Sunday, October 26, 2008

Garden Surprise

Hello All,
I'm currently down and out with a cold of mega proportions. I've been coughing so hard today that my head is splitting in half with a headache. Maestro had the same cold last week, but he's on the mend. Still wakes up coughing, but he's not so sniffly and gross now, so that's good anyways. I'm just waiting for the same grace to happen to me.

Today in our lovely town the weather was outstanding. Cool in the shade, but once you were in the sun it was warm and heavenly. It's a great feeling to have the sun on your face without it being the burning hot of summer. It was a glorious day for outdoor activities even with a cold.

So, the boys and I were emptying out the compost spinner that's next to the garden. I've not had a whole lot of luck making compost. It's not for lack of trying and this is not supposed to be all that complicated, but for whatever reason, I don't have a "black" compost thumb. I usually end up with either stuff that's way too wet or too dry. We've even gone so far as to ask our neighbor to drive his mower over with his bag full and dump it in our large compost pile. The compost spinner is reputed to make compost in 30 days. Yah, right. I've had the same batch of compost in there since the spring, diligently turning it every few days, and it's just starting to resemble something that is broken down into a soil like substance. Though, there are lots of larger bits of things left in there as well, so it's not a complete success. This spinner sits in the sun during the summer hours for about 14 hours a day as well, so it gets plenty hot and I would douse it with the hose from time to time if it looked like it needed some moisture. There is a catcher under it, a tank really, that will catch the compost "tea" which is supposed to be concentrated nutrients for the plants. You put this rich, fragrant juice in a watering can, dilute it a bit with water, and water the plants with it. Pretty cool idea, really. So, I did not empty it all summer and today we decided to empty it and wet down the beds to get them a little extra nutrients for their winter nap.

After Music Man picked up the tank, and it's a bit heavy so I let him take care of that, he called me over to see something. I looked underneath where the tank had been sitting and there, under the tank, were 5 little furry gray bodies squirming around in the long blades of grass. They were deer mice. Now, I know you're thinking "ewwwww gross!", but if you've ever seen a deer mouse, they are sooooo cute with their big ears and eyes and they tend to sit on their hind legs a lot, so they have some of the cuteness factor in their favor. We had a challenge with them getting into the bird food in the shed last year until I caught one in the bin one day and relocated him up the street near a swampy area. Anyways, the little ones were obviously babies, probably the mamas 5th batch this summer, they do breed like crazy. We called the boys over to see them, and Little Red especially loved them. That child has a big soft spot for furry little animals, so he was excited and wanted to keep looking at them. But, we assured him they didn't feel safe out in the open like that, so Music Man replaced the tank over their little home. I know, perhaps we should have "taken care of them", but honestly, it gave me a sense of pride to know that my little garden is home to another family as well. That another family finds solace in that little plot of land and calls it home. I know I've gotten immeasureable peace from those 4 beds and am glad that they can be refuge for other mammals as well. As long as they don't eat me out of garden and home, that is!

Hoping for you a little refuge of your own, Peacemom

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