Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gardens need Gardeners & Gardeners need Gardens

Things are coming along nicely at the new place. The upstairs is fully insulated-- except the ceiling--which we plan to use blown insulation for. The downstairs is nearly done--just one room left--which is a room that is full of supplies that will have to be worked around. It also has a very uneven assortment of studs, I have a hunch Hubby will want to do some re-working of that room before we finish it. Hubby has a bathroom vanity cupboard that he's been building out in the garage. He does that on nights he doesn't want to go out to the house after work. I have made the little shed/cabin better for kitchen/bathroom use.

Tomorrow I am off work if I go to the house I think I may bring more plants there and also my bird houses and feeder--maybe. I don't know. Its just about nesting time here--it may be too late to move the birdhouses right now, they may be occupied.

I've seen a great deal more birds here lately. Sparrows, robins, blue jay, brown thrasher,carolina wren, mockingbird, cardinals,towhees, finches and nuthatches have all be in the backyard frequently. Yesterday I was very tired and napped before going to work. I looked out and saw the bird bath was nearly empty but a poor brown thrasher was in it, trying to do a 'thrasher-splasher' without water. I felt a pang of guilt--but let it pass. He'll come another day. There's alot to do lately inside, outside, at work, at this house and at the other house. Sometimes I just need a nap.

Spring signs are popping up around me, warmer weather, some trees are in flower already, the birds are more active and more vocal. This means I can do more work outside now. However, my allergies are not much better. I have the cough under control now but my hearing is not good due to sinus pressure that the doctor says effects the Eustachian tubes in my ears. They feel as if there are golf balls in them and I get a sort of vertigo feeling, sometimes enough to make me need to lie down. The solution--a double load of steroids for now and hopefully if that works I will end up able to drop the allergy pills and just use a steroid nasal spray--we shall see. This is the docs idea, I'm skeptical as I tried this once years ago and it didn't work out. I would like to get off the daily pills though if I can, they do come with side effects and are pricey. I just changed from one to another and there was a withdrawal process involving a few weeks of itching--just about everywhere.

Tree Pollen season is on its way. Meanwhile there is still the mold in the air. It gets on everything here. I was disappointed after taking my car to a car wash that I could still see mold on it. I guess I will need to handscrub it with something. Houses here need power washing yearly and roofs get black with mold and sap. This is a tree filled place. When the trees begin to drop pollen around here you can see it. The ground and all surfaces outside will be dusted with yellow. The Carolinas are a paradise for gardening buffs like me--but also very difficult for folks with allergies or asthma. The air is clean and the sky blue mainly--except for nature's contribution, and nature is generous here. This does make it a beautiful place though, and I guess it is worth dealing with allergies to live here.

I'm hoping this weekend Hubby will chop up a few fallen logs at the new house with his chain saw. I want to coat them with a preservative oil to keep termites from having at them, and then use them to make stepping stones for paths. I love the way that looks in some photos I've seen, and the fact that with all the trees on our land-- I won't have to pay for pavers!

I have some small ground cover plants too that will grow nicely between some steps or lining a path with other plants. Perenials multiply more quickly in the ground than they do in pots. Many of mine are still in pots since we've been renting so long now, but some are in beds here. I plan to dig some and leave some here. I am not sure how I will be laying out paths and garden areas yet at the new house. Hubby thinks we need to rent some sort of machine to do some grading of the land--perhaps we will. I think that much of it can be done a little at a time by hand however. We may not have the budget for what he wants to do, dunno yet. It certainly isn't going to be a first priority, so I feel safe beginning what I can with plants and paths and maybe an area or two for sitting outside.

There is nature at the new house of course, but I haven't seen too much of it yet. I did find a blue tailed lizard hiding under the cabin/shed one day when I was pulling out some debris that had been pushed under there. I have heard we have flying squirrels but that they are only out at night. We have not spent a night there. The neighbors have mini-donkeys that we hear braying and also a rooster that crows alot, and some dogs that bark. I haven't seen much else yet.

I will begin to attract birds by choosing areas for things to be left natural and by planting the sort of things they need and putting up my houses, feeders and bath. I have no doubt that with care and time the land will be full of wildlife and fertile soil and the plants that animals need for homes and food.

Its funny how some folks think that leaving a piece of land 'natural' will make it more full of wildlife--that may be true for some things--but in general a piece of land that is left unmanaged by people tends to become more barren rather than more fertile.Nature doesn't really 'balance itself' it has no conscience. The stronger things simply take over when given a chance crowding out the rest.

Right now the ground on our property is not terribly attractive. I doubt there are many worms or anything else. There are scattered little tufts of dry weeds sticking out from the red clay/sand soil, but mainly the ground is bare. I have not noticed many birds at all there. It will change.

I'm reminded of the scripture verse I used in a post about a week ago:

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them...the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, 'this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Gen. 1:26,27; 2:22-25)

God planned for man to tend the garden he put him in. That was the job of the first man. He didn't plan for nature to be left to care for itself. Of course there are differences of opinion who should tend it and how and why. That is a matter for debate I think, and the debate is far from over. I would say though, leaving the animals in charge is MOST certainly not a good idea. Looking at some of the barren waste in Africa you think--what would it be like if man were more in dominion there? What if people were to herd some of the large grazing animals? Could it all not be managed more wisely? Would the animals not provide more in the way of food? Wild can be beautiful--but often it is far more beautiful when well managed. That is my thought on that. I guess a thought I have developed over years of gardening. I have seen barren land converted and I've seen fertile land devestated by neglect. Gardens need gardeners.I also believe that gardeners deserve to take of the fruit of the land that they work.

I think too of Alaska. That just came to mind. They have been culling some of the wild wolves in order to keep them from devestating the caribou population which many of the people there depend on. This is just another form of tending a garden. To me, drilling up there would also be a part of that. Hubby used to work on the rigs down in Oklahoma when we were newlyweds.I have been to them and seen what things are like during drilling and later when it is done. I know darn well that the rigs do not destroy the land around them. Rigs on land do not take up near as much space as folks think. The end result of the work the men do is to leave a pump in place that continues to remove the gas or oil after the men and equipment are gone. It provides good hard work with decent pay for young men and it fuels our economy. Part of good stewardship to the land ought to include caring for the people, they should be allowed to use the resources on thier land.

I'm thinking a herd of caribou would most likely do far more damage to land than a rig. Rigs however are not going to hurt caribous. It is truly nonsense. This is one of those topics-- It is the way it is. There are two views of these things and sadly each side not only thinks the other is wrong, often they think they are nuts. I do not think this struggle will end soon.


  1. HAHAHA, That's a blue-tailed skink.
    He's one of the good guys. He'll eat a TON of bugs.
    Got the feed working again, so I don't lose you.

    I've been reading the blog (backwards) from the feed. I'm glad that you've been able to get as much done as you have. I'm also sorry about the job. My part-time job has cut my hours a bit and my second part-time job has cut the hours a LOT. sigh

    We are tough and we will both just hang in there!

  2. Glad to have you back Darlene. I did make one change in my settings--maybe that was the problem then.. (repeat after me.. computers are our friends!)