I’ve had a hen jealously guarding her eggs. When I try to take them she pecks my hand and becomes downright aggressive. For several weeks I have left her alone. Last Sunday morning one tiny baby hatched. It was tucked in under her wing when I opened the coop. This has happened in the past when I have a flock of mixed breeds which are known to go “broody.” They get all fluffed up and walk around complaining. Luckily, there is only one baby and the mother will be able to keep her safe. Even my outdoor cats will not attempt an attack with her on watch.
If interbreeding takes place for several generations they will eventually revert to the original jungle fowl in shape and temperament. They will resemble those chickens that roam the dirt streets of Third World countries. I rarely hear my rooster crowing since I’m so used to it and am awake anyway. It annoyed me back in the day when I stayed up too late. I practically go to bed when they do these days. Town ordinances preventing the keeping of roosters annoy me. Everyone wants to move to the country but wants the country to change.
Once again, last week’s column had a typographical error that I can use for material. I meant to say I heeled in my sweet potatoes and it printed wheeled in. I remembered my garden scoot. It’s in the shed and I completely forgot about it. It is a three-wheel stool with a rotating tractor seat. I will be able to wheel up and down the garden paths weeding and cultivating.
I am still battling the ticks. Not a day goes by that I don’t find several crawling on or attached to me. Last week NPR had a segment on Living on Earth about moose in Minnesota. One was found with 70,000 ticks attached. The poor thing died from blood loss. Not too many things in the natural world are that freaky. Violet and I tried our best to think up a purpose for ticks.
Marie and I finally planted the aforementioned sweet potatoes. They had formed roots all along the stems so we buried them up to the leaves.
There is an impressive stand of blue hostas and red peonies at the corner of Skiff and Davis in Vineyard Haven. I try to put plant combinations in the memory bank so I can repeat it in the future. I love the different varieties of hostas. There must be hundreds. They set off other plantings, do not require a lot of water, choke out weeds, emerge in early spring, bloom in mid-to-late summer, and take full shade. Their only drawback is they are a favorite of slugs and deer. Once I found one at the dump all dried up and upside down. I still have it thirty years later, divided many times.
My entire gardening life revolves around weeds. When I’m not removing them I am in the process of accepting them. There are simply too many. I’ve completely given up on my home perennial beds. Besides mugwort (my arch enemy), there are two others deserving mention. One commonly known as lady finger is truly remarkable. It starts as a red sheen completely covering a tilled area. Within weeks it can be knee-high with a delicate pink flower capable of producing an alarming number of seeds. I think there is a cultivated form called kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate. Remind me not to plant it.
The other nightmare is bindweed or wild morning glory. It has a pretty little pink flower. Do not let it fool you. It will insinuate itself into everything, covering and choking all in its path. Monday afternoon I was picking strawberries for a family gathering. The weed has begun its assault on the strawberry bed. As I was yanking huge armloads from the tops of the berry plants, I realized there were tons of large berries underneath. The weed had acted like a bird net and saved the fruits for me. There you have it.
I never cared for John Edwards, “son of a mill worker.” He was way too egocentric for my liking. His personal behavior doesn’t shock or surprise me. I didn’t come down the stairs yesterday. What I cannot figure out is why we had to endure a trial. Now that the Citizen’s United decision by the Supreme Court is the way of campaign financing in our country, who can care what these people do with all that money? What is morality anyway? We are obsessed with people’s sexual behaviors but little is made of the corporate lies that affect all of us. The Republican candidates keep talking about the evils of government regulations. Frankly, I want good food, chemical-free clothing and furniture, and cars with safety and environmental safeguards. I do not want to buy products from foreign countries produced on the backs of children.
On a lighter note. Congrats to the Queen. Sixty years! Her coronation was the very first thing I saw on our brand-new first television in 1952.