What’s written below, was written over two and a half years ago, but I guess I never published it. I don’t even remember writing it, but I do remember the incident with the lizard and am glad he’s/she’s immortalized here.
So much has happened in those 2 1/2 years! There’s been a whole lot more life and death in our garden and in our lives. Both of my parents passed away, our first “daug-ter” died of cancer, and we got a new dog who has either solo or team-caught over 30 gophers and moles in the last six months! What a great help. We’ve also added five beautiful hens (their coop is the former mist-house of our former nursery) and now I carry aphids, slugs and snails down to them. I am happy to have bugs to feed to the girls, and still amazed that they can take that stuff and turn it into “perfect protein” the next day. And just last week I spotted two lovely long-tailed alligator lizards chasing each other through the citrus house. Hurray, life over death!
So on a beautiful spring day, which happens to be our 18th anniversary, I’ll head outside again to check on the strawberry pot I just planted. The pot was one thing I saved from my parents’ yard in those last minute decisions before the estate sale. The bareroot plants were just purchased on our anniversary weekend trip, so together we’ve turned a tough memory into a good one. I’ve learned a lot more about life and death in these last two years, and I’m sure God is not finished teaching me still more.
About 2 PM today I realized I’d spent a good part of my day killing things. What a revelation for someone who wants to grow and enjoy beauty and good food! I guess good things come at a price. It’s a few hours later and I’m still undecided on how to proceed. Coupled with my murder-in-the-second-degree (it was an accident!) of a lovely alligator lizard last week who was hiding in my snail trap) I need to make some changes. Maybe next year…
- I will forget about trying to grow a winter garden of brassicas that are a magnet for cabbage butterflies and their green looper babies.
- I won’t bother to start anything by seed directly in the ground so that the birds, slugs and earwigs won’t just eat them or mow them down before they even have a chance.
- I’ll just wave the white flag to the gophers and voles. Tracy claims that there’s only so much they can eat and that to be less stressed I need to accept a certain amount of “damage”. The problem here is that gopher “damage” is usually terminal and since I’ve been the one catching them I know what we’d be up against next year if I had not done-in the 20 or more this year. In this regard, a barn cat is looking ever more attractive to me if we can keep it from eating our songbirds poolside while they bathe…
- I’ll fight the urge to squish every cucumber beetle and earwig. So they eat the pollen in the flowers and notch the nasturtium leaves – they can have them (maybe).
- I’ll stop stepping on snails and eco-baiting for slugs.
- I’ll give up growing winter squash and pumpkins since they take up so much room and the gophers kill the plants. We don’t even eat that much of these things, but it’s good for us and if I grow them we’re more likely to eat better, so…
- I’ll just wait it out and whatever is left I’ll propagate more of and re-plant, maybe.
Well, it sounds good anyway, and certainly maybe worth a try…
As a special gift to me today, while watering the bed where I buried that lizard, another one scampered away from the spray. Between that and the five tree frogs and the kale, sweet peas, roses and dahlias, there’s still plenty of life in the garden, too.