Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Looking back, I'd say this was a day of small drama. Personalities clashed, nature intervened and upset many apple carts, the peace that usually reigns in this small corner of the world was disturbed.

And it started so gently! The noise of the machines outside has moved to more distant places in the vast area slated for development. The storms passed, the rains subsided, the flowerbeds looked refreshed and ready for their summer work.


(Tomato enjoying a nibble of her morning "salad...")


But as we sit down to a breakfast on the porch...


... I bring to the table a troublesome report: in my walk to the barn to feed the cheepers, I was swarmed by mosquitoes.

We are under attack. Time to fight back! (No??)

But first, a visit with Sparrow. Did I mention that he's a laid back little guy?


And here's another sort of remarkable trait: he's got the core strength of a horse. Or at least of a little pony. He's 2.5 weeks old, but I swear he's figured out a way to hoist himself up so that he can get that body rollin'. I mean, he can't even focus his eyes yet, but he rocks like a boat on choppy waters.


From here, I go on to pick up Snowdrop.

At the farmhouse, she repeats many times -- "I am excited!" If you look at her feet, you'll guess why.


The girl really does love to dance. Today we are to resume ballet classes.


"Is it time to go yet?" -- she asks this so often that I cave and let her watch a video clip of an Angelina Ballerina episode just to help her with the tedium of having to wait.


Her summer Storybook Ballet class starts at 5. Typically, it's a 15 minute drive from the farmette. But nothing about this afternoon stays within the bounds of what is typical. First come the storm warnings. Tornadoes to the south of us. Well okay, to the south. I mean, not okay, but at least safe for us to head out.

Then come the bugs. I run the little one to the car, snap her in, slam the door and still, I can't keep the damn mosquitoes out. So I drive, pause, swat, drive, pause, swat.

And then the rains come down. I mean, really come down, as if the heavens had a water overload and all damns burst in unison. I've never seen a child be scared of the rain, but in that drive -- a stop and go drive along the highway, because, well, things just weren't moving much -- Snowdrop was scared.

She finally dozed off and I'm thinking -- a textbook case of a child blocking the horrors of life through sleep.

Needless to say, we arrive at the ballet class very wet and just a little bit late.

So let's forget about little dramas for a while and concentrate on the loveliness of the little girl dancing out the Thumbelina classic. (You may recall from her previous encounters with this dance group -- at the end of each class, they don some form of costume and act out the story of the week.)




It's grand to see the little girl so full of spirit and joy!

And then I return home and the mosquitoes attack me again and I tell Ed -- it's time to look into getting some help with this.

There are in Wisconsin many professional mosquito control services. For obvious reasons: we have mosquitoes. But we've only used such services once: for my daughter's wedding here four years ago. Otherwise, I'm kind of with Ed on this: we live in a place with lots of mosquitoes. It is the one big downside of the farmette. Marshlands to the south, east and north of us aggravate the problem ten fold. It is what it is.

To spray for these guys is to introduce an unknown. Who else will be affected by it? Some companies claim that their "natural" sprays have no impact on pollinators. Ha! Prove it! -- Ed will say. Much as he hates the pesky blood suckers, he hates random disturbance of the ecosystem even more.

But this year, I'm wondering if we should stay so dogmatic in our approach. Why not try one of the sprays that's based on garlic, rosemary and peppermint? It's likely that it wont work -- Ed says. My retort -- can't we at least try? I thumb through the services in town: Mosquito Joe! They offer it. They have satisfied customers. Why not go for it? (And even as I ask this rhetorical question, I know very well why he does not want to go for it...)

Isn't it often the case that when you are frustrated with a problem, you come up with an imperfect solution and then point an accusing finger at the person who stands in the way of implementing it?

Evening. Outside, the fireflies flicker -- on and off, on and off. Funny how lovely bugs can be. And how dreadful are the ones that test our patience with the natural order of things.