One ancient piece of technology in my garden is a tomb. I rolled the rock back yesterday and added another to this potter’s grave of small animals.
The shrew joins a baby bird, woodchuck, mouse, and mole. The darkly stained earth is all the trace they leave.
These puffballs popped out of my lawn last week. I broke one open this morning and it’s full of black goo. Looks like a little rain ruined the party.
Autumn is upon us, so I set about expanding the leaf weir with the summer’s tree cuttings. Weaving in the branches I had gathered raised the level of the weir by about a foot, and extended it several feet toward the sunflowers. Continue reading
“All the armies that have marched the earth, and quenched its soil with their blood. These boys of our passing days, and all their comrades in arms who are dust. The hordes of Genghis Kahn, the legions of Assisi, the bowmen of Assyria, all the children of today, and of unnumbered yesterdays. All the poets, all the tyrants, all the philosophers, and all the fools. All of mankind who have lived and labored on this planet since the beginning, all have come from this microscopic egg, many many times smaller than a mustard seed.” –In the Beginning, 1937 (USDA Extension Service, Division of Motion Pictures)
A robin had its birthday somewhere above our garden, leaving behind this trace.
I found this robin’s egg nestled alongside a maple seed, each playing their role in an unbroken chain stretching back billions of years. It reminded me of In the Beginning (1937) which is preserved in the excellent Prelinger Archives. Don’t watch the linked movie unless you can stomach a bit of leporine vivisection.
While science has understood the mechanics of life in broad strokes for centuries, we are still grappling with the implications. Of all the different forms that life has given rise to on this planet, should we be so surprised that human technology is among them? Next to the intricate beauty of a seed or an egg, our tools are crude and simple beings.
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned in starting a garden is the phenomenon of “true leaves.” Many plants start out with two leaflets that correspond to the two halves of their embryo. These are generally simple and rounded in appearance, and serve to get the baby plant going. As it continues to grow, the next set of leaves to emerge are the true leaves, which look like tiny versions of the mature plant. In the case of baby lettuce, they are also extremely cute. Continue reading
Wandering around the hillside these days, I’ve seen quite a few animal tracks in the snow. I like the way the rabbits repeated a path until it became a trail, connecting the clear ground by the house to their various destinations in the garden. Time for some camera traps!
A rabbit road and intersection
My own tracks trace a winding path.
And of course, the snow blower leaves its own sort of tracks.
We returned from the winter holidays to find a blanket of snow on the ground, which highlights the way the leaf weir has changed the topography. Walking across it feels like solid ground.