Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

Twenty -two days after the first seeds were planted, and check out the Sunflower Class of 2008!

I am missing our old greenhouse/garden shed from our last home, as it would be nice to have that glassed-in space to put these larger seedlings, while I work on getting some new ones planted.

Our forecasts continue to look favorable for setting young plants out in the garden, but I'm gonna hold off a while longer, since we have "enjoyed" frosts up to a month later than now. I think I could probably count on global warming, but really, all that's done is give us unpredictable weather...so I'll wait.

Meanwhile, here's my three star pupils.

I've not yet been able to identify this little yellow flower, which is appearing both in the vinca in the front of the house (this photo) and in a few patchy places on the side of Mount Dump-It, in the back yard.

Whatever it's name, it's certainly pretty and a nice splash of color on the greening landscape.

The birds are finding the birdbath, naturally, and we've had plenty of visitors, including this northern flicker, who sits atop the power pole in front of our place every night, singing the sun down into the west. He sounds something like this.

Add to that the cooing of the doves, the cawing and cackling of the crows and their red-winged cousins, the twittering and cheeping of song sparrows and the fancy tune of the cardinal and it's not a bad soundtrack for an evening's garden examination.

It looks like the jalapeno spray I made may be doing the trick, as we have some tulips coming on which look like they may actually get to flower! Fingers crossed.

The tiny sprouts of cut-leaf coreopsis(es) are poking up all over the place throughout the garden...I'm kind of pleased with the way I spread them around. There's also a promising clump of foxglove greening up. Hopefully that'll give me seed stock to encourage a nice stand of them. I've also spotted the tiny rounds leaves of oregano (yes, it's the Oregano That Ate Eastham, come to a new town...bwa ha ha).

As I've mentioned before, I'm keeping my eyes out for the lilies...and also curious to see if the milkweed seeds I scattered around while planting last fall will take. I'd love to get a nice little colony of them thriving here, since the monarchs love them so.

I'm afraid this is not our most glorious Earth Day in the 39 years since the celebration began. Polar bears are threatened by the melting of their habitats. Other bears, I read recently, are being threatened here and abroad by poachers who want only their gall bladders. Bison and wolf populations in the west are being hunted with helicopters (yah, that's fair.). Wild populations everywhere are being forced into ever-smaller patches of protected land.

Kids spend so much time playing video games and racing from one afterschool activity to another, that they don't have time to play outside with a stick and some mud, or to look under the bushes for birds or worms or cool insects. How in the world will our next generations know to cherish and protect the natural world around them?

Of course, the way things seem to be headed, perhaps we won't need to worry about that. Gas prices have reached all new highs. This week food prices seem to have taken a substantial jump, keeping unfortunate pace with the unemployment rate.

And what do you hear on the street, or on TV, or across the blogosphere? "It's the Bushies' fault", or you can substitute in "oil cartel", "gun lobby", "super-delegates", "crazy Christians", "gays" or "Al Qaeda." (Mad Libs, anyone?)

I guess if we have someone to blame, we don't have to take responsibility for anything ourselves and we can sit back and take another one of whatever pill it is we're supposed to need. Apparently the ostrich populations are doing just fine.

I'm not saying the current administration doesn't have tons to answer for. So many endangered species have become more so on their watch and that's sort of the least of their footprint. But we need to remember that in pointing a finger at them, we point the rest of them back at ourselves. What have any of us done to protect the world we live in? And just what do we have to do to get people like that to listen to anyone other than themselves?

Am I saber-rattling for a revolution? I don't know...I'm not very good at being war-like (tho this quitting smoking thing may help...); sometimes it seems like there's so much change that needs to happen, I'm not sure I'd know where to start. And just which castle are we supposed to storm with our pitchforks and torches? No answers...only questions.

Thank goodness it's Spring, which helps me escape from the news and the internet and is available right out the door, without my having to drive anywhere or spend non-existant money. For now, anyway.

This past week, the forsythia have come into bright yellow and golden bloom all over the place, echoing the yellow drifts of daffodils.

Down at the end of Not Wisteria Lane (which is actually a loop of road, with three different street names attached), there's a lovely pond, mostly surrounded by private homes and not easily accessible to the general public. But I did find a narrow bit of right of way, through a stand of beautiful trees which are home to the blackbirds and crows and echoes with their songs.

We had another lovely day yesterday, though temperatures have still not topped the 60 degree mark around here. As it got suddenly chilly at day's end, the mist and fog rose up out of the pond and off the marshes and wrapped around our springtime world, muting the sun's fading glow.


Butch said...

They are growing nicely. I loved the attachment of the bird call.
( and so did Seán. ) ;-) It awoke him from his nap as he sat up with his ears cocked looking at the speakers wondering how the bird got in them.

You last picture is truly a beautiful one. It looks like a fine mist in the picture as well. Many thanks.

Greg said...

Butch, I'm very proud of my little seedlings. Hope to start some more tonight and tomorrow...

Ha...glad you and Sean enjoyed the flicker call. Gee, it can be fun to mess with them...when I was testing the call file, Badum nearly knocked me over in his haste to get to the window...

Glad you enjoyed that last picture. Knowing your fondness for agua scenes, I included it with you in mind. : )

Butch said...

Many thanks, for that last thoughtful picture, I truly enjoy them!

dykewife said...

you can make a smallish mini-greenhouse by wrapping a tomato cage in plastic wrap and put that around your sunflowers if you want to plant them outside. just sayin' :D

Greg said...

DW...thank! You are apparently what they call around here "wicked smart" (or "smahht," if ur goin for the accent). I don't know why I didn't think about that, m'self...hmmm...

Feel the planting fever comin' on, so I think you for this good idea.

Greg said...

(sleepy fingers:) THANK you for the this good idea. : )

somewhere joe said...

Although the oil industry's profits have grown obscene, there is actually cause for some hope in the rise of gas prices, if it reduces comsumption and stimulates alternatives. People may actually rediscover, as you have, the beauty and value of their own back yards.

lostlandscape said...

Happy belated Earth Day--keep asking those hard questions!

As far as your little unknown yellow friend...looks a little like a mustard (Brassica sp.) to me, especially the leaves. I'd try to get a more positive ID before dousing it in olive oil and balsamico, tho...