Wednesday, June 04, 2008

In The Rain

The rain didn't hold off this morning, already falling lightly when I woke up. Only a single cup of joe was needed to get me out there, though. With a possible three days of rain ahead, it'd be a crime not to take advantage of it.

It wasn't raining hard and it was still relatively warm (64), so I didn't mind getting a little damp. In fact, its one of my favorite times to be out there messing around in the dirt.

I had just started selecting the right locations for those orange marigolds (which really brightened up even a pretty rainy and gray morning as this one), when word came via one of our dog-walking neighbors, Snoopy the min-pin's dad (I'm amused by the fact we don't know each other's names, only the names of our dogs), that there was a big turtle come up from the pond and in another neighbor's yard.

Of course, I set my digging tools in out of the rain and grabbed my camera for a little walk around the block, where I found this snapping turtle (probably almost two foot from nose to tail)slowly heading up the driveway into someone's back yard.

It wasn't clear to me if she'd have a clear shot at the woods going that way, but I wasn't about to attempt to give her directions, either. She was following the beat of her drummer, and so after taking a photo or two, I headed back to the garden to listen to my own cadence a little longer and she made her way up the driveway toward the lawn and whatever place she decided was appropriate for laying eggs.

After finding the right spots for each of the marigolds, I managed another round of seed planting in a variety of recently-weeded sections of the garden. This morning's mass sowing included the second half of those bachelor buttons, as well as some more cleome(*) and allyssum, chamomile and tall sulphur cosmos.

This meant another chance to draw patterns on the soil, but because of the rain, I used a stick today and not my finger. Hard enough trying to keep the seeds from sticking together without having muddy hands.

The rain was getting heavier as I planted and although I've more seeds to plant, I'd exhausted the free time I had this morning and it was time to get ready for work. But not until I'd enjoyed a long lingering look at the way the garden's shaping up.

* So, I have a confession to make. I did a bad thing recently, not something a gardener ought to do, and I'm feeling a little guilty about it. Remember those lovely and strong looking cleome seedlings I had in the bedroom window? Well, I've grown accustomed in recent years to having partially shaded/protected garden beds, which gave me latitude to be a little casual with some of my plantings, as the surrounding trees offered some security against the stronger winds and even some mild frosts.

But for this new location, with it's direct sunlight and gusting winds, I really ought to have taken an extra day or two to accustom my little babies to life in the Big Bad World (You may recall me having some misgivings after the fact that evening, actually.)for little bits of time before the big planting.

Instead, I just split them up and put them out there in the ground.

Some, I'm sorry to say, simply fell over and died. A few turned a little white, but look like they'll recover...and there's still a third group who took just enough shelter from nearby perennials that they are doing quite well.

Still in all, I ought to have known better. Bad gardener.

There's another look at those yucca plants I showed you the other night, their flower stalks another foot taller than on Sunday. I was mistaken, actually: all three plants are doing this. What a show it will be!

The best reason for today's rain being a good thing is the way it's washed the pollen off everything.

I thought I saw a humpback whale in this pool of pollen, but then it seemed more like a dove maybe. Now I think it looks like Heath Ledger as the Joker, but that might just be me anticipating the new Batman movie this July.

Have you seen the trailer?


Butch said...

That was definitely a snapping turtle. I didn't know you had them so far north.

Your garden shot is truly beautiful. One can see all the time and toil you have put in to it and it certainly has paid off. Very nice. I'm sure people promenading by have some nice things to say.

Interesting pool of pollen and I see a dove as well.

Greg said...

Actually, this snapping turtle was somewhat smaller than some I remember coming out of our lake in the Adirondacks and that was even further north from here!

The garden *is* starting to match my vision for things...and I get a little giddy when I think of what it may be before long, all big and billowy looking! Hee hee!!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Ah, a very diverse day at The Midnight Garden. LOVE the turtle. We just don't see fellows like that stalking our neighborhoods. And I'm sure your flowers will forgive you for a bit of separation anxiety. It's really coming along.

Jess said...

If only the pollen would stay away! I know it's a necessary part of the process, but it makes breathing rather difficult this time of year!

Birdie said...

Greg, as a person born with the Black Thumb of Death, I have a long way to go before I can comment on plants in any meaningful way. But I'm reading your blog!

I can comment on the turtle: keep the dogs away. Those jaws can sever fingers. But you probably know that already.

And the movie: I can hardly wait. Not so much because of Batman; it's because of Heath Ledger.

Greg said...

Jess, I hope you got some of that rain to address the pollen issue (Three Dog Night, anyone: "wash away my troubles
wash away my pain..."
)for you!

Birdie, it's nice to know you're there! I bet your thumb ain't black as all that...thanks for the tip on the snapper. They are scary enough to gaze upon that I am always cautious and respectful.

I saw no wisdom in introducing the dog to *any* poor turtle, so Em stayed safely asleep on the couch, as is her morning routine. It *was* raining, after all.

I gotta confess, I've loved the Batman since I could barely walk, but yah, I'm looking forward to Heath's performance...I just know we'll be impressed.

Jeremy - Pittsgrove Farms said...

Man, on a completely non-garden note, I can't wait until the new Batman movie. Batman Begins was fantastic and the new one looks just as good. It was terrible with the death of Heath Ledger but I respect the fact that they have gone forward with the movie, advertising, and marketing as had always been planned instead of trying to change things.

Greg said...

Jer, I was sorry to read recently that the movie coming is really the story of how the Joker creates Two-Face, and that the movie they had planned for after was going to be all-Joker with Ledger. Shame we won't see that, but Dark Knight will still be great!

(If only we could finally get a Wonder Woman movie made, now...)

Bird said...

That snapping turtle is amazing, I'm sure I'd have lost a finger or two as a kid if we had those over here... I think in a few places we dohave them as introduced animals, and they just clear out whole ponds before anyone even knows what's happening.

Your garden is so lovely, I really enjoy your enthusiasm, it's so infectious!