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0 comments | Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

Le's face it! The dog days of summer have taken it's toll on gardeners around the globe. I for one have spent much time indoors this summer when the heat was bearing down on the earth's surface. It always seems hotter in the garden and I guess that comes from all of the chores that are awaiting us when we get there. Tomatoes to be picked, old shriveled up vines that have been eaten and re-eaten by the bugs that sneak and hide under the leaves as we pass by. I haven't the energy to work in the heat of the day and when the sun is hidden by the tallest trees around. I peak my head out the door and make my way to the garden's edge. Only it's not long before the ferocious little no-seeums and gnats start nipping on my legs. I head back to the shed for some spray to keep the little buggers at bay for a moment. Now I'm hot from the walk back to the shed so I go back in the house to grab a cold bottle of water from the fridge. On my way back out I see that my favorite show is on and struggle to make it back to the front door. Alas, there are chores to be done in the garden. Back at the garden I start pulling out squash vines that have seen their better days. The tomatoes are still bearing faster than we can preserve and eat them. I miss the squash already and wonder if I have enough time to put out some more before the season is over. I'm thinking that it may be too late. Had the squash bugs left my poor plants alone, I would still be frying some up in the skillet. I already yearn for next year's harvest. So I see that the deer have once again eaten the tops off of the green bean plants. I have harvested maybe three green beans this year, not even enough to fill a pot. There will be a new strategy next year for the deer. High powered electric fence. Maybe enough to make fur fly. I only jest, but these are my fleeting thoughts. They have over 50 acres to browse and they choose my garden. I tried every trick in the book and settled on fishing line around the perimeter of the garden this year. That lasted the longest, but somehow they found their way in. Not next year I proclaim. Next year we will have more green beans than you can throw a stick at. I am angry at them and the lingering heat doesn't help my anger. My thoughts should be pure in my garden. It's my way to get in touch with the earth. Feeling the soil between my fingers. Watching new life sprout from the soil. There is little more to do today so I'll just enjoy being here, in my garden. Had I not first turned the soil, there would be nothing here but another patch of grass. Now there is nectar for the bees and little flying insects. And a shady place for a weary ant to take a break from the midday sun. I'm sure there is much more happening here in this garden that I cannot see and it makes me satisfied to see what I have done. I'm hot and must retreat indoors. These dog days of summer in the garden are just what I need.

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