Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Day 2014: Getting By

Despite the fact that I haven't posted in rather a long spell, I couldn't let Earth Day go by without at least a small mention. I do have plans afoot for renewing my commitment to this blog as soon as I've finished up the latest MOOC, especially since TBS and I are heading west in late June to visit family and the Auld Sod.  I suspect that adventures will ensue, since we're taking the puppies (who are now ten) and driving--although what kind of a vehicle will be involved is far from certain.  Traveling with dogs requires all manner of prior arrangements, and since these guys have only ever been to the vet and to Tyler and San Antonio, they're essentially an unknown factor in the equation.

The "Getting By" subtitle refers to our continuing ambivalence about this place. While we still love the house, the neighbors are problematic (see the fence in the opening photo for one source of angst), and somebody ratted us to the local feds on account of the overabundance of plant life in the Carbon Sink a few weeks ago.  As a result, I've spent days off mowing and whacking, and have even fired up the little electric chain saw a couple of times.  The Sink itself is now mostly mowed down, except for a patch I left because it's a ladybug nursery.  By Wednesday they'll have metamorphosed and flown (I hope to the new raised bed, where there are zucchinis and bush beans growing), and I can finish whacking with impunity.  

We currently plan to have a new wire and cedar fence erected, with gates to accommodate the lusted-after vintage travel trailer (or one of the newer, even cooler ones from Canada) we want to buy before we retire.  Since we have no guest room in the house, I'd like to do what my grandmother did in Lone Pine, and park the Shasta in the back yard for visitors.  Just in case. But the existing fence is really kind of ugly (though not as ugly as the new wooden job on the north, which was damaged in the winter ice storm and badly repaired; I get to look at it while I wash dishes), and a nice new one will provide a support for berries and climbing plants.

The good news is that after the nastiness of the winter, and an evening hiding in the closet with the dogs when a tornado hit about five miles away, we've had some welcome rain, and the plants damaged by the late freeze(s) have started to come back.  This year's Earth Day photo is, alas, a fake. Well, not so much a fake as a lie. Or at least somewhat inauthentic.  It represents what the herb garden looked like last year about this time, with the wild gladiolus fully abloom, and the delphiniums and pincushions and lavender up.  The lavender is now gone, and the pincushions just now beginning to emerge. The rosemary has been hacked back, delphiniums replanted, lavender still to come.  But I also have a rain lily (wonderful surprise, that), and some wild geraniums mixed among the primroses I'm letting grow along the fence on the east. 

There is still much more work to be done, especially in front, but the iris border is blooming better than it has since we moved in, and I think that might be a good sign.  My one hope is that if things do get colder here (who knows how the changing climate is going to affect us in the long run), maybe I can grow some lilacs.

Happy Earth Day, People. I've got a poster in my kitchen to remind me of the first celebration in 1970, when folks first acknowledged the need. That need is even more evident today, so the moment is very much worth noting.