July 15th, 2020

blackhat

(garden, critter watch, cats, procrastination, household)

I made the mistake of watching some videos of people using broadforks and chopping hoes in "clay." HA! You call that clay? It reminds me of how i want to do a photo series of a chunk of clay, maybe a cubic foot of the brick red soil, set on a log pedestal in the weather, and photograph the sun and rain wearing it way. I would expect one nice piece of quartz from a chunk, milky whiteness to be revealed after the rain washes the volcanic soil away. I amuse myself thinking about how that specific rock has never been seen above ground before (perhaps a miner bee "saw" it while it was below ground).

I have come to believe the area i picked for my garden was particularly bad in that what loam there was was scraped off in grading to provide more soil around the house. It is getting better with time; i can see the difference.

Sunday night i used the wheeled string trimmer, with its heavy duty line at the lowest setting, and obliterated a good deal of growth in driveway island, as well as a good deal of the stilt grass growing in the woods around the black walnuts. So far the plans for the island haven't really worked. Scattering wildflower seed ended up with high stilt grass. The squash would have carpeted and shaded the area but the deer and rabbits loved the stuff. I think i'm going to need to be very intentional about planting. I really don't want turf, grass that needs mowing, which is the "easy" solution. My next plan is to use pine chippings to cover as much of the area, and pine logs to outline it. As i identify plants that seem deer resistant and attractive or productive, plant those by amending the direct location of the plant's hole. Or just turn the whole thing into a giant onion parch.

Deer and rabbits abound. During my Tuesday morning meetings a rabbit was grazing on the other side of the window, staying in place for a long time. I suppose with the driveway island mostly cleared, there was better cover close to the house -- the big patch of bearsfoot at the base of the tulip poplar.

This morning two does were grazing close to the house just outside the fence. When i open the blinds on the French doors they studied the movement. I cracked open the door and Marlow slipped out. They studied each other and i let Luigi out. His stiff joints give an impression of him stomping. Stomp stomp stomp to the edge of the deck. The deer give him their full attention, and one stamps her hoof. He goes down the stairs and advances toward them. I hear the whistling snorts, and there's some retreat away from the house and into the woods -- but it's not complete and the deer still study Luigi and snort. They're distracted from me as i complete my morning chore of opening the deck door, unlatching at top and bottom so the cats can now come and go via the door in the office window that looks into the porch. I slip back inside and the deer are finally out of my sight as i carry Edward to the door to urge him, too, out for a morning constitutional. With age his eyes seem to be failing and he seems spooked by the great contrast of morning gloaming to the dark room.

Mom and Dad stopped by yesterday evening and i gave them ground cherries and mouse melons (aka Mexican gherkins). Dad was suspicious, but ate the ground cherry and was pleasantly surprised.

In therapy we talked about my lack of focus, how that's likely related to the lack of sleep and the lower back pain that develops while i am sleeping. I am certain it's related to some combination of the new bed (initially suing it much firmer than i had been sleeping on), the smaller bed (and all the negotiations of the cats for new locations), the changed position of the bed (even though i'm just as close to the air vent as before, i think i'm in the circulation path and thus am colder in the evenings), sleeping on the opposite side of the bed. It's all DIFFERENT.

In the evening we completed more steps in transferring my domains to AWS as the registrar and Christine's collection that she manages. We'd been surprise by a new ICANN requirement that blocks transfer if you change any details about the registrant. Apparently, one can opt out of this block, but my current domain registrar (who does not impress me at all) didn't make that clear until after the fact. Fortunately the customer support was willing to make it happen -- if i sent them my username and password (and IP address). I was a little boggled at the request, but after a cost risk analysis, i used https://onetimesecret.com/ to send them the username and password. The support team reports the transfer opt-out is complete, so on to the next step.

We've also gotten the forms filled out and printed to request absentee ballots for November. Whee!
This is also posted at https://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/818015.html .