Our April days have warmed and lengthened beautifully now to the point that you, Reader, can sometimes sit with a book on your lap or read this newspaper outside until almost 8:00 PM without a lamp. …
Our April days have warmed and lengthened beautifully now to the point that you, Reader, can sometimes sit with a book on your lap or read this newspaper outside until almost 8:00 PM without a lamp. The freedom of spring has arrived! Yet, for all our sense of liberation from winter cold and darkness, we are only about sixty days away from that day in June when each successive day begins to contract again. Ah, the mysterious ebb and flow of life, the seesaw increase and decrease of the cosmic cycles which rule our lives! Out here in the country we live more tethered to these rhythms than city folk can be. Reminding ourselves of these cycles keeps us close to the land and the sky, the water and the air. This remembrance keeps us close to our mortality and our joy in the spring.
It’s warm enough and sometimes dry enough now to get down and dirty in the garden. When I bought my 85-year old Smallwood home six years ago, the original log cabin had undergone quite a few improvements: PVC covered the exterior log siding, the driveway had been tarmacked, a large storage shed had been built in a low spot on the property. Someone had also intentionally planted a lilac bush directly on top of my septic field. An inspector hired to assess the situation was alarmed. Since receiving his report I’ve always looked at the wonderfully vibrant and well-fertilized 20 foot lilac as nothing less than a ticking time bomb atop my septic system. Early last summer I even resolved to have the tree finally removed but suddenly it struck bloom again in riotous bobbing flotillas of purple and fragrance. I couldn’t call the arborist.
Two weeks ago, while the tree still stood naked and defenseless, I called up Jerry Conklin (from GGC’s Hickory Tree & Landscaping of Woodbourne, 845-701-1640) to remove the lilac. Jerry did a crackerjack job of it; in minutes the towering shrub was reduced to three white stumps. Jerry and his crew also put in a lovely new juniper hedge and pruned back my juvenile maple tree whose trunk had been savaged last October by a young buck showing off his antlers to a bedazzled and estrous doe. Over the winter I sprayed coyote urine to keep deer at a distance from the maple. This spring, balking at the exploding price of bottled coyote urine, I started producing my own “ADSP”: a home-made anti-deer stinky potion. The potion is a cottage cheese-like porridge made from rotting eggs and milk laced with heaping tablespoons of garlic and cayenne powder. I apply it using a wide painter’s brush to splash my plants and their tender buds. Although Smallwoodians will swear that no anti-deer device is completely failsafe—some wayward fawn is always willing to make a midnight snack of your lavender or rosemary patch—this one may work. I’ll let you know if it does!
Reminder: important civic meeting this week at the Meeting Room in Duggan School by Bethel Town Hall: Public Hearing on Proposed Local Law #1 of 2023 (regulating “Short Term Rentals”): at 7:45 PM on Wednesday, April 26th.
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