Sunday, September 21, 2008

Paw Paw Poo Poo

Old timey gardeners I have known where often heard to say "I like them McCaslin beans (or viney tomaters, or sally sweet corn or which-ever suiting variety) cause they don't come in all ta once"  Well, yep, that's a good thing, to spread out your harvest like that.

    Unless the harvest is a wild thing that grows best up on the ledge above the pasture and on the other side of the briar patch where its hard to get to if you have to make several trips.

      Paw Paws are like that, they "come in" (ripen) over a period of time, and if you want to gather the most harvest, you gotta keep your eye on 'em, which means trekking through the briars and chiggers and seed ticks frequently. This takes extra time, not only from negotiating the thorns and the steep slope, but each trip requires, at the very least, taking off your jeans, inspecting them inside and out and shaking them good, or, more prudently, changing them all together to a fresh pair and scrubbing your legs and waist in the process.
     This summer, in my haste, I have been known to throw caution to the wind and skip all post trek prudencies and to have suffered the chiggery-tickey consequences, which I chalked up to some sort of necessary egoic leveling experience, rather than its rightful designation of "lazy haste"

Extra time has been short for me this summer, due to various obligations, but extra desire for distraction has been in ample supply. Under those circumstances, you have to pick and choose your projects and let the rest of your grandiose outdoor plans slide.

This has been a "tall cotton" year for paw paws (and just about every other fruit and nut crop, least until the drought fell upon us again, but I will save whining about the climate for another post) and when I checked on their progress around the last of August I was amazed at the the quantity and size of the fruit.



This is the sort of "shock and awe" that I would like the human race to be referencing. 

My intention was to go back the very next week, but there were those obligations, so it wasn't till about two weeks later that I made it back up the ridge.

Pooey. Most of the fruit had ripened and fallen, and was well on its way to compost.

 2008 09 14 057

Paw paws are so nice and smushy that when they fall, they are immediately set upon by all manner of hungry organisms. They emit a fabulous sweet fermenting odor, which carries a good ways. Many's a time I have located them at the peak of perfection by following a "kentucky bourbon distillery" whiff on the breeze to the early dropping ones, to find ripe ones near by.

 2008 09 14 053

When they go, they go quickly though, leaving behind the lovely dark brown seeds which some critter must also find edible, because they don't hang around long either.

I had spent some time studying the teeth marks and sign on the downed paw paws and could tell that birds had pecked them, some sort of rodent had been on them, and deer had chawed and mauled them around...walking away, thinking about what I had seen, I was surprised to see the subject of my thoughts being devoured in "real life action" by a turtle directly in my path.

 2008 09 14 013-1

A little ways farther along the ridge I found some in tooth study condition, and a few to eat, too! So I guess it is a good thing that paw paws don't all come in at once, after all.

2008 09 14 060

Political Poo Poo

I am heartsick and I could go on about it. I have a lot to say about the sorry-assed state of our leaders controllers, but because I do have so much to say, I won't.

I'll just leave it to the innovative musical duo Timbuk3, who said it all in these lyrics from their seminal album "Greetings from Timbuk 3" (a "must listen" from the last century, if you don't own it already)

Presidential elections are planned distractions
To divert attention from the action behind the scenes

like a game of chess when the house is a mess
Or a petty money squabble when your marriage is in trouble
Or a football game on TV, when there's rioting in the streets

It's just another movie, another song and dance
Another poor sucker who never had a chance
It's just another captain going down with his ship
Just another jerk, taking pride in his work

I was a poor magician; I could never understand
You can't make tears disappear through sleight of hand

From the bottom of my heart -- off the top of my head
Words were pulled like rabbits from a hat but nothing was said

Now my freedom's bought and paid for -- it lights up my living room
I got nothing more to prove; I've got no reason to move
And when I'm tired of the program -- when it's taken it's toll
I can press a button, change the channel by remote control  -Pat MacDonald, Barbara MacDonald

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

duct tape moth

There is a table by my back porch door that collects all sorts of things and periodically I have to "uncollect" it.
Most recently, on top of the collection, I had dropped a waterproof box that I had rigged with a strap for carrying a camera in the kayak.
I had used, of course, the universal rigging material- duct tape.
During the uncollecting process (aka "tidying up") I noticed a common little moth that had completely camouflaged itself to match the color of the duct tape. It was remarkable in that, at a glance, it had seemed to blend into the slivery texture and had been barely noticeable.

"matching duct tape, what a cool camo trick" I thought.

I picked up my camera, but the camera disappointed me, as it picked up the colors and patterns that the naked eye had missed, and made the camo job seem second rate, when in actuality, in the shadowy light of the porch roof, on a late summer afternoon, against silvery duct tape, this moth had been almost invisible.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Air (bird)craft carrier

2008 08 28 009_edited-1
So JB had to do a gig on an aircraft carrier, he was pretty quiet on the way to the airport, struggling with his own politics and the need to be in the right headspace to perform. His only comment was "creeps me out, ya know".
I kept my mouth shut (my new spiritual practice~snicker)
On the way home from dropping him off, I stewed and simmered with the latest political "anti-environmental, pro war, pro Jesus" shenanagins on the radio (how does that work, anyway? maybe they read Jesus different than I do?)
Anyway, I took advantage of driving through civilization to stop at an upscale grocery to pick up some stevia and misc. organic staples (something you can't buy for love nor money in our entire county)
On the car parked next to mine was a bumper sticker that read "peace monger" (rare indeed, in our locality, I want one)
Mostly what you see is "support our troops or get the hell out of our country" type bumper stickers.
I was so charmed by the fact that I had seen this rare sticker, on a car right next to mine, while in the throws of my current mental disturbance that I took it as a sign to postpone work and take my camera out when I got home
(yes, you may think perhaps I need to get out more)
No great results with the camera, and guilt got me back to work, but I did notice that the late summer season sunflowers are starting to really nod, which makes it so much easier for the birds to eat
at the seeds faster and more furious than earlier in the summer when the bent heads merely turned at 90 degrees while ripening.  Now they have little platforms upon which to take off and land and eat and fight and litter little shells


...litle birdcraft carriers of yellowing green.   
2008 08 28 021s

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