Saturday, July 22, 2006

Well, here's my latest hummingbird picture. Unfortunately, my wife's '83 El Camino was in the background, so I got a pretty good shot of the tire. But the hummingbird is not too bad. My wife said that I ought to have some kind of software that I could use to get rid of the tire in the background, but I'm not quite that computer savvy. The flowers are 'Black and Blue Salvia'. They grow like crazy in our cottage garden (in the back yard), but for some strange reason, they die in the front yard. It's a pity, because they are really pretty. The other photograph(at the bottom of this post) is one I took of the fish in one of our ponds. It's a koi pond, but they are really just goldfish. These do very well, and they are only about 20 cents apiece, a far cry from the koi prices. And I don't care one way or the other. They are both pretty. The goldfish just don't have the little catfishy-looking whiskers that koi do. The greenish things are water lettuce and the other little beige things are floating fish food. You can see all the teeny tiny babies. That's actually why I took the picture. I really like it when we have babies. I love to work in the yard. I think that I got that from my father. There's just something that feels right about getting your hands dirty, sweat dripping off of you, making things grow. After years of gardening, there are a few things that I have noticed about working in the yard. Certain truths, so to speak. For instance, I have found that while mowing, if I am going to run out of gas, it will be when I only have a 3 foot by 8 foot section left to mow. And if there isn't any gas in the gas can to refill the mower right that minute (which will involve putting on a bra and going to the convenience store to refill the gas can), that 3ft X 8ft section will be in the FRONT yard rather than in the unseen back yard. The same holds true for trimmer line. Another truth is that if you plant two of the same plants, one in the front yard, and one in the back yard, the one in the back yard will flourish, and the one in the front yard will die (see Black and Blue Salvia, above). And still another: no matter how you stretch it, your hose will always fall 3 feet short of reaching whatever it is that you want it to reach. I was working in the yard today, weeding, and wishing that I had mulched better earlier in the summer. Living in Louisiana, our summers are hot and humid. Today we topped out at 105 °, with 92% humidity. That's pretty darn hot. If you want your garden to do well, you pretty much have to mulch your plants. And when you mulch, you should put down at least an inch to 1½ inches of mulch. Now, I HATE mulching. It's not so much the actual mulching, it's the buying the mulch and getting it home that's the real pain. In order to put down 1½ inches of mulch, you need a good many bags of mulch. I usually figure out how many bags I think I need, then double that number. Let's just say that you need 20 bags of mulch to properly insulate your garden. First, you have to go to either a Homo Depot type store or WalMart to buy your mulch. My car will hold 2 bags in the trunk and 3 in the back seat if I really cram it in there. You have to deal with going in, hauling the mulch to the checkout, standing in line, paying for the mulch and putting it in your car. Invariably, the bags will have tears in them and you will have mulch all over your car. That's another one of those truths I was talking about. So you take the five bags of mulch home, then go back for five more. Stand in line again, load it up again, get even more mulch in your car. By that time, I'm tired of WalMart or Homo Depot or any other place that sells mulch. I refuse to make two more mulch runs. But I obviously don't have enough mulch to do the job correctly. Do I spread it thinner than needed? Or do I mulch some of the garden correctly and wait on the rest of it? And how do I select which part of the garden deserves to be mulched first? As I was contemplating the choices, an idea occurred to me. Mulch Trucks. Like ice cream trucks. Except they would play something like "Farmer In The Dell". All the gardeners could run out to the truck and get their mulch. "I'll take 20 bags, sir/mam." No WalMart, no Homo Depot, no mulch in the car, no four trips to get enough mulch. Problem solved. I talked to my wife about this idea, and I think that maybe after I retire (just a few more years), we might load up that '83 El Camino of hers with mulch and give it a try. We have been looking for a job that we could work together. This just might be it.


At 6:57 PM, Blogger Marie said...

hummingbirds are tough little suckers to catch on pixels...


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