Monday, June 04, 2007

A bluriole in a pear tree

Early this morning the old guy and I went out to do the Adam-and-Eve-in-the-garden thing, except we kept our clothes on. It would be foolish to work naked in a place as poison-ivy intensive as our upper meadow. For decades that meadow was a cow pasture, but in the years since the cows went away, the neglected meadow has been aggressively colonized by scrub hawthorn, milkweed, teasels, ironweed, and poison ivy. Our Poison Ivy Eradication Plan (PIRP) has made some progress, but we have to proceed with caution because we don't want to wipe out the wildflowers that attract so many butterflies and bees. So each year we kill a little poison ivy and learn to live with the rest.

There wasn't much ivy in the area where we planted the two pear trees this morning. Each year the resident gardener has planted a few more trees in that meadow--apples, cherries, peaches, almonds, I don't know what else. We won't see any fruit for years, but it's encouraging to see an incipient orchard emerging from the scrub. This morning while digging, I discovered yet another career that is cut off to me: in case the academic thing doesn't work out, I'll never survive as a ditch-digger, or any other kind of digger for that matter. It's hard to hop up on a shovel and dig when you have no sense of balance, particularly when you're digging on the side of a hill.

But we got the pear trees planted and also spent some time naming some passing creatures, except I didn't have my glasses on so most of them looked like blurs. I'm fairly certain I saw an indigo blur, a pileated blur, and a bluriole. That's enough gardening for one morning. There's nothing like a little manual labor to make the life of the mind look even more appealing.

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