Friday, July 21, 2017

Taking Summer stock #phenology

Summer stock doesn't only refer to "any theatre that presents stage productions only in the summer." The condition of lots of growing thinks now will affect the numbers migrating or making it to harvest come Autumn. Our guesses a few weeks ago, about the bluebirds renesting, appear to have been overly optimistic, unless the chicks hatched, fledged and flew at a record pace. The empty nest will get moved before the ground freezes and, this Autumn or next Spring, we'll add a new house further from the tree swallows' house.

empty nest
empty nest
Photo by J. Harrington

The pear crop appears as if it's going to be a disappointment to the local whitetail herd, to say nothing of the tree's planter. The weather we had last May, combined with a lack of pollinators?, produced few pieces of fruit, as you can see.

poorly pears
poorly pears
Photo by J. Harrington

The good news is that the prairie spiderwort is in bloom and the number of plants seems to be increasing, as are the number of yellow hawkweed plants. (I think we have both sticky and hairy, based on the distribution maps, but I'm far from being a botanist.) Further confirmation of the Edenic aspirations of the mid-Summer yard was the very large bull snake I almost stepped on as s/he slithered into the brush pile. We'll make sure  no one's home the next time the pile gets fired.

thriving spiderwort
thriving spiderwort
Photo by J. Harrington

This afternoon, we'll make the first pick up from a new food hub we're checking out. The Better Half says the prices are about the same as those at the coop we belong to, so we'll see how more directly supporting local farms and farmers works out. Fingers crossed.

After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard



East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
                                         looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
                       I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
                  Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.
Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
                          up from the damp grass.
Into the world’s tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.


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