For some reason, people are constantly telling me how busy they are. My father, for instance, constantly regales me with fascinating yarns about his full and stressful days, which usually involve driving all over creation trying to find things to buy while still making it to happy hour. At his age the jury is still out on the commercial value of the internet, and why make your own Manhattan when you can complain to a bartender that it isn’t dry enough and then under tip?
I’m kind of busy too; besides the appalling 10-hour chunk that work takes out of my day, I am trying to ready the house and yard for the alleged arrival of summer: insect control and the exterior decoration of our outdoor living spaces are at the center of family activity. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my last plants of spring, the Oregon Box/Unicorn, and a pair of lovely, stunted Mountain Hemlock. I have a dozen Bog Laurel (Kalmia microphyllum) and eight Labrador Tea (Ledum glandulosum) sititing in the shade next to my driveway, patiently awaiting transplant down near the wetland edge.
My immediate focus is the construction of the built-in planter/railings I designed. I have three down and one to go, and so far they are looking good; when I am finished and they are all planted up I will take photos, unless they don’t turn out quite like I hoped–in which case you will never see them and I will never speak of them again.
‘Wetland’ oftentimes seems like a nice way to say “swamp.” When you have one as your closest neighbor, the winged and bitey univited guests seem overwhelming at times. Since it would be poor form to dump a bunch of diesel into it in order to keep down the mosquitos, we have devised a multi-point approach to insect control. Bug zappers, insect repellent, and citronella candles are both obvious and easy, but the next phase is the bat house. Having neighbors who can eat their body weight in bugs every night will be delightful. And this morning, a surprise entry into the insect war: dragonflies and damsalflies by the dozen, patrolling the clearing for delicious flying things. Awesome.
Dragonflies are officially my Favorite Insect Ever, and I had been kind of wondering why I
hadn’t seen any yet, but this morning’s sunshine must have warmed the bog enough for them to emerge. This weekend is allegedly the end of ‘Not Miserable = the New Nice’ and hopefully the warm weather that is forecast will rouse a whole cadre of Stormtrooper Insectivores to sweep the clearing of biting nuisances because as the sun goes down Saturday, I should be finished with these things and sitting at the Tableau del Diablo with a glass of wine…and probably thinking about my next project.