As we left, the rain came down in buckets.
No elephants have troubled the homefront this trip, and that's been wonderful. Hard to tell if it was an absence of triggers or if my absence was not a trigger, or, in other terms, if previous trips away just unfortunately coincided with triggers and my absence wasn't the cause. Ah, correlations - so hard to tease out causation.
Christine and i have been discussing the orchard ground preparation and apparently she's made friends with the hardware store rental clerk who has sharpened our chain saw so many times. While getting the car inspected she dropped by and chatted with the clerk, showing photos of the results of their saw efforts. Apparently they got into a tiller conversation and have identified a rental tiller that would churn a broader swathe than my dad's tiller that has an aura of seeing better days about it.
I had pondered getting someone with a small tractor or renting a Toro Dingo with a cultivator attachment to take care of the area, but the presence of a box turtle that a fencing contractor suggested would be laying eggs has led me to be completely perplexed about how to manage the soil. I've corresponded with a herpetologist who says the eggs are buried 3-6 inches deep and hatch in 60 to 90 days. The herpetologist suggested that 60 days may be more correct for NC in the email i read this morning, which would be just in time for me to get grass seed down at a good time.
I really want to get ahead of the bloody chickweed which has carpeted areas each winter after we get them cleared. The problem with chickweed (non-native) is that it shades out anything that might out compete the stilt grass in the spring. There could be this mono"culture" of chickweed to stilt grass to chickweed, and i want to break the cycle with flowers and grasses.
I'm ready to go home to Christine and Carrie and Edward and Luigi and Greycie Loo -- who i noticed seeming less strong before i left and Christine has noticed also failing to leap effortlessly into chairs. She's only eleven, i hope we can figure out what is wrong.