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Workin' Hard, Hardly Workin'

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Apologies to everyone for my absence. I'm in Spring Gear. Yesterday I got up at 5 AM, heard the brown thrasher singing, and got to work. He's the Planting Bird, you know; he tells you when to plant the peas and lettuce. So I removed the last of last year's straw mulch from the garden, piled it in a cart, pulled the remaining weeds, and went to the garage. I got out the rototiller, implored Bill to start it for me, and rototilled the garden. (There's some guy magic he does to get it going that escapes me. I think it's mostly that he's strong and persistant enough to pull the cord a hundred times and I'm not...but there's some other testosterone-linked magic he works that makes it obey).
I love rototilling, even though I'm in real danger of chopping off my foot most of the time. We have the neatest little Honda that's just the right size and strength for me. We used to borrow a monster from our neighbors that would pull Bill along after it like a rag doll as it chewed through tough sod--no thanks. This one would probably only mangle you instead of severing the foot completely. So far, so good.
So then I planted the sugar snap peas and mesclun and buttercrunch lettuce, and replaced the mulch on the freshly tilled soil everywhere else, so I won't have to fight goosefoot next month when it's finally time to plant the beans and tomatoes. God, I love this time of year, when I can work in the garden until my very bones ache.
Came inside and cleaned the fish tank. Went back outside and dismantled Bill's brushpile that he builds for the birds every fall. I like to take it apart before the grass grows and winds around it and makes it rotty and gross. Found seven ravine salamanders under the rocks he'd used to secure the brush. Nice haul. That's a locally common thing that's rare almost everywhere else but this part of Appalachia. Wish I had pictures but I was too en fuego with physical work to stop.
Hauled the grotty brushpile up to the fire circle to burn it later. Went down to the pond, briefly considered vacuuming it, but as the temperature didn't touch 60, decided I'd probably get hypothermic and drown trying. Ecch, the first spring vacuum of the fishpond is soooo gross. But I heard American toads trilling there tentatively two nights ago, and I like to get the pond clean and fountain going before they begin to breed in earnest. Wouldn't want to vacuum up eggs and taddies.
Set up the Bird Spa so the yard birds have a place to drink and bathe. Thought again about cleaning the pond, but pulled myself back. That's going to have to wait because there are 14 people coming over for a lawn party this afternoon. Lord help me. Gotta clean the house again. Until tomorrow...
This is Narcissus "Salome." She's in bud right now. Love those pink daffies.


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