Friday, April 24, 2009


No. Not me. The weatherman. It wasn't that long ago that the Pooch surveyed an all white tundra in front of the deck. We had a frost on the 22nd of April. Turkey hunters reported temps as low as 25 degrees early in the morning. Last night thunder rumbled across the hills of our western Wisconsin home. It disturbed the cat who crawled in bed and nestled next to me at 2 am. Today the thermometer on the garage in the breezeway
looked like this. It reads 86 degrees. The wind gusts up to 30 mph, blowing dust from the gravel road in front of our small farm into small cyclones. The local dairy farmer who tills most of the available flat land is running two John Deere tractors from sunup to sundown hauling manure and running a disc over the fields.
I'm up and over to the Amish at 7:00 am, their time. I trade sausage and plastic bags I used for customers in my downtown Milwaukee trading post in return for cow manure behind Titus' barn. Titus' wife gives me horseradish root for my garden. While I'm there, the daughters give me a preview of their quilts going up at auction on the 23rd of May. I'll post pictures of a few of the quilts if they'll permit me to photograph them. I've got my eye on a couple of them and will be in the audience bidding on their work which typically draw less money out here than it would in urban areas. The picture below is of the new sweet corn garden covered with the truck load of manure I hauled early this morning. Standing in the pickup bed with my rubber muck boots on I was amazed at the number of tiny gnats swarming over the ca-ca. The manure has a slight amonia odor to it. I must be used to the dairy air of the area, because I hardly notice the smell. It isn't because my sense of smell has been numbed either. All week long I've been lurking around the house trying to locate a bad smell in Dawn's studio. Of course, we blamed the Pooch at first, but his litter box was hardly used since he has sand piles and fresh tilled garden for a lavatory. I surmise a mouse or rat died under the rear addition.

We're looking at rain for Saturday and Sunday. Hopes are high that it will end a severe drought. I hold my breath that there isn't a repeat of last year's June 6+ inches of rain. I use the excuse of a midday break to let my burrito lunch settle before I return to the corn plot with my Troy Bilt Horse rototiller. The Pooch takes an extended nap indoors where it's a cool 72 degrees before I kick the lazy lump outside. He doesn't like the strong winds. He follows me around in the summer kitchen, next to my chop saw in the garage and climbing over plastic covered boxes of art and crafts in the white shed. Anything but the devil wind in his ears.

Since we're into a new moon today, I'll plant seeds for leafy vegetables. The sugar snap peas, spinach and snow peas haven't sprouted. They went in right after the potatoes and onions at the full moon. I'll water toward sunset. The law of opposites says that if I water today, it will rain tomorrow. There's the new patio blocks I'm putting down near the kitchen window if I have time before the end of the day. Time to get a move on.

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