31 March 2008


Just got my first malicious comment. Someone (or something) named Kijar commented: “See please here,” and I said to myself, clapping my hands in admittedly childish glee, Ooooh! A comment! and then clicked here.

Is that the oldest trick on the Web?

Immediately a new window opened with some fast-moving hoozees in it (or maybe that was a figment of my panicked brain), so I shut down the computer, turned off the Internet connection, and by doing so probably wouldn’t have prevented anything bad from happening to the computer. Silly me.

But I have a Mac, and not many viruses are targeted to Macs, apparently. So maybe I’m safe.

Now to update my antivirus software.

Sheesh. I can’t believe I fell for it: “See please here.” Sheesh.

I feel like I should take a hot shower and scrub really hard to get the dumb off me.

hey, trooper!

I think I can safely say that the plant above is worthy of the title “Champion” for persevering through a cold winter on a Greenwich Village tenement-building fire escape and producing that gorgeous blossom.

This is the clump of leaves that B has been keeping his eye on all winter. I am PROUD of this little guy.

L&S slope 2008

To be fair, I pieced this panoramic photo together from some photos I took in February 2006 (it’s February, it’s weedy, and it’s monochromatic). These days the slope doesn’t look quite so bad, but there’s still that probably 20-foot section in the middle that needs attention. We’ve planted blackberries, moved the Helianthus “Lemon Queen” behind them, and planted some Rosa rugosa bought from the Saratoga County Soil & Water Conservation District’s bare-root seedling program. And last summer I picked up 12 Nepeta “Walker’s Low” for $1 apiece at an end-of-season sale at my local nursery as well as a Clematis paniculata (or C. terniflora, depending on your source). The clematis is planted to the right of the Nepeta. So there’s progress.

What’s left? Lots of goldenrod, which I love, but I think I could do a little better than that.

I’m thinking for that middle section some red osier dogwood (from this year’s bare-root seedling program: 10 plants for $13), some Microbiota, and maybe some potentilla. Suggestions?

Further blather about the L&S slope:
3 September 2007
1 September 2007
3 April 2007

29 March 2008

earth hour 2008

Earth Hour is a little more than an hour away, at least in our neck of the woods. I’m going to go downstairs to the basement and cut the power to the house from 8:00 to 9:00 pm this evening along with a lot of other people around the world.

It’s a great idea, if a little gimmicky if all we’re being asked to do is sacrifice one hour of electricity. But it does make me want to consider the effectiveness of shared sacrifice for the benefit of this increasingly messed-up world. Given good leadership, I think anything is possible.

Bring on the good leadership.

post office hours

Saturday mornings—the only morning of the week we can go to the post office to get our mail—B and I ask each other if one of us remembers when the window closes as opposed to the lobby. We never do, and because we’re photo-finish kinds of guys, we normally just squeak in under the wire.

Thus this photograph, to be used to jog the memory. Is it just me, or is it kind of difficult to take it all in?

i’m dreaming of a white . . .

. . . Eastertide!?

Probably about four inches of the stuff fell yesterday and last night. I was feeling all “Man! Where is spring?” until I looked back on the blog and saw that we had about five inches of snow in early April last year. And by that time I’d already planted peas.

We got as far as Schenectady last night to pick up Dale before driving over to Washington County, but south of Albany the snow began to fall, and fall hard. Mom and Dad offered and we said yes to staying the night with them. Up and at ’em early this morning so that now I can contemplate the white field between the house and barn. I know the snow won’t last too long, but man!

27 March 2008

b's observations

During our first autumn at the house, I was out in the flower garden doing what I find I do best, which is looking at things, pulling a few weeds here and there, and then looking at things some more. As my eyes wandered over the weeds, I noticed a rosette of pointed leaves with some soft spines on them. As I was getting ready to yank them up, B said, “Hey, maybe you don’t want to pull those up. Maybe they’re a plant you want in your garden.” Yeah, right, I thought, but I left them. Sure enough, next spring the spiny little pointed leaves turned into a beautiful pink Oriental poppy.

Similarly, one very cold winter morning this year, B looked out the window at a flower pot on our fire escape in the city and said, “I think the cold has finally taken it.” When I asked him what had been taken, he told me that since late autumn he’d had his eye on a little clump of leaves in the flower pot. It had managed to remain green throughout December and January, but when a spell of really cold weather hit in February, it looked like it had finally shriveled up for good.

The clump of leaves looked dried up and cold. I put it on my list of things to clean up when the weather got better. B, however, asked me to wait and see. He said he’d gotten attached to that little plant.

As the weather grew less nasty, the leaves looked less dead. When they began to green up (a darker green than the leaves on the plants I potted up last night), I finally recognized it. It’s a pansy, and it must have self-sowed over the summer. And sure enough, this morning I noticed the first cream-colored blossom is about to open. What a trooper. And thanks, B.

winter sowing progress

No movement on the winter-sown jugs yet. Once I planted and sealed them, I just set them outside and forgot about them. On Sunday I picked them up and peered inside. Nothing cooking in them so far, at least that I can see.

I had great plans of planting a whole lot more, but haven’t yet, and am wondering now whether it’s too late . . .

Maybe I’ll do some more this evening.

On another front, the Easter Bunny brought B a couple of flats of pansies that I planted in the pots on our fire escape. I also potted up some nice spearmint. Soon it will be time for iced tea.