How Do You Spell That Again?

A Few of the Many

I had wanted to plant only three plants. I figured that might even be too many, but I wanted to be safe. So I planted three, and they grew well. Then I gave my children one of the beds to grow some things. They picked zucchini as one of the things they wanted to plant. So now we had four plants. Then, a couple of days ago, as I was inspecting the pumpkin plants, I was amazed yet again at how huge one of them had become. When I turned back the leaves I saw not a small pumpkin forming, but more zucchini. Somehow at least one zucchini seed got mixed in with the pumpkin seeds. They are kind of hard to tell apart, especially if you think they are all pumpkin seeds. Apparently I am not very adept at telling the plants apart either.

So we picked some of those green squashes two days ago. I picked about ten of them. I immediately grated a couple of them to make some zucchini bread. I sliced three more to grill for dinner. Yesterday I picked more. We have a dozen now sitting on the counter, waiting to be turned into something. I will have to grill more tonight, freeze some, make more bread. And more is out there, waiting to ripen. It could be a heavy responsibility, all this food.

Any vegetable gardner knows the joke about zucchini, that it is so prolific that it is difficult to give away. It is way easy to grow, although last summer we had almost none, thanks to our friends the cucumber beetles. I have a summer gratin that is about the tastiest thing around, so I need to whip up a couple of those. Maybe I can bake two and freeze one. It won’t be quite as good after being frozen, but I need to take care of this green invasion so I don’t waste any. Winter is long and some summer food pulled from the freezer always is a comfort on cold days.

So I will keep picking it, along with the cherry tomatoes that are just starting to ripen. Peppers are getting bigger and the full size tomatoes will be ripe before long as well. I have picked  basil and garic and whipped up basil. Our broccoli (what is up with all these double letter Italian words that are a challenge to remember how to spell?) might be too assaulted by the rabbits to produce any food for us. If they ate some of the zucchini plants, we might strike a deal, but I want all the broccoli I can get.

Damn bunnies.

Blood and Urine

I ran a bunch of errands this afternoon. I finally picked the screws for my sander. I had lost one screw and had to special order a set. I could only get them from one place–Burlington Tool Repair in Essex (not sure why Burlington Tool Supply is in Essex)–so I drove up there and paid $1.82 to get the tool running again. It was cheaper than a new sander. Even on Craig’s List.

I also stopped at Gardner’s Supply and picked up some Liquid Fence to spray on my garden. The stuff is supposed to keep away critters of the mammalian variety who find things like lettuce and cilantro to their liking. Just for the record, this product stinks. I mean it literally stinks. It contains urea from predators, like coyote, that is supposed to scare away the thieving rascals. Once it dries, so the directions tell me, I won’t smell it but the bunnies will.

I had to wash my hands twice and I made sure to store it in the basement, where it is cool, and not in the garage that got to over 100 degrees this afternoon.

Our lettuce is getting nibbled to nubs and one bed of carrots is pretty much toast, so I hope it works. Ah, the adventure of gardening. Those long-eared little hoppers have me spraying canine whiz next to my lettuce. I sound desperate, eh? I want my lettuce.

Damn bunnies.

What’s With the Geese?

Two days ago, early morning, maybe 6:00, I saw a flock of geese flying north. It was a sizable flock and I said aloud to them, “Kind of late, aren’t you kids?”  They ignored me and kept flying.

Maybe 20 minutes later I saw another flock. Within an hour I saw a total of four vees of geese on their way to cooler climes. What gives, I thought that morning.

And I keep seeing them. I saw more yesterday morning, and again this morning. Plus I have seen others later in the day. Today is June 3rd. It seems late for geese to be flying north, at least over the Champlain Valley.

I don’t remember seeing so many geese flying north so late. Aberration? Or poor observation by me in the past? Or both?

Speaking of wildlife, my son and I walked down to the river this afternoon and we got a good look at a green heron. That was a treat. And he learned to recognize a red-winged blackbird today. On my morning runs the past three days I saw a deer who almost, I kid you not, ran into me in the fog as it ran away from other pedestrians; a painted turtle crossing the road; and about 795 rabbits who all of a sudden decided to come out of the woods. Maybe the geese told them to do it.

Whenever I see those rabbits I fear they will find my garden and decide to snack. I sometimes run after them and make monster-like noises. I want them to be afraid of me so they stay away from my precious vegetables. I feel like Farmer McGregor. Hand me my sack, will you?

Damn bunnies. I wish the geese would call them north. Or just eat them. Either way, I’d be good.