Tuesday, June 05, 2018

you just can't tell

The day is brilliant: sunny, just topping at the mid 70sF (24C). The mosquito population is definitely down. At the very least, they're hiding. Is it the weather? Is it that the first cycle of bugs is winding down and the next one hasn't yet emerged? Or is it that Ed's fan traps with cell phones playing mp3's of Spanish verbs and 50s music are working?

So much of what we do outside has consequences for the success of farmette gardens, but often times, we are left wondering which factors were decisive. If the tomatoes were great three years ago but terrible last year, and lackluster so far this year (at least the ones left in the tomato bed -- the ones we transplanted are phenomenal!), is it because of the soil? Inadequate organic matter? A virus in the field?

And why do the rabbits and groundhogs chomp away at my decorative sweet peas and clematis stems, but leave my other peas alone (for now)? And will the beetles come back to eat away the beautiful clusters of emergent grapes, or can we control them with nets over the vines?

With more experience and more years under your belt, you realize that life generates more questions than it resolves.

(In the flower beds, the peonies still rule.)

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Breakfast, with bunches of fallen flowers from the garden.

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(With a view toward the chicks... and the gardens...)

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I work hard again. Planting, transplanting, watering, fixing. When I look up, it's just about time to pick up Snowdrop.

For a few minutes, she plays in the school playground. With one of her best buds from her class.

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But her bud has to go home and she is still eager to stay outside. She asks if we could possibly go to the playground.
I give it a second's thought. Sure! It's good weather for that. Let's go!

Initially she stays with the swings, the play structure. There are two park maintenance people working on something or other. I ask them if the lake water is safe today. You have to check these things. You can't assume that a lake is good for kiddie wading these days. They say yes, and they seem surprised that I should ask.

And now I know why they seemed surprised. Of course it's clean! Ed discovers that just three beaches in our county, including the one we were at (and also one that is just a mile or two away from the farmette), are under the "clean beach corridor" water purification systems (water is isolated, pumped out, cleaned and purified and then fed back to the swimming area).  They stay clean and open for kiddie swimming from Memorial Day 'til Labor Day.

Who knew?!

At the time I'm there with Snowdrop, I merely have the assurance of the park guys that the water is safe. So I encourage her to wade. Snowdrop is tentative at first. And then she isn't tentative at all!  I think the four photos below tell the story well.

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Late afternoon. It is nearly impossible to get her to leave! Well, who can blame her. I can't tell you what the rest of the season will bring, but I must say, so far, midspring has been extraordinarily grand!