(Drafted in December, 2013)
On this super slow winter day, I decide to lift my head up out of the sky-high pile of receipts and shut down the Quickbooks software to take a long walk in the garden. Though it’s sunny outside, winter is here and our area is experiencing some all time lows. So I’ll bundle up but not just with any old pair of boots and coat; I need to break out the polka dotted rubber boots and fuzzy faux fur-lined glamour parka, because they make me happy and trust me, I need something to take my mind off the taxes right now. 🙁
I have everything covered because of overnight freezing. All is surviving just fine. The kitchen and chicken gardens get a rest this season so everything coming out of the market garden is for our personal use. I’m shifting the gardens around due to drainage issues. So far this is a nice and calming stroll that was very much needed today.
But hold on. What the..? Golly gee whiz, more gopher trouble. Time to get the traps out again. Along with all the drainage the hubby has to lay, he’ll also be digging trenches to fence these little troublemakers out. Well, I’m trying not to worry about anything right now. My fingers and toes are covered and warm. Coffee in hand. Sun on my face. The air is crisp and clears my head. Moving on…
Uh, wait a minute. What do we have here?! EW! A cocoon of sorts! I’ve seen all kinds but nothing like this. I find several more on things like this wooden cage and on the sides of planter boxes too. I tapped on one to see how hard it is and it feels like solid wood! And it’s stuck on there pretty good too. (shrug) Well, I’m just a little bit upset right now, not too overwhelmed. But I think I should switch to decaf just to be safe. Moving on…
Ah, that’s more like it. The beautiful sight of a (found) basin and stand turned into storage for my seed starting mix. Gorgeous. At this point I can’t wait to get the rest of the greenhouse set up and start something. Come springtime, it’s on!
And just like that, a sight for sore eyes switches to a sad, sad sight. If I had paid closer attention to the weather reports I could have harvested the last lot of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. At the beginning of December I still had plenty growing, but in one night a sudden freeze swept over the county and it all turned to this. Bummer. (Head lowers a bit.)
So I think I’ve seen enough. I know what I need to do: Learn more about the weather patterns, gopher activity and of course, the unidentified freakish objects that have landed everywhere. As far as the weather goes, I can order the Farmer’s Almanac and download weather apps to be more prepared. And as much as I hate to, I’ll start watching local weather. (Even though they really don’t know what they’re talking about which they prove time and time again… sorry. Moving on…)
The info on gophers is just as elusive as the critters themselves. On one hand it’s thought that they hibernate in the winter. Yet most reports show continuous activity year round. It’s known that they eat vegetation but some swear they also find worms and grubs yummy too, and can resort to cannibalism if hungry enough! And do they live with other gophers or are they loners? Not knowing is not fair.
I’ve got to take a breather so I head over to the hubby’s shop to see the wonderful Japanese Redwood he just cut. Neato-looking striations and some are pink! Love it. This is going to make an armoire for my stoneware collection. Okay, that helps the mood a bit. Also, the hubby set out more gopher traps*. Now I can at least squeeze out a smile.
So on that note, I head inside to do some research on the UFOs. Turns out that what we have might (in fact) be praying mantis! Now wouldn’t that be awesome? What a good end to a long, long winter day.
Oh, wait. The taxes. Oy vey…
*Update: The hubby caught the Paul Bunyan of gophers before it could reach the beds. That critter was so big it almost didn’t fit the trap! Whew!
Update: What a relief, something turned out just as I imagined after all. Here is an update on my new potting bench. Yah!