Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloom’d

In spite of it being chilly outdoors, and of course all due to that cold north wind blowing non-stop, I’d say is was fine day by me all the way around because I was able to get more done than I’d planned.

Upon arrival at office, I quickly went to my little corner and got my contemplative prayer session completed, and fortunately I didn’t have any street noise distracting me because since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, I’ve been doing all the more deep praying for the Ukrainians.

After I was finished, I hurriedly changed into my work clothes and headed out to get some much needed yard and garden work done. You can’t imagine how thankful I was when finding there was no “frosting” of my plants overnight. I would’ve been fit to be tied if it had, because that would’ve been a great amount of work down the drain.

From all the planting I’d been doing, I discovered I was running low on mulch, so I proceeded to rake up another three and a half yard bags full of pine needles and cones which when mulched, makes for the best which can be freely used without fear of spreading disease. While I was out raking, I spent some time getting rid of some nasty Virginia Creeper vines which somehow always manage to sneak themselves into shrubbery and sometimes even up trees. I remember visiting with the neighbor of a home I had listed who had the entire fence bordering my listing, completely covered by it, and since I caught her outside, I nonchalantly asked, “I see you like growing Virginia Creeper on your fence-line.” Oh my goodness! When she replied, “You must be talking about my grape vines which haven’t yet given me any juicy clumps of grapes.” Well, you can only imagine how long it took me to convince her that those vines were not grapes. It must’ve taken a few months for her to confirm my insistence they weren’t grapes because she did have them all removed before that Fall arrived. I fully understand the general public’s confusion because their leaves do resemble those of grapevines.

I worked like a trooper getting a large patch of quack grass dug out of an area which has plants growing, just so I could spread some mulch around those plantings. One thing I do know, is that if you don’t get all those underground runners dug out, it’s right back at it again. Since I’ve been digging quack grass out of gardens from the time I was young, I discovered my own tried and true way to get the bulk of it dug out, which is the use a strong-tined potato fork to get it loosened enough so the clods can be pulled out, and after “beating” the dirt off of those underground root-vines, I push the cleaned soil back into place and move on. It’s extra work, but in the end, you’ll find your beds more “root free”.

With the deer already being munchkins, I decided to start creating a fence to keep them away from my veggies. I’ve got it about half finished, so hopefully I’ll have the rest of it in place this coming weekend. After last year’s fight with them, I promised myself I wasn’t going to go thru any more gardening seasons with those devils destroying any more of my veggies. Long and narrow fenced gardens seem to keep deer from even thinking about jumping even five foot fences, and likely because they must be fearful of the fence beyond the fence. I’ll let you know if one does decide to jump one of those fence-lines.

By the time I was finished with today’s garden/yard work, I was nearly exhausted, but very happy over getting more accomplished than I’d expected. As I’ve always said, the best gardens to be had, are the ones that are kept weed-free during the first month or two of growth, and only because once the tomatoes and peppers are tall enough, they end up “shading” any of those late-growing weeds.

Tonight’s photo is of a beautiful lilac flower which was just starting to bloom. It’s a very old bush, and the reason I like it so much, is its coloring and the non-overpowering scent it has. Every time I see lilacs, I think of Walt Whitman’s elegy “When Lilacs Last In Dooryard Bloom’d” which was a required reading when I was in school. My English teacher at the time must’ve been a real fan of his because she had us reading his works and reporting on them.

Since we had to learn all about his life, I was quite taken at the time when reading about his spending a great deal of time in natural settings which became inspirations for his writings. I’m sure if he lived today, he would’ve been branded an “earth-hippy”. If you haven’t read any of his works, take a trip to the library and give one of them a good read.

Expecting my day to be completely real estate free, it wasn’t because I had some emails to get out this morning and additional work late this afternoon, but at least I won’t have to be rushing first thing tomorrow morning because I already have appointments scheduled.

When reading about the Polish President Duda’s speech to the Ukrainian Parliament, I was glad to hear his Country is on the same page in regards to Putin’s imperialistic agenda. I mentioned to someone today that once Ukraine has driven those Russian troops out of their Country, the nations of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine should create their own Commonwealth of Independent States, because if they did, they’d certainly be a powerhouse which no Country would dare invade. Now if Belarus got rid of Putin’s cronies and joined that union, that would make such an alliance even more remarkable.

Tonight’s One-liner is: I have learned that to be with those I like, is more than enough.

Joe Chodur

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