Friday, August 17, 2007


Having been in toxic shock all of July, it is a bit startling to go out back and see the enormous growth of vegetation. Many of the petunias have already gone to seed and need to be pinched back; the balsam stems are filled with seed pods; some have aready popped; some will pop very soon. The impatiens, usually a bother, are just right this summer; the hibiscus plant, sent by Lodie and Judi, is amazing, and will have to be transferred from the pot it arrived in straight into the autumn ground.

One truly shocking fact of life this year is the general lack of insects. The only bees around are the tiny ones with small yellow stripes, possibly not even bees at all. What has happened to the lusty bumble bees that used to hunker over my flowers, and how will we get them back? Occasionally a moth will still fly out of a flower bed when I water; this is fun to see. But not one centipede (thank goodness) this year; hardly any flies, and only one ladybug (maybe it will bring good luck). Where have all the bugs gone? (Surely the baking powder that I conscientiously pour down my kitchen sink drain isn't enough to keep all the centipedes away.)

I am sorry I missed July, but will now make the most of what is left of August. And I look forward to the uniquely autumnal pansies and cabbages, which are certainly coming soon....

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