Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Couldn't Take It
It was just too nice a day yesterday to stay inside...actually warmer outdoors than in the house. What to do? Too early for this, too big a project to start that. Hmmm. Standing on the porch contemplating my options, I looked at the crab apple tree I'd bought maybe three years ago and left sitting in its pot right where I'd set it down. I'd kept missing the window of opportunity to plant it and, as everyone knows, if you leave a thing in place long enough, you start to think it belongs there. Poor tree. Well, this was the perfect afternoon to get it into the ground, so I snatched it up and Bess, Pearl and I went out to the garden on the west point. I've planted over twenty trees in what I'd hoped would be the orchard over on the north slope, but none ever did well in that area and I gave up on that idea. The point gets full sun all day and the apricot we put in some years back is growing well, and the birds enjoy the fruit. I'd also put in some apple trees, but the gophers got two and the third one got cut down by a barrel lid that was blown off in a strong wind. I'd planted that one in a wire cage to protect the roots from the underground dwellers and planned to put the crab apple in that. Yeah, well. The weeds had overgrown the entire garden (again), I couldn't find the cage in the ground, and there was nothing for it but to start pulling out the chest-high dead stuff, mainly star thistle. I'd wanted to work outside, and this was a prime example of "be careful what you wish for." I do nothing without a coterie of inspectors. When she wasn't looking for gopher holes, Pearl checked my progress, as did Bessie Anne, who moved from lying in the sun to the shade of the planting barrels. She's particularly fond of lying where I'd turned up fresh dirt. Yesterday the Mafia Boys came along to watch from outside the fence. Even smaller eyes were on me...tiny frogs I'd disturbed sat and watched. I worked under the most pleasant conditions for several hours and cleared a six-foot swath along the north fence. I found the cage, but by that time I was permanently bent over and the temperature was dropping. I hope I get the tree in the ground before another three years go by.