One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Last night we hosted a barbecue. Not a huge affair, nothing to trouble the neighbors with, just a chance to spend some time with some friends outside the workplace, celebrate the arrival of the warmer months and have some laughs.

There was good food, good drink, good company, good tunes, hammock swinging, bird poo and hot tubbing. Pretty much everything a proper party requires.

There was even a garden tour or two, with guest appear ances by the nibblers, who were in stealth mode with all the parked cars for cover.

My morning watering routine always includes emptying the cruddy water out of the bird bath, then rinsing and refilling it so it’s always fresh for the birdies. So I always take the cap off, and so I was surprised this morning to discover this elaborate network of spiderwebs inside the flower pot-base of the birdbath, where none existed yesterday.

I thought the pattern was pretty cool, especially the way it turns invisible close to the edges and seems to just hang in midair like some anti-gravity science project. I wonder what sort of bugs you catch in a dark, dank space like that.

It turned cool last evening as the party was winding down. In fact, we even caught the scent of skunk drifting on the air. Fan of classic cartoons that I am, I’d love to be able to say that the distinctive scent drifted through the gathered guests and the cry of “Le Pew!” went up, causing a cloud-raising stampede for the cars. But really, the party was just about put to bed by the time the skunk seemed to pass by.

A nice surprise this weekend. You may recall that way back on April 1st, when I planted those first sunflower seeds, I also potted up a ginger root that my Granny sent me. After two long months, it has finally burst through the surface of the potting soil in this big pointy nub.

Before long, there’ll be several stalks, each one about two feet high and as the summer goes on, there’ll be purple flowers. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Always one to take a cue from the Universe, I poured myself another cup of coffee after the watering was through and called Granny in Florida for a nice phone visit. She sounded great and we had a terrific chat, mostly about gardens but also about life in general. She turned 89 a few weeks ago and this spring also decided to give up driving…which she hadn’t been doing for all that long.

With the price of gas being what it is, she doesn’t really miss the expense of driving, but definitely some of the convenience. I counseled caution when she talked about crossing four lanes of traffic to go grocery shopping. We’ve encouraged her to take cabs with the money she saves not having a car, but she’s always been an independent thinker and does what she likes.

This afternoon at work, I heard a lot of bird activity outside and discovered this red tailed hawk perched up on the power pole. He was taking a break from deviling a few crows’ nests in the area, causing the black birds to start mobbing this bigger bird when it resumed soaring through the air.

I was able to hear that distinctive cry a few times…what a sound! You can hear it here, if you like.

The rose bush which was here on the property before I built a garden around it is now covered with buds, many of them about to unfurl. I wonder if it will be scented.

Did you know that June 14th is commemorated as Flag Day here in the U.S.? It’s the anniversary of the date that the Stars and Stripes was adopted as the flag of the country in 1777.

The holiday was established nationally by Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but made official by Harry Truman through an Act of Congress in 1949.

I’m sure you know that seamstress Betsy Ross designed the first version of the stars and bars in 1776, inspired by the misadventures of Bugs Bunny and a garden rake.

Our temperatures remained on the cool side today, in the sixties and clouds are drifting across the moon this evening. In fact, the forecast suggests that the week ahead may be a rainy one. It’ll be a busy week at work, so this is not bad news to me.

However, some troubling news did come this evening, in a phone call from Mom.

After our conver sation this morning, Granny was heading over to the Publix, and while crossing the afore-mentioned four lanes of traffic, was hit by a car.

She’s in the hospital this evening in Gainesville, and we’re all feeling a bit helpless here in the north and awaiting word on how she’s doing.

If prayers are in your kitbag, I ask you to share one for her good health and speedy recovery. If not prayers, then any good thoughts you can spare in her direction would be most welcomed and appreciated.

Although I’m worried as hell, I expect she will be just fine–after all, this morning she told me she was planning to beat her elder sister’s lifespan of 90, making her the longest-lived on that side of the family.


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