LAKE MACBRIDE— Dawn was breaking as I walked the mobile phone bill to the mailbox. Hoping to view the stars on another clear morning, it was too late. Will have to settle for the sun today, which is not settling at all.
The ground is hard and dry in the garlic patch. I had no idea. My daily vegetable watering in mulched plots kept this knowledge from me. It feels like we are heading into another period of drought, even if the latest drought map shows we aren’t there yet.
To deal with the dry plot, a place I would like to get into production again, I plan to lay down a tarp, or heavy plastic to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and use as a storage area for excess fencing and other garden equipment I store outside. That will enable the mulching of the rest of the plot where they are presently stored. Over the years I imagined building a shed on the garlic plot, with a couple of solar collectors and a battery pack, but for now vegetable production will be the focus, hopefully next year.
The acorns planted in the garlic plot the year our daughter graduated high school have grown to be trees. Three of them. They are symbols of how life gets away from us. The shade has not helped the rest of the garden. One of them has a very straight trunk, and I plan to cut it down and make something from it. The other two should be transplanted to replace the green ash trees in front of the house, but who knows when that might get done.
My attempt at creating habitat in our yard has been successful, but not in a way I anticipated. A gray and white cat has taken up residence, and curls up and sleeps on the grass clippings among the tomato plants. It seemed loathe to move until I began watering.
A rabbit settled between the hot peppers and another tomato patch. It loves to eat clover, and yesterday I spotted it in the neighbor’s yard, since I cut all mine with the mower. This rabbit has survived longer than most do, and has not tried to get under the fencing protecting the vegetables.
There is a rodent living in the ditch in front of the house. It also travels among the lilac bushes and apple trees, leaving paths everywhere. It chewed one of the screens to the lower level of the house and then another. It is the most offensive of the yard residents, and seems to stay away from the cat, regrettably.
There are butterflies and bees; foxes and opossums; and birds of all kinds traveling through our yard. The squirrels come to visit when the acorns fall from the trees, and of course deer walk through almost nightly, chewing on what isn’t fenced away from them.
Our platted lot is teeming with life on any given day. We are happy for that, and try to encourage it as we can. It creates a sense of place in a turbulent world.