Saturday, May 11, 2013

Notes From Outside

Taking the day off from writing to mow the back yard (HOA takes care of the front) and noticed a couple of things:

Hummingbirds get really annoyed when you put the sprinkler too close to the feeders.  They feed in the rain, so I'm not sure what the problem is.  Hummer experts, please explain.

Skinks are harder to catch than anoles.  You can wear out an anole by chasing it, but the skinks just wiggle and freak out.  Best bet?  Use a piece of mail from the recycle bin to urge them toward the door, then flip them out into the grass.  Be careful they don't wiggle and freak out and come back inside.  Mission accomplished.

Never saw butterflies mating until today.  Fascinating.

Note:  You'll have to wait until next week to hear the carrot story.  I ate them.

Happy day off from writing, and of course, happy Mothers Day to all of you out there, including Moms of pets!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Garden That Wasn't

Last fall I wrote about the garden I'd planned.  I had lots of big ideas about the crop I'd plant using the square foot gardening system--about all the wonderful fresh thing's I'd grow and how I expected to enjoy eating them. 

The title of this post accurately describes how that project went.

Oh, the seeds germinated and sprouts came up, but as for harvest, it just didn't happen.

The zuchinni blossoms were lovely.  Unfortunately, no zuchinni followed.

I should have taken  my friend Jennifer up on her offer to show me how to stuff and fry them.

Green beans?  Oh, yes, there were green beans.  Five of them.  Two in the first "harvest," three in the second and last.  I ate them raw.  They were delicious!

There just weren't very many of them.

The sugar snap peas germinated and sprouted but were too fragile to grow with out sun.  Did I mention that last fall was the cloudiest, gloomiest fall I've ever seen in Florida?  Well, it was.  I have the lack of crops to prove it.

The beets never got more than two inches high.  It didn't help that the squirrels decided the beet bed would be a marvelous place to bury acorns.  Now that I think of it, the acorns didn't sprout either. 

One of the red pepper plants I sprouted last September has held on and is now a respectable 12 inches high.  Possible blossom sighted at top pair of leaves.

Of course, all this goes back to Julia, protagonist of A Trick of the Light, and the garden she grows.  She moves into the barn in late August, too late to plant, and, in the words of Blanche DuBois, counts on the kindness of strangers to get her through that first winter.  She plants her inaugural garden the following spring and after a rough start, begins to produce enough to live on during the summer with some to preserve for the fall and winter. 

What if her garden failed like mine?  What would she do then?  Julia is incredibly stubborn and wants to be self-sufficient.  Her friends want to help her.  I see a conflict in her future, along with some yummy garden gifts.

Next time: How long would you be willing to wait for a carrot?

Till then,

Happy writing!