Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Fever

It is inevitable that spring should bring with it a round of spring fever.  Most of us have had to endure a winter which seemed endless and bereft of colour- at least since Christmas left, and every year, as soon as the weather warms, I am outside in the garden.
"Spring Fever"
Watercolour Pencils
I wont say that I am an avid gardener.  I am not.  I detest weeding with all my heart, and I really don't enjoy messing about with the flower beds much.  Probably because half the time I am trying to avoid the rose thorns scratching me up.
But planting seeds- now that I like.  I love planting vegetables with the idea that one day, I might actually eat them.
I don't think that I am the only one, either.
My daughter has a distinct love of planting seeds too.  She seems awfully excited at the prospect of the spinach or chard or lettuce/carrots/radishes/peas that might grow from them too.
And then there are the caterpillars.  Those things absolutely love the plants I transplant so tenderly into my vegetable garden.
Broccoli is almost always covered with cabbage white caterpillars.  Squashes always seem to be covered in squash vine beetles of some sort.  Well not this year.  This year I am determined to beat those pesky critters!
Of course, I say that every year.
And every year, I allow some bugs to go unmolested.  Like the swallowtail caterpillars that seem to like my carrots/dill/fennel.  I love the butterflies, I can't bear to kill the caterpillars.
Or the monarch caterpillars that invariably infest my pleurisy root (a milkweed relative) although it often hosts the detestable moths that fly around my rear porch light at night instead!
The praying mantis are allowed to stay, and the ladybird beetles... and the scary garden spiders.  The latter are allowed to stay primarily because they are scary and I don't want to touch them.
As spring fever is inevitable, so is my sunburn.  Every year, I burn.  It is almost a rite of passage for the year.  One cannot be English fair (yes, I am very fair even to the English, although I have known certain English redheads who burned even faster than myself) and not burn at least once each year.  Usually at some time when you think the sun isn't strong enough, or that you wont be outside long enough, or that it isn't warm enough.  And I watch carefully to make sure I see no signs of burning, because yes, with care I can feel my skin beginning to burn.
Last Sunday marked that rite for this year- the first time I burned.  I totally forgot to be careful because, although sunny and warm, it was not particularly hot.  I watched, but not carefully enough, and ended up with a pair of nice red shoulders for my pains- with a white crescent moon shape at the top of my neck where my wide brimmed hat shaded it, and a lesser area in the middle of my back where my hair shaded it.
Apparently, that was not enough for today, a pleasant 80 something degrees, even while overcast... I caught the sun again.
Time to buy the sunscreen!

P.S.  I am feeling inspired by Gladys Taber, after being introduced to her by Susan Branch.  I recommend her writings very highly!

1 comment:

  1. Ouch. I like to stay in the shade myself. Maybe you should try planting an orchard. :o)

    I'm itching to plant now that I've read this. Luckily, I bought seeds a month ago in anticipation!

    Peace and Laughter,


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