bunt sign

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

I guess what I learned today was not to do my outdoor watering at dusk. It's not a superstition; it's a real lesson in practical gardening. When I went out at seven o'clock, I did not have insect bites all over my arms, and a huge welt on my forehead. When I came in at eight, I did.

Whatever it was that bit me, I never saw it. Them. It had to be more than one species, because the shapes of the marks they left are so different. And they don't all itch the same.

How I missed so many bugs attacking me I'm sure I don't know. You'd think I would have felt something, but apparently I was too deeply involved in my watering chore. It is an intense activity, requiring tremendous concentration. I mean, you couldn't just stand out there with the hose in your hand, could you? Don't you have to sing to yourself, and talk back to the birds, and blast snails halfway to Healdsburg with the jet spray setting? Yes, you do.

Tomorrow morning the big red mark on my face will be gone, right? Right?

The gopher that's eating my yard is getting more active. More mounds, more holes. So I'm getting more active, too.

Now I scout out the back forty every day, shovel in hand. Whenever I find new evidence of gopherous undertakings, I dig as deep as I can and turn over the dirt in as wide an area as necessary to be sure all the holes and tunnels I can reach are filled or destroyed.

This won't discourage the gopher. I think he's proven that he's mentally tougher than I am. But I figure that at this rate, I'll have the whole yard dug up and ready for reseeding (or whatever) by summer.

red flower that grew out of nowhere

Flies, when they're about to die, do a little break dance. Yes, they do. They lie on their backs and spin around like little windup toys. Then they stop. It's really cool to watch.

My house is still infested with flies, but I think I have it under control. They're moving much slower than they were yesterday, which makes them much easier to catch up with. Flies lose a lot of their mystique when you can pick them off the wall with your hand.

It's nice to win a battle once in awhile.

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