Not Anxious To Get Out

Close up of female hands pull out weeds from ground garden.

A few months ago a day like today was considered fabulous. After six weeks of warm weather this morning feels like the middle of January. My agenda calls or a day in the garden yanking native perennials from the annual beds. As I have said before, there is something special about neat and prim flower beds. After this post it may be warm enough to head out into the back yard and do the job. When I awoke the temperature outside was sixty degrees, Oh me what will I do? Put on a sweatshirt and stop complaining like a wank.

The idea of sitting in the house today while reading a book sounds very appealing, but that is not to be. I know that once I finally shoe-up and head outside I’ll stay out until the last evil weed is in the big blue yard waste bucket. I’ll be out by ten and in by noon. Oh yeah that could mean more food! and coffee too!

I love the garden, but hate the work. When it becomes I love the work but hate the garden I know I will have achieved a new level of consciousness.

Yesterday, I fell completely off the KETO wagon at the OASIS Twenty-fifth anniversary cook out celebration. OASIS stands for Orland Area Sight Impaired Support a group of people who are blind, partially blind, or going blind who band together to discuss the trials and tribulations of living in the dark. The Frankfort Lions Club has adopted OASIS as our project to help the sight impaired of the community. Back in 1926 Helen Keller (blind, deaf, and mute) at a Lions Convention challenged the Lions to become the “Knights of the Blind.” Lions accepted the challenge and it remains a pillar of our service. Since then we have added several more pillars to keep the house from falling down, Hunger, Environment, Sight, Diabetes, Childhood Cancer. These five are in addition to the pillars of community, disaster relief, and world-wide disease. There is never a time when we don’t have someone or something to be helping. Sometimes it is monetary assistance, and at others like this OASIS event it was with our presence and hands-on assistance. COVID slowed us down a bit on the hands-on assistance type projects but requests for monetary help kept coming. At the same time we were stifled in our ability to raise money. Thankfully, all that has changed and we are ramping up activity to one hundred percent of normal. In other words, if you see a Lion in front of a store with a bucket, please drop a few bucks in. If you see an ad for a Lions pancake breakfast, please go have breakfast.

Time to go pull weeds.

Lake View-Monet Vision-Durango Gold

It is pouring rain today, as it has been doing on and off for the past week. My wife called me to fix a TV which did not have a signal. I was pushing buttons to get the signal back when a very loud bang on top of a flash occurred right outside our window. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I thought the TV blew up, but it was thunder and lightening. It must have struck the trees behind our house. Being startled like that certainly woke me up.

I spent two and a half hours in the yard today pulling weeds and trimming shrubs. I came in soaking wet from sweat. The house was cool and I was cold. I like working in humidity but it wears me down quickly. After a shower and some clean clothes I’ve been spending time at my desk processing raffle ticket returns. My annual appeal letter is working and I am at ten percent of my goal to sell 200 tickets.

Why is it that gardeners must have flower beds that are as neat as a pin? We must attack any natural horticultural matter that we didn’t plant. Natives just don’t belong in a cultured garden. I must be careful for I will raise the ire of some radical group like Green Weeds Matter (GWM) who will demonstrate in front of my house carrying signs that say Stop Killing Natives, or Native Perennials are Flowers Too! I would love to dump the contents of my 90 cubic foot container of garden waste on them, but It won’t happen because I’m too weak to lift it.

I keep staring into the water of my pond searching for a glimpse of any of the twenty-five fish I dumped in there last week. To date, I have only spotted one small school of four cruising along the shore. I did spot a very large frog right under my nose as I savagely yanked the out of place natives from the ground. Froggy was out of the water and migrating into the Hosta bed to hunt for some delicious critter to eat. I slowly moved my gloved hand toward him to see if he would jump, he dd not. I had to gently touch his hind leg to get a reaction, and then he only moved about a foot before resuming his motionless posture. He does move fast when he moves, but mostly he plays dead until it is time to strike.

There is something soothing about a garden that has a manicured look, and neat flower beds surrounding a freshly mowed lawn, and a patio overlook from which to admire it all. I love summer! My garden does not look like that vision I just described. I have a scenic pond surrounded by flashy flowers backed up by a wall of fancy shrubs to add a colorful backdrop, and fresh cut lawns on either side. I sit on the patio and spend time thinking about how good life is as I listen to the birds singing from yard to yard. I have discovered that the loudest bird is one of the tiniest, a wren. If he sang in a choir he would be the one voice that rises above all the others. This is the fifth year the wren family has rented the middle bird house in the Bird-Tower apartments. The view from the entrance is Lake Joe. A low hanging branch from the huge poplar tree at the back of the yard affords them a hidden approach to the front door.

First Cattail

Today, I sweat my formerly large body working in the garden. It is a fact, weeds grow faster then pretty flowers. I’m back to where I started six weeks ago, round two of weeding. The first plot was to transplant some pachysandra to a dead spot under my windows. The new plants are doing well, but in the past weeks the chick weed, purslane, wild strawberries, and thistle have grown up to hide the newly planted ground cover. So why do I want ground cover over a thick mass of weeds? Ground cover looks better when it is established. Thick masses of weeds look just like that, thick masses of weeds.

After the first hour, I took a rest to hydrate and cool down. I found myself staring at the beds and imagining how to make them better. I was thinking that the pond looks much better now that I thinned the cattails and the irises. Something looked different about the cattails. Yes, by God it flowered, I have a genuine cattail. Why am I so excited? Because this is the first time in ten years that this plant has flowered. I remember when I got the darn thing. I went on a pond-plant hunt out in the countryside. I stopped at ditches and dug lilies, and at another ditch I spotted the cattails and dug out a clump for my pond. Why pay for horticultural materials that grow wild in streams and lakes? I got my water lilies the same way. When I thinned the cattails this spring I was on the verge of gutting them completely, but to be honest I didn’t have the strength to yank them all out. I only got the easy ones. They must have gotten the message.

After five minutes of day dreaming about all the new work I conjured up it was time attack the weeds again. Tomorrow it’ll be a new bed that I haven’t touched yet this year.

I learned one thing from this exercise i.e. never, never, never give the garden a year off. Last year I made Peggy my excuse for not working the yard, and the native perennials established a strong hold that is killing me this year. If only I can find someone who will do the work to my satisfaction, I will gladly pay to have it done.

Alien Terrorists Spring Into Action

The offensive has begun. Alien invaders have come out of winter hideouts en masse, and aggressively make forward progress. Not one, but several species have spread rapidly to overtake sleepy residents.  Tribal names like cirsium vulgare, ranunculus abortivus, and oxalis stricta winter in different forms and patiently await the proper daylight to spring from the earth.

Left unchecked, the terrorists overtake desirable citizens to the detriment of the local constabulary.  The military must attack in various ways to setback and control these rugged aliens.

The Constabulary Intelligence Agency (CIA) has surveillance photographs of the culprits along with their locations and numbers.

The CIA Chemical Warfare (CIACW) unit has been summoned to spread the dreaded and deadly glyphosate spray over the cirsium vulgare. CIA Special Operations (CIASO) will attack the ranunculus abortivus, and the oxalis stricta with hand to hand combat.

Without this proactive effort the aliens will overtake the desirable citizenry and hold them hostage throughout the summer.

CIA photos have been released for identification purposes.

Cirsium Vulgare, Bull Thistle

Ranunculus Abortivus, Small Buttercup

Oxalis stricta, Wood sorel

Warning!  If you see any of these Aliens on your  property, SHOOT TO KILL.

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