Below–A bee checks out our first crocuses.
There is snow on the mountains, but in the valley, pansies, snowdrops are bustin’ out all over. On our street, in Little Macondo, pale joggers jiggle their winter fat and exercise deprived yummy mommies push over-sized strollers as grimly as if they were rolling Sisyphean boulders uphill. On main street, students on spring break crouch on the icy retaining walls of university buildings, freezing their buns while they scan the traffic and scope the babes. Oblivious of flocks of geese flying overhead, tourists eye restaurant menus, debating the merits of pad Thai, organic steaks and pizza. The Oriental carpet merchants whack their wares with carpet beaters, our surly meter maid abandons the comfort of the town’s gas-guzzling SUV to stick the tourists with 25 dollar dollar parking tickets Somewhere in the hood, a bad trumpet player mangles the hell out of “My Funny Valentine.”
Greece is going the the tubes, another earthquake shakes up Chile, a politician admits that he groped male staffers, the media construct from Alaska shops for the reality show that will lend her a presidential air–in a pig’s eye– but we care nothing about this stuff. In Little Macondo, we tend our little gardens. After all, Saint Pat’s around the corner and that is our deadline for planting peas and potatoes. We buy our snow peas at the Southern states co-op, but if we want fingerling potatoes we have to order them from places like John Scheepers and Jahnny Selected Seeds. Scheepers has Red Ruby, Bintje, All Blue, Princess LaRatte and Yellow Finn seed taters at $11.95 plus shipping for ten tubers. I am partial to Yukon Gold, which will probably be available at the general store in the next county. That is where I will get a couple of bales of hay so that I can repeat my experiment with the tubular veggie beds I bought the year before last. I can only hope that I get better results than I did last year when Bambi and family devoured nearly everything I planted. This season, my paramour and I plan to fence in the veggie garden, but word from local gardeners is that the fence that will keep Bambi out has yet to be invented. We’ll see. For now, we concentrate on indoor plants–succulents, forced paperwhite narcissi and a pot of cilantro seedlings that soak up the sun on a windowsill.