Tick, tock, tick, tock …

Ames Hazmat

How about a round of badminton while we wait for the burgers to come off the grill?

Yes, it’s that time again. Winter is finally over, Ice Season is melting into slushy, gritty memories, and we’re moving into that other half of the year: Tick season.

Here in the Ozarks, tick season runs from about the first week in April through the end of December, with occasional outbreaks in January, February, and March. By mid-May roving hordes of the little monsters will be moving through the underbrush like piranhas with legs, armored specks of concentrated evil seeking whom they may devour.

We’re all becoming pretty current on the latest tick-borne diseases in humans, and the toll on pets is equally terrifying. Repellants, foggers and sprays fill the air like morning mist; gatherings of the beautiful people are aromatic with eau de permethrin, and the rest of us bathe in Deet as if were Chanel No. 5. Continue reading

The Name of the Rose

Years ago, while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my partner and I made the acquaintance of a gentleman who was considered throughout the neighborhood to be a gardener of some skill. When we finally received an invitation to venture past the ten-foot privacy fencing into his little slice of paradise, we jumped at the chance to see what a Florida garden was supposed to look like. Continue reading

Like a Virgin.

I know I said I was through posting flower pictures for a while, but we seem to be moving rapidly through Spring and into Summer here, and everything is just so white. The backyard looks like it’s been dressed up for a wedding. A nice girl’s wedding, if you get my drift… Continue reading

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose.

It has been pointed out to me that I seem to take a lot of pictures of flowers. Although there is no shortage of more active wildlife here in Winslow, I just don’t have the reflexes to get that perfect shot of a group of deer galloping away at thirty miles an hour, or a pileated woodpecker darting from tree to tree, or a fox or barred owl crossing my path an hour after sunset. So, yes, I photograph a lot of flowers. They don’t run away, they don’t bite, and they’re not likely to kick me in the head. Continue reading

My Neighbor’s Garden.

We’ve had a couple of beautiful spring days here, and I thought I would take a break from my usual weighty topics to post a few pictures from a friend’s garden. Russell grows mainly peonies, as you can see, and he has a lot of them. Enjoy.

(Don’t worry, my usual post is coming up. Surely you didn’t think I had run out of things to say…!)

 

Summer, Already?

The woods are starting to look less like spring, and more like summer, even though we’re not even through April yet: the poison ivy has begun its inexorable spread across the forest floor and up into the trees. I’m not especially allergic to poison ivy, fortunately, but I do try to avoid stumbling around in it wherever possible. Continue reading

Step in to my Parlor…

The wasps and spiders have begun gathering on my porch, a sure sign that winter is well and truly over.

The numbers this year are somewhat unimpressive: last spring there were hundreds of wasps from three different species gathering under the eaves, while this year I’ve seen only a few, all of them Red Paper Wasps. Continue reading

Let The Gardening Begin!

John’s got an army of seeds potted up, and I’ve started planting out the early stuff like lathyrus and wisteria. Spring won’t catch us napping! (Well, it might catch Pooh and Sebastian napping, but that’s what they do.)