Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday afternoon, a time for gardening and protection.

Sunday was a fairly productive day for me backyard wise. Finally finished the second vegetable garden, planting onions and carrots. Wish I had the forethought to plant radishes along the carrot line, maybe next year I will remember. Radishes come up early and tend to break way for the late maturing carrots. (It also helps you identify exactly where that row is as the radish plants sprout much faster than the carrots)

Got up the gumption to rework the back "problem" bed. Using a pre-mixed bag of "Wild Hummingbird Flowers" I hope to have a small amount of color from the two corners later on in the year. All the flowers (hopefully) are perinial so next year I will be able to do something a little more permanent.

After lifting up the tarp and having a look at one month without sun light I realized that the brier was loving the added heat and not caring about no light... Pulled what I could, hoed the bed as deep as possible then just covered it with the mix.

Finished pulling the clover from the decks flower bed, was able to get 2 large clumps and one smaller clump moved over to the pond area. The pond is going to look much better once the individual clumps recover a little more. They are already sprouting up small pink flowers again, though the clover stalks are still laying on the ground.

To replace the clover in the deck's bed I pulled some mysterious purple leafy plant out of my extremely small front bed. The front bed unfortunately does not receive a lot of attention. It is small and well, I spend the majority of time in my back yard so the front has to go weeks at a time without being touched. A sprinkling of the mix I used in the back will hopefully give some color later on in the year.

On the non-plant side of things I actually got some other to-do's done. Cleaning the grill was one of my most dreaded things for this season. It had collected a large amount of... well I do not know the technical term for "food that falls off" so lets just call it "Gunk". I did notice some small amount of rust starting on my grating though, will need to pickup a can of high temp spray paint to fix it before it spreads to the top side.

Out of all my activities this last Sunday by far one stands out above the rest. While cleaning out some dead leaves between my secondary garden bed and the chain link fence a small snake startled me. Brownish / Blackish, and only about 6-7 inches long I took it for a baby snake, however not growing up in North Carolina I had no idea what kind of snake it was. I understand there are a couple poisonous varieties that flourish around these parts, so my first reaction was "protection".

I yelled to my 4 year old to get up on the deck and stay there while I, shovel in hand, went outside the fence to deal with our menace. At the time everything happened at once and my desire to protect my child took precedence over any rationale thought. A few minutes, and one 6-7 inch hole later the incident was over.

However I was left with a very confused feeling. 6 or 7 years ago, before I was married, before I became a father. I would have berated someone up one side and down another for wanting to dispose of the snake. "Why hurt it? It kills mice, and helps keep the rodent / insect population under control!" or "It did nothing to you, leave it be!" would have been my first responses. Without fear that I might end up getting bit by that same snake somewhere down the road.

So here I am facing exactly what I fought against, becoming one of those "vile" people who kill innocent animals. I think though that I have a better understanding because of this, I was not maliciously attacking the snake for fun or for sport. I was protecting something. Maybe I am finally understanding what it means to be a father, or maybe I am just getting older and more cautious with age.

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