Beewatching’s Blog

‘Tis the Season
July 11, 2009, 1:32 pm
Filed under: 1

viburnum leaves

For tomatoes, to-mah-toes and tuh-may-tuhs. They’re all running a bit late, due to a cool, rainy June, but they’re coming. At the Master Gardeners’ table at the farmer’s markets, almost every visitor, and we garden advisors as well, were comparing notes on our favorite crop. A family who sounded British got me wondering, how do they manage to grow tomatoes in their climate? The tuhmaytuh lady is the farthest along, obviously, because she is on such a friendly, nickname basis with her plants, surely they exert themselves to please. My crop (Early Bird), is just starting to produce things that are fruit or blossom-like.

Waiting for them gives me time to wonder important cosmic things, such as how some critter or other is managing to snatch blueberries right through the netting. And why not wait until they’re ripe?

Other talk at the market table focused on moles, voles and rabbits. The question is often, how do you know which one is wreaking havoc in your backyard? The answer is often “all of the above”. Bunnies are always around. And they’re always hungry. Moles are the ones digging the tunnels, for themselves and the turbo-charged voles who use them to commute plant root to plant root. Poor Joe Pye weed is being undermined as we speak. I’m hoping that the same kind of intensive care I lavished on a small, nibbled birch tree a few years ago will save it: filling in the holes with compost, and giving it extra water. I surprised the culprit, not in the act, but by opening the garage door, letting it fall to the ground and make its escape.

Why would a vole be on the garage door? Trying out its little parkour sneakers, perhaps. I don’t have the heart to go after it with a blunt (or sharp) object, because it reminds me too much of my kids’ dear departed Black Bear hamster, “Sasquatch”. So I’ll be on vole patrol if anyone’s looking for me. I’ll leave you with this pic of one of my favorite leaves. It’s a viburnum, done blooming for this year, but pretty anyhow.


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