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Archive for June 1st, 2009

Recently I promised to tell you the story about what happened to this mailbox:

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As  you can see, the door is missing from the left hand box.   Well, my friend was coming home from work the other day and she noticed that it was missing too.   

“Darn kids,” she thought as she pulled into her driveway.  “School hasn’t even been out for two days and already they’re out tearing stuff up.”

As she entered the house, her spouse said, “Hey, let me tell you about the mailbox.”

“Yeah, what’s up with that?”  she replied.   “I noticed it was torn up.”

“Yeah, well, the mailman came down and told me all about it.  It seems that when he came to deliver mail he opened up A’s box and there was a copperhead coiled up in it and it rared up at him.”

“Poor snake.   I can just imagine him lying there, sleeping in a nice warm dark place.   “Hey!  Who turned that damn light on?””

“So anyway,” the storyteller continued, “The mailman sat there and thought about it. Then he unscrewed our mailbox door and used it to beat the snake in the other mail box to death.  He brought the door to our mailbox down to me, and apologized.”

The question still remains, how did the snake get into the mailbox?    

We all figure it got there via someone who doesn’t really like A particularly.   Sadly, there is a fairly long list of people who share that attitude.

Anyway, that’s what happened to the mailbox.

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So, a comment on a post a couple of days ago reminded me of something that happened back when I was around four years old.  

At that period of my life, we lived in the San Diego area, and on a regular basis my folks loaded us up and took us down to the beach, usually by Mission Bay where the water was not too rough for little ones.   You also have to understand that by this time in my life, I had already learned to read quite well, and had just spent a considerable amount of time reading and digesting the contents of a book of fairy tales.  My understanding of the differences between fiction and non-fiction was still rather shaky.

One of these stories was entitled “Why the sea is salty.”  It involved a wish of some sort and the upshot was the people in the story wound up with a magical salt cellar that continually ground out salt (I don’t remember why this happened) and they couldn’t get it to stop.  Once it filled up their house, they ended up throwing it into the sea outside their place and according to the story, it is still down there grinding out salt and that is why the sea is salty.

The other thing that had happened near the same time was we had visited my grandfather on his dairy farm, where I saw 25 pound blocks of salt distributed around so the cows could lick them and get the minerals they needed.   They looked a lot like big ice cubes to me.

Let us not inquire into the fertile imagination or the sort or rationalization that went into my next leap of logic, but somehow from all the above I developed a phobia of the ocean water in Mission Bay.   Somehow, I concluded that there were big blocks of salt floating around in the ocean like ice cubes in a drink or something, and that was how it got salty.

It wasn’t long before we were taken to the beach. I refused to go out and actually swim, which upset my mother a great deal since she had just spent considerable time and expense acquiring swimming lessons for me at the YMCA.   So, she inquired as to why I was not enjoying the ocean the way I usually did.   

Whereupon I informed her that it was because of my fear of the blocks of salt that would be floating around in the ocean making it salty.   I was afraid that I would swim into one and hit my head, which would cause me to drown from being knocked out.

“Where on earth did you get such a ridiculous idea?”  was her response to my notion.

I endeavored to explain how I had come to such a conclusion, and after my parents finished laughing at me, I was informed that the sea is salty for other reasons.   And blocks of salt do not float.   And I should get my silly stupid butt out there and enjoy the waters of Mission Bay.

Needless to say, the ridicule and the contempt that I was treated to that day made a big impression on me.   Anyway, this is one of the many reasons why I do not laugh at people who have fears regarding what may be in the water they are swimming in.   

More than likely they are not envisioning big cubes of salt floating around waiting to bash them in the head.

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This series was captured around seven in the morning on Sunday, we before we went floating.   My sister gave me a swamp milkweed plant she dug up on her back 40, and this year it is in its glory.   It first opened a couple of days ago.  Now the pollinators have discovered it.

The first was a honeybee.   Notice how covered in pollen the pollen sacs on the back legs are .

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A little later in the morning, after I had progressed all around the Stroll Garden documenting changes, I arrived back at the same plant to find that the honeybee had been replaced by a large bumblebee of the carpenter bee persuasion.   This was not too surprising since they have colonized the wood shed and Jim and I expect the roof to fall in someday because of all the tunnels they have made in the rafters.   It already needs to be repaired because of the ice storm, so why not let them use it?   

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It was while I was walking around the garden that I realized how wonderful sedums as a tribe really are.   In addition to all our fall favorites,  Autumn Joy and the rest, there are a whole group that bloom in the spring.   I suddenly realized that there were all kinds of little miracles going on at my feet in the little sedum and hen-and-chick bed at the base of the rock garden.   Observe:

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Now.   Just in case you think all is beauty and sweetness and light at The Havens, I am now going to reveal a newish section of the Stroll Garden that has been colonized by bermuda grass and plantain, to name a couple of many.   The cardboard and mulch method was only about 50% effectivein killling those two denizens of the lawn that was originally under this bed.  The mess underneath the spirea and  viburnum section of this shrubbery is what we plan to address in the morning after coffee, bright and early before it gets too hot.   Shovels, boots, trowels, the cobra head weeder will all be employed in cleaning out the big weed rhyzomes and root wads.   This will leave behind innumerable tiny seeds which will germinate approximately two hours after we finish the first go round.   But they will hoe out nicely and soon I will have mulch, which will help control the weed seedlings.    Hopefully.

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I believe I will be shedding sweat copiously, which will help make up for all the calories I put on yesterday after we floated, what with the home made venison tacos with refried black beans we grew in the garden last year, and the fresh home made strawberry ice cream.   Oh, and the rum drinks.    Yum.

Anyway, I’d better get to bed.

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