Monday, May 13, 2013

after the cold

At 4 a.m. Ed asks -- should we look at the thermometer?
No, I don't want to know!
A few minutes later I change my mind: alright, I want to know!
He stumbles downstairs. Ready for it?
Tell me!
29.4 degrees.
That cannot be! says it's 34!
Maybe it is that where they are.
Maybe our thermometer is broken! Or in an odd spot. Maybe you could move it?
He goes outside and moves it to a different spot.
It was wet with dew...

So it got confused! What is it now?
You see? It's not below freezing.
Well, it just slivered down to below 30 again...

In a sense, it doesn't matter if it's 34 or 29. It's too cold for the tomatoes and the flower pots. I brought the flower pots in. The tomatoes? Well, all we can do is offer them cover: they have been huddling under blankets. Who knows to what effect.

We spend the rest of the night exchanging updates on what the temperature should be, is, will be. And, too, we attend to Isis inclinations. In. Out. In. Out.

But, soon after dawn the sun does its work well. The temperature appears to be running to get out of the cold zone. By breakfast time it passes fifty.

A celebration: pancakes for breakfast!

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And now comes the job of uncovering the tomatoes and it should come as no surprise that some seem to be fine, while others appear to be dead as anything and that's a shame, but not a total disaster as we have a handful of still others to plant. The hope is, of course, that the cold did not shock the tomato productions system of even those that made it through the night. That's the hope. I'll let you know come harvest time in August.

I should note that the peas, sown from seed, have sprouted and appear to be completely unphased by this weather nonsense.

So long as we are in the back of the farmette,  Ed suggests we finish pulling up honeysuckle. After all, we may have missed some shrubs in the Great Pullout of last year.

It is at this time that I give a little tug to a vine with sprouting leaves. A small act with huge consequences. It looks as if it's one of those random vines that appears innocuous, except that by the end of the summer it manages to choke every living thing in its path. I pull it up and up and up and I see that it is connected through thick cables of roots, just below the surface. Indeed, the entire meadow is like a maze of vine growth and it is so like us to drop everything and devote all our energies to the project of eradicating the invasive vines!

At times, we just haven't the strength to pull it out on our own. We team up and heave at it together and mostly we are successful and at other times we need the shovel for help and the whole job is so intensely laborious and back breaking that I truly think we are somewhat insane to plunge into it with any degree of enthusiasm.

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It was cool outside when we started, but we are now hot as hell from the exertion and when we think we're done, we find new vines, hidden deeply in the quack grass and so we spend hours like this: pulling, heaving, sometimes falling back when the root gives way, sometimes cursing in frustration as it remains firmly wedged in the clay soil.

But we get the job done. We clear the back field of honey suckle and menacing vines with roots an inch thick. Yay us. (I say this with some degree of bemusement because really, in the scheme of things, does it matter?)

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(Here I am admiring two more stalks of random asparagus.)

Afternoon. It is time for the final stage of planting for me. Oh, sure, there'll be adjustments and seeds to sow and weeds to pull in future days. In other words, there will be maintenance. But today is my last day of big time planting work -- to finish off the huge bed leading to the sheep shed (as best as I can on this year's budget -- the strawberries helped!) and to plant a few flowering bushes by the side of the road.

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(Isis, watching it all from the sidelines)

And now the light fades and we are both so very tired that even driving for take out seems an effort. I scavenger the refrigerator for leftovers and we sit back and almost instantly Ed falls asleep while I struggle to put a post up on Ocean.