quite poisonous. I'm sure you're being careful about the dogs NOT licking the ground. But shouldn't the patio builder clean up his "spill"?

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  6. Alix, I once lost a cat to antifreeze. For the moment nobody seems interested in the hydraulic spill, which is now covered with soil and grass seed.

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