Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Musings

A good investment

Alas, my plans to paint the tool shed are temporarily in abeyance. As I approached the tool shed to inspect its condition a few days ago, a little house wren popped its head out of the bird house I'd forgotten was nailed onto the front wall. She has little ones in there, so there will be no painting until they've fledged. Case closed.

Not a lot of gardening has been going on in this wretched heat and humidity. A little weeding, a little pruning. A few forays down to the vegetable garden in early morning to see if there are any female squash blossoms I can hand-pollinate. So far, I've had only male blossoms, which I'm told is not unusual early in the season. I'm not confident that local pollinators can do the job without me as I've had very poor fruit production on my squashes in previous years, despite excellent plant growth. So, around 6 a.m. on most mornings, you can find me traipsing down to the veggie patch, q-tip in hand to do some in vitro fertilization. I have such high hopes for my zucchini, spaghetti squash and acorn squash!

I have seen blossoms on the potatoes and bell peppers as well. The tomato plants have small green tomatoes but nothing yet on the pole beans or cucumber plants. The pole bean tendrils have already topped the 6-foot-high tripods I erected in spring and they have nowhere to go!

The apple tree outside my office window is steadily raining down green apples that are now the size of jumbo clementines. A doe arrives nightly at dusk. If I sit quietly on my front stoop, I can here the sound of her teeth crunching on those apples. I've also spotted squirrels and the resident woodchuck grab the prized fruit.

Last night, the coyotes were making a ruckus. What makes them bark and yip and carry on so late at night? Me wonders.

I never got around to establishing a compost pile this year, something I regret each time a plum pit or watermelon rind goes in the trash. I don't have a container, so it would have to be a freeform pile which I fear would simply attract scavengers the way that apple tree does.

One of my two elephant ear plants grew a second, humungus leaf:

How cool, how tropical! I adore these elephant ears! I see all sorts of outdoor decorating possiblities for them. They are like the outdoor version of the ficus plant, I guess, useful for softening the hard edges of a stone wall or flanking either side of a pair of outdoor lounge chairs.

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