Soon to be renowned!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Saving The Bees

One of the lucky ones.

This year, in a move 100 percent motivated by environmental sustainability and not at all by indifference or laziness, we decreed that Fencebroke Promontory's lawns, such as they are, should be allowed to run wild with white clover. This, in an effort to provide more forage for the downtrodden wild honeybees we've all heard so much about.

As a method for attracting more honeybees this has worked swimmingly. As an excuse to ignore the weeds in one's lawn, it's been fabulous (if not entirely convincing when held in defense against neighbors' dirty looks). Whether or not we are in fact "saving" the bees, however, remains to be seen. That's because I myself have accidentally stepped on no fewer than five of these noble pollinators when ambling barefoot through the lawn. My daughter: three. My wife: just one that I know about. My son: none so far, but he's due.

Not that we're keeping track.

And those are just the known casualties. How many more have been flattened under careless heals too well shod to feel the meek sting of a bee's dying outrage? Have my heavy old gardening clogs become weapons of oblivious mass destruction? Am I to be someday tried for apiarian war crimes by a tribunal of disaffected survivors?

It certainly seems likely.

But maybe I deserve such a fate. Because if anything, the honeybee has become more literally downtrodden under my watch, and my own bumbling bigfeet are the ones doing the trodding. As penance, I've tried imposing draconian lawn-usage rules for the family, but it is surprisingly difficult to play soccer on tiptoe, and the old "lawn is made of lava" trick works better as an afternoon game than a summer-long edict.

Oh well, I tried. I can only hope the little unlucky buzzers got a good sip of clover nectar before stabbing my daughter's toe and rendering her terrified of the very grass and world she plays upon. Seems like, for a bee, there'd be worse ways to go.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Unfinished Business

Wow, where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was apologizing for neglecting this blog. Now here it is, time to do so once again. My easy excuse for this episode is that I've been tearing my hair out trying to finish my next book in a somewhat timely manner. But since I've failed to meet even that low bar, it's not much of an excuse at all now, is it?

In any case, I am sorry. But I'm here now, so chill. This time around, to help mark the occasion, and in the spirit of unfinished business everywhere, I thought I'd highlight a few of the other projects around Fencebroke Promontory that have been neglected, ignored, or otherwise stiff-armed away from any sort of satisfying conclusion. Keep in mind, this is a very short list meant to represent an extensive litany of crimes against completion. Which means the list itself is incomplete and as such should probably be on the list as well. All right, we're off to a great start!

*Fencebroke's Namesake Broken Fence.

Pretty sure the plants are holding up the fence. 

At this point I think I'd prefer total collapse over this leaning purgatory of fencedom in which we've been stuck for months/years now. Ideally, the fence would just be replaced, a job we are perfectly capable of tackling ourselves. But in the stated interest of not wasting our entire summer on such a project, we opted instead to hire someone else to do the job. Or rather, we tried. So far, we have failed to crack the fencing contractor code, which requires that some as-yet-mysterious combination of personal charm, fenceworthiness, subterfuge, and scheduling riddles be met before anyone will actually take our money and do stuff. To this end, we are wasting our entire summer and failing to secure a truer fence. Woo!

*This pile of rocks.

Rocks! Got yer rocks here!

I suppose it depends on how you look at it. As a pile of unwanted white rocks inherited with the house, it's as "done" as it's ever going to be. As an unsightly driveway obstacle for going on two years now, it's top notch. But as something to be rid of, well ... could I interest anyone in a lovely pile of white rocks?

*The Spot Where Nothing Grows.

I give up.

This one ...  @#*!%^! ...  Spot.

*The Wandering Hinoki.

Put me in, coach!

Every baseball team needs a utility player; that one athlete versatile enough to step in for any position, but not quite awesome enough to earn a full-time role anywhere. This here hinoki false-cypress is my utility player. This one plant has been relocated a dozen times at least and fills in respectably wherever it's asked to, but never with such aplomb that it can't be unceremoniously scooped from the ground as soon as something better comes along. What a pro. Where will tomorrow's roster land it? In the veggie garden? Lending evergreen support to the apple trees? In some sort of harebrained, impromptu rooftop garden? You'll just have to stay tuned!

At least the watering can works like it's supposed to.

One of these days a convenient, efficient, and low-stress watering system for the whole garden will be at my fingertips, ready to be activated with a single flip of a switch—or better yet, maybe I'll be able to ask Alexa to do it, so I really feel like I'm large and in charge around here. "ALEXA! THE BLUEBERRIES ARE DRY, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?!"
<Hmm... I don't recognize that.>
No, I didn't think she would. So until that day she does, I've cobbled together a makeshift system of faulty soaker-hoses, rain barrels, overeager children with watering cans, leftover kiddy-pool water, and an uneasy truce with impermanence when it comes to plant mortality, in order to tackle the never-ending task that is irrigation.

Okay, I could go on, obviously, but since this list is kind of stressing me out as it is, I'm going to leave it incomplete and pretend it's not all that bad. 

Until next time thenand let's be honest, who knows when that will be—nobody work too hard this summer, and I'll check in the next time I feel an apology is overdue.

I would tack on a reminder here to keep an eye out for my new book, Plants Are Terrible People, which should be released very soon, but if this list is any indication of just how indefinitely things can get delayed around here, I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you.