Saturday, August 30, 2008

Late Summer Garden with Praying Mantis

TQ has been kind enough to loan me a camera while mine's off in Colorado & I was SO glad I had it when I spotted this lovely praying mantis in my garden.

I'd actually spent an awful lot of today doing some of the moping I haven't really had time to do lately. Literally. I was only half joking when I wrote that post the other day about not having enough time. There've been a few things I've been a bit blue over over the summer - my folks leaving Hawaii, the unexpected loss of a friend (far too young for a heart attack, but had one anyways), and then just the work situation - I've been pretty good with that 10 miles a week non-goal I set myself earlier in the year, but it's all been on weekends, weekdays have been pretty much eaten up & that's meant no post-work paddles & this nagging sense that I'm neglecting all the friends who I don't actually paddle with. Been mostly staying a jump ahead of the blues just 'cause I've been so busy, but somehow this morning I just kinda got up feeling down & spent a whole lot of the day moping.

5:00 or so I decided that I really needed to do something, so with a couple hours of daylight left, I decided to go do a little gardening. That's when I spotted the praying mantis. Always good to spot one of these.

The garden's still doing well -

The sunflowers were a volunteer, as was the one cosmos (the pink flowers in front) that's in such full flower right now.

The cucumbers never looked back after the summary execution of the bugs that did turn out to be the culprits in the flowers wilting almost as soon as they bloomed.

The heirloom tomatoes I got from the Paddling Chef are, I think, just now beginning to produce some fruit - but the volunteers did great. Last year's supermarket cherry tomatoes came back in force, plus some nice yellow ones wandered in from somewhere.

I've also cleared out the last of the first batch of beets (the last few are in the fridge now) and planted a few turnips and a lot more beets, in hopes of a fall crop. The chard kept charding away all summer & is still going strong, the ageratum & marigolds grew merrily (I actually pulled out a marigold bush or two because they were crowding out the produce), the basil is going to give me a few more pesto fixes before the end, and the peppers, which I'd written off as a lost cause when the seedlings I planted simply failed to grow at first, just sulked down in the middle of the tangle of wildflowers (I thought "low grow" meant, like, a foot - it was more like 2)- but then somewhere in late July they snapped out of their sulk & started growing & now it looks like I might get a pepper or two before the season's done.

Tonight's gardening goal, aside from getting a few pictures (I'd regretted not doing that before shipping the camera off) was actually to stake & tie the tomatoes - as you can sort of see in that one picture, they're very dense & they've pretty much pulled down my original tying-up & staking job, which was pretty haphazard to begin with...well, that didn't happen because a couple of friends were there, and somehow I got tempted away from the gardening by wine & conversation, and we all ended up going out to dinner, which, considering the amount of the day I spent moping, was an even nicer way to spend the remainder.

Tomorrow, I go for a long paddle. Destination unimportant, just want to be moving my boat for a nice long distance. Been doing so much lately, just having the time to indulge myself in a proper self-pity party felt weirdly luxurious - but enough is enough. Long Island Leg II is coming up incredibly fast - gotta get some miles in!

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