My memory bank seems to have had too many withdrawals. I cannot recall such a yo-yo weather pattern. It’s 40 degrees one day and seven degrees the next. It’s difficult to get myself oriented. I am drawn into the greenhouse one day . . . and firmly ensconced in the house the next. As a result I have projects in process all over creation.
Obviously there isn’t much happening in garden world. Bear with me this week as I am all over the place with my observations.
I drove Violet up to Sassafras Earth Education program on Sunday. I do not believe I passed another car from Beetlebung Corner to the Aquinnah town hall. It was a breathtakingly beautiful drive. I hummed the Folliot S. Pierpoint hymn For the Beauty of the Earth because it seemed so fitting. That second verse is great — For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night. Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light.
There were quite a few turkey vultures overhead. There seems to be an inordinate amount of them around in the past several years. Perhaps I only started noticing them?
One year on my annual Rew, Pa., trip I returned with a deer skin falsely hoping I would tend it and make something. At any rate, it hung on the clothesline for most of the winter. I began noticing a large black bird eyeing the hide. It was bigger than a crow and I didn’t recognize it.
I put in a call to local bird watchers who got all excited, came with binoculars and cameras and identified it as a black vulture. A southern bird, it came north to Gettysburg (Eww) in the mid 19th century. I joked that it followed me and my deerskin from Pennsylvania.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Turkey vultures. They roost on the widow’s walk on top of Phantom Heights, the yellow house between the Tisbury School and Hebrew Center.
I walked the dog recently on Music street. There is an impressive stand of bamboo that is completely impenetrable. It got me thinking about somehow controlling my patch of it to create an animal barrier. I think steel edging placed at least a foot deep would control its relentless spread. It is a wonderful plant — evergreen, useful for stakes and building material, lovely sounding in the wind but it is bound for glory . . . I have the grandsons over every year with machetes to have at it. Left alone, it would invade the house. Craig Kingsbury gave me the starts decades ago. Notice the edge of his property, now Good Farm.
I have started my annual tending of the garden tools. I hauled them all into the greenhouse and have gone through a can of linseed oil on the handles. It makes a huge difference in maintaining the tool not to mention preventing the inevitable splinters.
I have a couple of favorites. One is a broken clam rake found at the old Tisbury landfill in the 70s, with a new handle it has the perfect angle for fluffing up a garden bed. I threaten my garden crew yearly to keep their hands off.
I bought a “Winged Weeder” a few years ago. American-made in Idaho Falls, Idaho, light weight and perfect for newly emerging weeds in a just-planted bed.
Most of my favorites get discontinued or shipped off to be made cheaply in China. I hate that and do my share of complaining to the poor person who answers phones at the company.
At the end of the snowstorm I spent time trying to get snow off the roof of my greenhouse from inside. I found a golf putter was the perfect tool for the job. Don’t even know why I had such an object?
I’ve spent a few days laughing at this little poem from A Prairie Home Companion.
If it’s the dead of winter
why do I feel so alive?
We’re northern people.
In adversity we thrive.
Well, the state of the union address is coming up as I write this. There is nothing more to be said. What a world!