Thursday, May 31, 2018

the science of it

You awake?
I am now...

So many of our early morning conversations start this way!

I've been reading about mosquitoes...

Yes, I know Ed's been on a learning expedition. He wants to know the science behind the mosquito life. What good is buying traps or repellents when you don't know what you're working with?

There is this study in Canada... Here, let me show you the video. It demonstrates how it is that mosquitoes can hear. It may not be your smell that attracts them but your voice!

Ed has attached a net to a big fan and we see that it can trap thousands of mosquitoes. He wants to set up fans in different parts of the farmette. Now he is speculating if throwing in a little phone with human voices would bring even more into the net.

Me, I can hardly stand to watch the little bugs on the video clip. This year, we were so shortchanged in our spring without them -- just three weeks (typically we get at least two months)! They are not out in full force, but they are definitely present. Just look inside Ed's mosquito cage!

Still, I enjoy the morning walk through the gardens. Here's a look toward the writer's shed -- the original bait to get me to spend more time here.

farmette life.jpg

Oh, how we have grown since those days! Six chickens and a feral cat called Stop Sign!

(A rare shot of all six girls in one frame)

farmette life-4.jpg

Breakfast, with peonies felled by the little chicks who insisted on roosting on the little support cage and, too, lilac from our late bloomer -- so very fragrant you need only a branch or two to feel utterly intoxicated by it!

farmette life-8.jpg

Later, we have an appointment with the city engineer to discuss the development that is taking place to the east, north, and west of us. I almost don't want to go, feeling that my one contribution will be to rein in Ed, who tends not to spend time on niceties, preferring to get right down to the crux of the matter, which in this case means letting people know that someone hadn't been providing sufficient oversight over potential damage that may (or may not) be taking place with the depletion of the soils around us. Ed always always does his homework thoroughly and he is a formidable discussant.

But I do go. I have my own questions and the city engineer is helpful in addressing my concerns and promising to do further investigations.

For today, there is quiet all around us. The graders are resting as the soil is drying out. Nature has her own way of saying -- slow down.

(A view toward the big flower bed)

farmette life-10.jpg

In the afternoon, many many many things happen all at once. Let me mention just two:

Snowdrop comes over. No quiet play for her today!

farmette life-18.jpg

She is wired! Full of energy and joy, she wants to play!

(Jumping so hard that her "two piece" flies with the wind!)

farmette life-26.jpg

Just at this moment, I get a phone call that we all have been waiting for for several years: my mom has received clearance for an independent living apartment in downtown Madison. We have a move in date! At the age of 94, she'll be packing her bags and relocating.

There is much to be done in preparation for this. But for now, Snowdrop has her own whims and desires. Here she is, chopping her own watermelon for an afternoon snack. She is very handy with the knife.

farmette life-28.jpg

After swimming, the little girl so wants to play outside! I spray some organic (meaning ineffective) bug spray on her and we go out. She is determined to throw a frisbee around, but even though the bugs do avoid her, they are nonetheless everpresent. As are the little chicks, who think that a tossed frisbee is merely a special treat for them, dished out in this colorful way.

(Snowdrop tries to explain that it's just a frisbee... to no avail.)

farmette life-38.jpg

A better place for short term play is the chipped courtyard. I toss her the hose and she is delighted with it...

farmette life-50.jpg

... playing a robust game of "let's get everything in sight, including gaga, as wet as we can!"

farmette life-62.jpg

Evening. In the space of a few hours, I make arrangements to purchase some furniture for my mom off of Craigslist, I buy plane tickets for me, for her, I make reservations and to-do lists to keep me on target.

Later, much later, I put away my notes and review the photos from today. They seem so tame and almost mundane, no? A "chase away the summer heat" series of moments. But, I can assure you, there was nothing tame or mundane about this day. And that turns out to be quite the good thing indeed.