I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry! Yes, I have been absent for quite a while.
Let's see. What have I been doing?
Working, writing, gardening...
We are having electrical problems. We have no power in my bathroom, part of Ann's bedroom and part of my workroom-- the part that I originally had my computer plugged into. Since other outlets in the room are functioning, I have slightly re-configured the room. Our landlords' did have the electrician in. He worked for about 3 hours, but was unable to tell exactly where the problem is. The best estimation he could make was that it is in the wall somewhere leading up from the small office downstairs. Doesn't sound good.
He straightened out the fuses a bit re the greenhouse, and the ventilating motor is working again--all the time--it never shuts off. So, we left the vents open and shut the motor off. Seems to me, the timer/temperature sensor should trigger the motor on and off, that the motor should not be running and humming constantly, should it? Anyhow, I did get a referral to a local company that deals with these things. So. Now to find out how much those guys charge!
It has been very, very hot and very, very dry. Those peas I planted so late did produce a few pods of delicious peas, a couple of meals. But that may be all. We have had several lovely meals from the cucumber, the beans, the lettuces, the broccoli.
The tomatoes are ripening and a huge tomato hornworm
was wreaking havoc on the beefsteak tomato plant today. I swear, the droppings were the size of quinea pig turds! Isn't that gross??
Violence occurred today in the garden. The tomato hornworm met it's end with the help of a rock. The worms are too ghastly to pick up, actually. I hate the way they fight and squirt stuff at you. So, I broke off the branch it was sitting on...
Violence occurred again on the farm on Monday. Molly got into the porcupine again on Sunday, for the fifth time. This time it was quite bad, many, many quills extremely close to her left eye. Tasha also got a few in her nose and even Misty had one in her leg. The porcupine could not have had very many quills left! I had seen the porker a couple of nights before and had thoughtfully made a wide detour around it. When threatened, it immediately turned its back to the oncoming car and the quills puffed out in a halo of torment for the unwary. An interesting phenomenon.
However, when Molly got so badly hit again with the porker's quills, even my patience and fascination were wearing thin. Ann found the porker again down in the woods at the end of our lane on her morning walk with the dogs on Monday. She phoned the doc and he came up and shot it, but not before Tasha got a couple more
quills into her nose--small ones, mind you, because, as I said, there were very few quills left.
The porker had also caused havoc with the cows. A calf got very badly hit earlier this summer. I guess, while grazing, the cows come upon the porker without knowing it's there, so they can get quite badly hit as well.
Anyhow, with Ann's help in holding Molly down, I was able to use pliers to pull out the quills quite quickly. The time I was alone and tried this, it took me over 2 hours. Molly was incontinent (she settled down after she realized that we were going to help her get rid of those quills) and she bled quite a bit -- I guess dogs' faces bleed copiously, just as humans' do. What a weird odour to the blood! I know human blood has its own peculiar odour, but I found the odour of Molly's blood quite strong.
Anyhow, Ann bagged the porcupine carcass and it went in the trash --we feared burying it would #1 be difficult in the baked, dry earth #2 be a temptation for the dogs to dig it up and eat it. Ann reported that the porker did indeed have very few quills left, only a few tiny, fine "new" ones. I wonder how long it takes for a porcupine to grow back the monster quills this one had?
I saved Molly's quills, blood-stained and all. I put them into a small jar and took them to show to some of the people at my paying job in the city on Sunday evening. The quills are now making the rounds, I guess, being examined by some of the kids of people I work with...I hope to get them back and maybe make something out of them, jewelry? a bookmark?
So, what kind of environmentalist am I? I have been pondering that quite a lot over the last few days. The discussion on CBC Radio's Ideas tonight was so
interesting: the role of values, beliefs, myths, multiple economic and cultural factors, practice and habits in relationship to the impending/actual environmental crisis we are facing.
Reminds me of something that I heard on Sunday. One of the people I work with is a self-confessed neat freak and told me she threw out her son's bug collection. I was horrified! It reminded me of how I felt when my mother threw out my stamp-collection, many years ago. However, it seems he is getting his own back, in a way. She said they had guests who were amazed by the cicada song. Her son offered to show them what a cicada looks like, and said:
"But I can't...because Mom threw my bug collection out!"