January 21st, 2020


cats, garden, depression, elephant

Still feeling pitiful, full of pity, pity party, party to the pits. Pitter patter, kitten play -- at least there's that. Marlowe has a small collection of ribbons. I am now arranging them just under the closed bathroom door. The window in the bathroom ensures they are silhouetted in the bright band of light, and Marlowe loves reaching under doors. Now there's something to retrieve.

I went out last night to chip the branches i cut on Sunday evening, but it was too cold to get the chipper motor started. (On weekends i have learned to put it in the sun a bit before i try to start it.) I hadn't any other goal so i poked around a bit, cleaned up a failure to grow native plants in bags at the edge of the woods -- plastic debris that has been slowly covered by undergrowth the past couple of years -- and then retired to the garage where i sharpened tools. Concrete Blonde and the sound of the file on steel was quite rewarding. The hoe i have was sold with a completely blunt edge. This one has a combination of a straight blade plus tines on the back, and i soon bent the tines askew trying to pry a rock out of the clay. Sharpened, i think i may get some use out of before i invest a heavy duty digging hoe.

There's an invasive cousin of the dandelion, Youngia japonica (L.) (Oriental false hawksbeard), that i would like to till under. It's a biennial and my main goal is to keep it from flowering and going to seed again. Various plant writers in Florida seem inured to it (it's pretty, it's edible), but i don't think it's that common yet in NC. It's common on my bit though, and it's willingness to venture into the woods has me on a crusade against it. Dandelions don't seem as aggressive as this plant. Bending over to dig out the long tap root has been the most frustrating part of my poor crusade: hopefully the sharpened hoe will let me make some progress by letting me loosen soil in an area and then get the tap root out that way.