Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ahh, Spring!


And here we have... spring. In Alberta. May 29, 2010. Two weeks ago it was 29C. Today it was 2C. And snowing. And snowing, and snowing, and snowing, and snowing. This is moisture, and after the fires I stoically do not complain, but will someone please give dear ol' Mama Nature some sense of proportion?

Yesterday the clouds were lowering and grey, and I went out to the garden to check whether or not anything had sprouted yet. Yes! Lettuce and potatoes so far. I'm assuming it's lettuce. The green bi-leafly bits are slightly thicker in the rows I marked after seeding than in the surrounding territory. Unfortunately in the earliest stages my lettuce plants look exactly like the weeds, so I'm taking the wheat-and-tares approach until I can reliably tell them apart. The potatoes were just barely breaking the ground, looking very sturdy and green where the cracks were big enough to allow a glimpse of things to come.

Tonight Chive went out and put a towel-blanket over the infant lettuce. Yes, it's a cool-weather plant and all, but I don't think the definition of "cool" extends to "below freezing"when applied to tender greenery. The potatoes will simply have to grit their rooty teeth and bear it. Hopefully the bulk of them is still sheltered enough by the earth that they won't take it too hard.

Books read this week: Dance of the Dissident Daughter (Sue Monk Kidd), The Burning House (Jay Ingram), The Sanctuary Sparrow (Ellis Peters). Oh, and Clinical Massage Therapy, of course. Can't forget that.

Present Projects: Rabbit hutches by Chive. We've located a buck and a doe, and by this time next week we should have them on the premises, merrily fruiting and multiplying. I think I'm starting to feel like a farmer. Or a zoo-keeper. Pictures of such to follow.

Patch to Poppy: "Why do you take so many pictures of yourself? Do you think you're going to forget what you look like or something?"

9 comments:

CONSTANTINE said...

I've read some of "Dissident Daughter." I'm a big fan of her "The Secret Life of Bees." Extraordinary! My hardback copy is autographed by her. She visited a bookstore here in the Mile High City, and I went to hear her read and speak and then waited in line for quite some time for her to inscribe her novel for me. I think I was one of the very few males present. :)

Madcap said...

I don't doubt that you were one of a few men there. What an opportunity! Bees was amazing. Dissident Daughter caught me in a lot of raw spots.

Madcap said...

Btw, what's on your reading table lately? I'm getting a little fidgety for new material. Picked up a book of Chinese philosophy today, from the thrift store. We'll see how far I get - it could be hard slogging.

shaktimama said...

Oh, I do feel for you, Madcap! Why is it snowing?! Your poor garden. I know what you mean by the lettuce ... I had a similar problem until they grew a little more and I'm afraid that I yanked out what I thought were weeds ... I could NOT tell them apart at first. Now that they're really growing, it's easy to tell, but geez, what do you do when they're teeny and they look like everything else?

It sounds like you're getting a lot of reading done these days! I'm jealous ... where do you find the time with kids and school and stuff? Do you still get your sleep?

Madcap said...

Hi Juliana,

I'm a fast reader, so I just sneak it in when I can, and make it through a lot of material. Can't say I've got great retention though...

Why is it snowing? Because I live in Alberta! The weather is very fickle here. The lettuce has survived, and I think I'm noticing that it's turning a lighter green than the surrounding weeds. How about yours?

Shadowmoss said...

I don't know how to tell you this, but your blog just flipped over. What was right is now left. Funny how the little details are disconcerting when changed.

CONSTANTINE said...

I'm currently reading "Gentlemen of the Road" by Michael Chabon.

shaktimama said...

Hi, Madcap, I didn't know that about Alberta :). My lettuce is a lighter color, as well, and the shapes are much lovelier than those of the surrounding weed plants (though some weeds are just lovely, and I hate pulling them out, but you've gotta!). It's the first time I've grown lettuce from seed, so it's exciting, and no, the weather here is not as fickle, not once spring really kicks in!

I have poor retention too, or at least I do when I go through books quickly. I've been trying for years to slow down when I do read, which can be hard when you're taught in school to speed read everything in order to get it all done! That said, even when I read slowly, I can have poor retention, so I don't know what that says about me :).

Madcap said...

Shadowmoss - Good heavens! I wonder how that happened!

It's odd, isn't it, how lopsided things feel when they're not what we're used to.

Constantine - I'll have to take a look at a synopsis and see if it looks like a likely candidate.

Juliana - If your lettuce is big enough to consider weeding around it, you're a lot further ahead than I am. The "leaves" of mine are only about as big as half my baby fingernail. We had a blast of hot for about 3 days, but since then it's pretty cool and even lettuce needs some heat to get going. Someday there will be coldframes in my yard...

I choose to believe that poor retention is a trade-off for being able to quickly divert attention to whatever chaos is currently erupting in my vicinity! Around here, that's pretty much all the time!