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By Betty Eilerman on July 21, 2017 This is a "down to earth", real remembrance of how it was to grow up in a complex family, ...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Leaning Tower Of Glory

       This trellis is going to fall ... any day now. You can''t even see the trellis for the massive amount of Morning Glory vines draped like a solid green curtain, slowly pulling it over.

Each day I check for flower buds. A daily ritual guaranteed to disappoint, for there are no flowers, or hints of anything resembling a Heavenly Blue Morning Glory.

 I thought I was such a green thumb, an engineer of plants, a more intelligent being, ready to manipulate  nature to my will. The laugh is on me.

Why are humans so bent on changing things; rivers are straightened and dammed, bays are filled in to extend coastlines, mixed forests are clear cut then replanted with another species.

My 'design' looked beautiful in my mind's eye, yellow sunflowers peeking out among brilliant blue flowers on a green canvas.
Guppy the sailboat with last year's bounty.

Last year's garden was astounding, as it was all in pots and it produced  much food. I had to use Greg's sailboat for the tomatoes and, let me tell you, that 13-ft. sailboat is a much better planter than an actual in-the-water-type boat.

The experience in the sailboat at Clear Lake taught us so well. Being at a 45 degree or more angle is just mentally weird. My brain screamed, "Danger, danger" while I argued with it, "he'll turn us into the wind, we'll be fine."
Well, there's this small island you see, so the wind then whipped us from the other side.

Did we take sailing lessons?
 Of course not!
Nor did we wear floatation jackets because a capsize was not  possible, thus no need.

 The reasoning escapes logic, I agree.

We started the motor and removed all sail as we headed back to the harbor, the safe but boring option.

 Boring until the mast crashed down. Greg failed to see the low-hanging oak branch above the take-out. I distinctly heard a collective "gasp" from the boaters in the parking lot.

Once again, nature had the last laugh.

Guppy is the world's prettiest planter and that's that. The pots all lined up on the cockpit seats as she sits on her trailer in the parking lot.

Every residence we've lived in was a gardening challenge; first the desert of Mojave with no shade, all heat, then the dark forest of a mountain with all shade, no heat.

The desert was easiest to garden in. Spaghetti squash greened out the chain link fence and the lattice panels added shade and cut the wind blasts.  Greg would do his morning duty and hand pollinate the  golden yellow female squash flowers, a task he enjoyed, "Better then meditation and yoga."

 The mountain garden did well considering it was located in a tiny open area under the mixed deciduous forest of black oak, Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees.

In the  fifteen years we lived in our little 600-square-foot redwood cabin, the garden lost its spot of sunlight as the conifers grew. When we added the chipped remains of a big-leaf maple, that really did it, as the seeds in the chipped mulch began to grow, although the fall colors were delightful.

The local denizens of the forest stopped in to say hello. He had large ears framing the antlers, so I named him Prince Charles. He told his gang "look, a salad bar!" then mowed down the tomato plants to the nub. With full bellies Charles and his does paraded down the middle of the street like they owned the joint, which they do.

Other visitors included skunks, moles and bats. The 1950s-era cabin had been enlarged with a deck at some point in its life and that's where the bat show began each evening.

 As I sat in the twilight more sensing the creatures than seeing them, I'd remember that night at Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. Never had I experienced so vicious a mosquito, not even in Biloxi. Right though the shirt fabric they attacked us, then suddenly ... Thousands of bats darkened the air over the campsite. I ducked but was too fearful to move away. They swooped and circled and flitted over and around us until all the insects had been eaten, then the bats disappeared as silently as they had arrived.
Looks like a face coming out of the ground.

We discovered the home turf of the bats on the next camping trip to Ajhumawi State Park. The area was once a volcanic field and has cinder cones and lava tubes and caves. Of course we had to explore a large cave next to the hiking trail right?
The cave of bats we entered slowly, and left quickly.

As we turned a corner in the cave, Greg stopped and said, "I'm going to take a shot of this."

It took Greg only half a nanosecond to rethink his bad idea as the whole cave was solid with sleeping bat bodies, moving now from our disturbance.
"Turn around and leave slowly ... now" he whispered. Any minute I expected to be flooded with flying bats, wondering what this experience is going to be like and will I get them out of my hair.

There are no bats around here in the potted garden with its trellis. A few turkeys will wander through, glancing at the turkey standing at the sailboat, but that's all.

Maybe by the time you read this story, I'll have success and can return to calling them Heavenly Blue and not Dante's Disappointment.

The 8th of September was a heavenly day for there appeared one single Morning Glory in all its Heavenly hue of Blue
Worth the wait.

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