||[Oct. 10th, 2016|02:26 pm]
Hurricane Matthew: my, what a great deal of water! By midafternoon, the ground was saturated. Water was washing out of the woods into the yard as a sheet. I did what i could to reduce erosion and slow the flow down: lots of tiny little dams of leaf litter and sticks. We had many little power blinks and, finally, as it got dark, an outage. It was at a good moment in dinner preparation, not too far in that we couldn't easily switch to soup made over the camping stove.
The most annoying part of the outage was figuring out how to get the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to STOP BEEPING without going mad. The purpose of the UPS is to keep the router (and wifi access point) up and running (so i can work through the power blinks and outages during summer thunderstorms). We were able to download the manual for the UPS and the application to control the UPS. Once the beeping stopped, we shut off the router. It seemed a strangely circular use case.
From dinner, we played scrabble and finished the game after power came back.
The next morning was delightfully fresh and clear. I ventured down the private road across from our driveway to look at the nearby creek. It's clear the waters had flooded the bridge and inundated the little flood plane. I decided i would honor the county's request to stay off the road and not attend Meeting.
With the fabulous weather i worked outside, building up calluses. I stripped the "turf" from an arc along the contour and used it on my "hugelkultur" raised beds. I then turned the soil in the arc, quite deeply, and added ad hoc amendments of baking soda (to help with the acid soil) and cellulose packing peanuts as some sort of organic matter to mix in. I was delighted that the red clay was not a desolate place but actually had earthworms and grubs. I ended up with two hilled rows arcing partly across the yard delimiting the southern "glade" that is shady in the summer. It's probably not the best gardening location, but it's where i know we want some sort of permanent bed, and we are unlikely to be doing any earthmoving behind it. In the arc i planted some perennial onions (potato onions and Egyptian walking onions) as well as some transplanted gladiolas. The gladiola bed the previous owners left is slated to be part of a driveway traffic circle: i hope they do OK in the new location. There's a theory onions discourage deer from munching nearby: this seems a reasonable way to test the theory.
In the raised beds i moved my seedlings for lettuce, collards, and beets. The raised "hugelkultur" bed is in a lousy location, too. There are plenty of leaves still on the trees, so it's well shaded now that the sun is further south at noon. And the house shades the location in the afternoon. I suppose lettuce will do well there in the summer. I have some 50¢ packs of pansies i bought from the remainder shelf at the big box hardware store: i'll plunk those in tonight. The one positive thing i can say is it may actually be a little warmer than the ambient soils: i've stuck my compost thermometer in the pile to see.
In other planting news, i'd made a semi-impulsive purchase from American Meadows that had been delivered. I planted most of the bare roots earlier in the week, with disappointment but not surprise at the small size of the rootlets. Yesterday i got the one reasonable plant, the bee balm, in the ground near some big box rescues of other sunny pollinator plants. These i think are very well located for the plant. And while they aren't in a location one can readily see, i've hopes to enjoy them next year.
I've still a dwarf irises to plant along with an impulse purchase of a mix of yellow daffodil bulbs that will go where i hope i will be able to see them from the bedroom. I'd also made an impulse purchase of bulbs from the following fundraiser. I think i did, at least. (Flailing around, looking for email receipts.)
Well, if i didn't succeed in ordering them, i don't need to worry about where i'm going to plant them....
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Re the debate, i recommend this poem.