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."

A Few Things

This morning, I was sitting at the computer with my first cuppa Joe, trying to get my eyes open and make some sense of the world around me, when I heard this sound through the open window. It was like someone had bit into the world’s largest stalk of celery. I looked outside and saw a rather large squirrel standing atop one of the older, drooping sunflowers, gnawing through the stalk and harvesting the entire seedhead. Pretty impressive.

What was less impressive is that my camera had just enough to battery to turn on and tell me I didn’t have enough power…and by the time I’d recharged fifteen minutes later, the squirrel had fled with the object of his affection.

However, a few minutes later one of our neigh bor hood gold finches showed up to do a little harvesting and munching of his own. The lesser sunflowers are certainly providing a great breakfast buffet to this little guy and his family.

Meanwhile, you might recall me recently mentioning the canna lily and pondering what color it’s flowers might be. Red is, I believe, the standard shade for these guys, though I’ve also seen some nice yellow ones.

But I’m not sure I was expecting such a lovely shade of orange. What a treat!

Now, my friends, I must offer in advance an apology. I’m about to include something a little less pleasant than I often like to…in fact, you may find it downright upsetting. If you don’t, I’m inclined to actually be a little concerned that we’re friends. But I’ve learned something about Sarah Palin, the Republican nom for VP who’s been ALL over the news this week…and it’s too important, too dastardly, for me not to make sure you know.

Again, I’m sorry. I’ve been hearing about these aerial hunts for a while now, but I never imagined, innocent idiot that I am, that we could be faced with the architect of such barbarism as a possibility to lead our country. As if we weren’t in enough trouble already.

Now, take a deep breath, and look at these pretty marguerite daisies I found in a planter outside my friend Jane’s office in Chatham.

You may recall my mentioning Jane back on June 12th, when I was celebrating Best Day Ever and treated myself to a massage (it was complimentary, actually) at Jane’s new practice, Cloud Nine Bodywork. Hoping to mitigate some of the stress knots that I’d been accumulating in my back the past week, I called Jane and got myself an appointment for today, my day off.

To sweeten the experience, when I arrived, Jane offered me a nice discount if I’d let her practice her new hot stones technique on me. So, a few dollars less and a little minor scarring later (ha ha, only kidding, Jane dear…it was absolutely lovely!), the Midnight Gardener greeted the afternoon a soothed man.

After collecting my paycheck from work and doing some banking, I got myself a nice deli sandwich and headed for the beach. I’d thought to spend my lunchtime in the company of the Atlantic proper, but the beach parking lot at Nauset Light Beach was absolutely packed, and so I opted for my favorite bench at First Encounter Beach, on the bayside.


It didn’t take my liverwurst sandwich and I any time at all to be targeted by an assortment of gulls, those seabirds known for having invented the expression, “You gonna finish that?”

They were pretty entertaining, though. I was more inclined to slip a few scraps of bread crust to the little guy, but he was deferring to the big one, who wasted no time in muscling the smaller one out of the way to grab what bits I was willing to share.

The tide was nearly all the way in and since it was a windy sort of an afternoon, there was a bit more splashiness to the bayside surf than we normally see there.

The wind also supported that interesting thing you sometimes see shorebirds doing, where they seem to pause in the air floating on the wind currents. As Douglas Adams once wrote, hanging in the air exactly the same way that bricks don’t.

It’s a neat trick, that. Unless, of course, they are hovering right over one and one’s sandwich. I didn’t dally with the sandwich, just to be on the safe side. I’ve never aspired to being Tippy Hedrin.

It was a beautiful day, for sure. Sunny and bright and clear, a touch of humidity sneaking in at us today, probably a prelude to the arrival of Hurricane Hanna and/or her remains on the weekend. The sun was pretty strong, so I didn’t stay for too long, as I had other fish to fry and no sunscreen handy.


Next stop was my new digs, where I wanted to confirm my continuing interest in the place. I was greeted in the driveway by this wonderful hedge of roses.

Just a few weeks back it sported but a single blossom, but now, it’s covered with them again. Oh, and the scent from these was quite delightful…just what I might have wished for!!

It was nice to get another look at the place today and start to get a sense of the layout of it all. I measured the ceilings for consideration of moving some bookshelves, and then talked paint colors and gardening opportunities with my friend L, who will also be my landlord.

On the latter front, I was happy to hear that there’s plenty of room to play…and a pretty open form to it all. Apparently one of the neighbors also gardens, and has been occasionally discovered planting her divisions in the yard here. Colonizing, I suppose. Sounds like a fun place to bring some plants.

It sounds like this will be a great place for me and the cat, very comfortable and spacious, with lots of light and character. Here’s a look at the place–the second story will be the gardener’s new nest. To the left is one of several large lilac bushes all around the house and property.

It’s also very nicely located for not only groceries and possibly walking to work, but it’s also very near the bike trail and just down the road from Rock Harbor…and the nearby marshes I enjoy so.

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