Well here I still am, obviously I didn’t RAPTURE last Saturday. Apparently you didn’t either. Actually, I believe that I have raptured (note lower case) on a regular basis recently. I give credit to spring maturing and becoming early summer. I suppose I can credit this yearly occurrence to a higher power in a basic way.
The recent spells of sunshine have been most welcome, although disappointingly fleeting. In Perry County we continue to hold at about ten inches over normal rainfall for the calendar year. The rain continues to come in manageable amounts for each period of rain and considering the disastrous flooding that is inflicting itself on other parts of the country, I have no complaint. I have included pictures to illustrate the extent of recent rains. The water running through the grass and garden edge was actually down from its “crest.” This event usually occurs perhaps once a year. This year it has been a common occurrence. The real problem-beyond my yard washing away—with so much rain in the central part of the state has been the farmer’s inability to complete their planting. This is now a major issue, it is getting quite late for them.
I mentioned last time we spoke that I was concerned with “my bluebirds.” A pair of English sparrows had seemingly rousted them from their nest box, but the bluebirds counter attacked in some manner and reestablished their claim. They have now hatched successfully and can be observed feeding the young through the entry hole in the nest box. The procedure is fascinating: the adult bird balances itself by clamping onto the opening with its feet while simultaneously flapping its wings. The latter activity is appears to be for balance. I have been unsuccessful in getting a picture of this; I’m too slow with the camera. I guess that I need one of the motion activated cameras. Are you listening Santa?
Next door to the bluebirds, under the pool deck, a robin has also hatched. (I was really hoping that the darn pool would RAPTURE, anything to be rid of it! No luck, it was still there on Sunday morning.) The robins and the bluebirds have been jousting for the past month. The robin, usually the female, will perch on the clothesline crossbar and challenge the bluebird’s right to entry. It is irritating as the robin sometimes literally chases the bluebirds away. The high point in the contest that I was privileged to witness was both bluebirds mounting a coordinated attack on the robin and forcing a hurried retreat. The three young robins left the nest this past Saturday and I tried to carefully avoid them as I mowed the lawn. They were flying, but not yet well. I regretfully removed the nest before the adults could begin their next hatch. The pool will come into use (too limited) soon and the nest was directly under the steps. It was an unhealthy situation for the birds.
My attempt to “start” okra and cucumbers inside was a mixed success. The okra did not do well and I was unable the use it. The cucumbers thrived and have been transplanted to the garden and are doing well.
I put my tomato and pepper plants “out” on May 7. The weather has been perfect for getting them acclimated to the great outdoors. Cool and wet has its positives. I had trouble, as usual, waiting for the appropriate date to plant. I have started them earlier before and ended up covering them to protect from the frost. Patience is a useful trait; wish I had acquired it much earlier in life. Oh well!
The green beans are thriving, except for the cut worms that are eating them. I have been unable to find a sufficiently dry period to eradicate the beasts.
I noticed this morning that two whitetail deer had walked through the garden, leaving deep prints. They did no damage. I suppose they were merely reminding me that here in the country the wild animals own the night.
The strawberries are in full blossom and are also already carrying a heavy crop of young developing berries. Alas, unless there is more sunshine, the rot that is already developing will do much damage. My blackberry (domestic) and raspberry (wild transplant) mixed patch is already overwhelming my winter attempt at pruning to maintain control. Again, the bloom is heavy. My concord grapes on their trellis show good berry set. Last year after a mild winter and spring there were very few blooms. This year they appear to have ignored the very cold winter. Beats me!
I trust that your gardening efforts however small or grand are going well. We should remember that since we are not planting for a living all of our efforts are a positive. Plant, enjoy observing and nurturing the growth, ignore (and learn from) the failures. Get outside often at any rate. Walk, observe, sing (well maybe not in my case) and enjoy the season!
‘Til next time,