We all have our bittersweet moments. Maybe as we grow older we have more of them or at least we are more sensitive to them as they happen.
Such was the day I needed to try and finish cleaning the irrigation ditch before the water came rolling in. It was one of those wonderfully warm sunny days that was hitting close to 70 degrees. I started out using the weed-eater for as much as I could, but the reeds had to be either hand clipped or dug.
I got down on the trusty OSU kneeling pad and that was when I started noticing things. Or rather "seeing" things. I saw soft bodied bugs and hard shelled beetles. I saw short legs, long legs, light colors, dark colors. Some raced across the cleared ditch bed looking for shelter, a worm inched along looking and wondering what had just happened. I did have pangs of guilt for the overall unexpected eviction of their safe space.
I have petitioned the irrigation district for two years to pipe my ditch. It is wide and deep and I am on the near end of the line. The ditch is one of the original irrigation ditches meant to serve the farms that existed in the area 75 years ago. Those have been replaced by subdivisions, churches and two acre hobby farms. My concerns are for water conservation. I am sure the water loss through seepage is substantial and each year our snow level seems to be less and less. This year more of an interest was taken and there was a scheduled walk-through of the property to access the length and depth of the ditch to consider piping.
Why was cleaning the ditch my bittersweet moment? Perhaps this is the last year of its visual existence. I thought about the many years of grandkids playing in what they called, the creek. Now as young adults when they come for the yearly visit they talk about the fun it was to build their boats out of the scrap lumber and race them down the ditch, so they do have lasting memories. Life changes.
I have, more than usual,mourning doves this year. When I heard frantic bird sounds I looked around. On the utility wires were two doves enjoying the day, when a third dove joined on the wire all pandemonium broke out. Lots of noise, lots of in-flight chasing and more noise. Had it occurred before, probably. I had never taken time to "see".
I watched several bees at ground level . One investigated a hole in the ground, went in for a look-see, surfaced and flew off. I realized I needed to spend some time studying the "Bees of Oregon" placard since I didn't know one bee from the other.
The entire day was an enforcement of the saying, "Take time to smell the roses." Whatever your interpretation of the saying is, flowers, bugs, bees, birds and yes there were several butterflies, take time to stop and "see".
On the seed starting front, the peas planted in the unheated greenhouse on Good Friday are breaking through. I soaked half in milk and the other half in water. It is too early for results but it looks like more soil activity on the milk side. Will keep track and report.
I planted an oval shaped poly container that I am calling my salad bowl on April 14th. I planted a new mixed green from Johnny's called Cheap Frills-20 day maturity, and two rows of Champion radishes. Both germinated in a week. The bowl is in the unheated sunroom, no cover at night.
It is wonderful to be playing in the dirt, even with the end of day moans and groans of aching body parts.
Check out Gardening: Get Good at It "Vegetable Garden Site Selection" segment May 5, on KPOV 88.9 FM between 9-9:30 am.