Monday, June 30, 2008

Midnight Gardening & Cherry Farming

This is my favorite time of the year. It usually means more work for me, but I really enjoy the warm weather. I can even put up with the negative aspects of the season (i.e., bugs, sweat, storms) because the positive aspects (i.e., flora, fauna) far outweigh them. Also, I think that the longer hours of sunlight have a direct impact on my soul. I am far happier this time of the year.

With our busy soccer, basketball, & baseball schedules, our yard was completely neglected this Spring. This was compounded by the fact that our lawn tractor was in the shop for 6 weeks! Luckily, we have the greatest neighbors in the world, who allowed us to borrow their mower. [thanks, Sunderlands!] However, there were times when our yard looked pretty shabby. Anyway, each June-July I have about a 4 week respite from soccer. So, I try to do a little yard work each night after work.

The other night, the weather was nearly perfect. Temps were in the low 70's, with low humidity, and with a mild breeze blowing from the west. It was so nice, I just kept working into the night. Michele and I had agreed that we should move some of the existing bushes and hydrangeas, so without much thought to the plan, I just started digging. The reasons for working so late were many. But mainly, it was just too nice to come inside, and the results of the transplanting were looking really good. Around midnight, as I was putting the finishing touches on the last bush, I heard a loud flapping sound by my left ear. Thinking it was a bat, I turned quickly, only to find a peach colored moth fluttering near the lights I had placed under the trees on the patio. It eventually landed on my shoe...and wouldn't leave! I tried shaking my foot, but the moth stuck like glue. I tried to pull him off, but he had a death grip on my shoe. Finally, I just took my shoe off and finished working in my bare feet.

The next night, I decided to do a little cherry-picking. In 1997, Mom & Dad Keller gave us two dwarf cherry trees as presents for our 10th wedding anniversary. We planted the small trees alongside the path to our back patio. For the past 11 years, the trees have provided us with enough cherries for a few pies from each growing season. Ian and Nathan adopted the trees when they were very little. Therefore, they each have their own tree. Ian's tree is a little taller, but Nathan's tree is just as prolific.... fittingly. As the cherries ripen, we place nets around the trees to protect them from the birds. However, this does NOT protect them from the chipmunks. Needless to say, we have some mighty fat chipmunks scampering around the back yard.

2008 has proven to be the best season ever for our little cherry farm. As I write this, we still have over one-third of the fruit left to pick on the trees. Yet, we have packed over 32 cups of pitted cherries. This is already enough for eight pies!

Ian "volunteered" to help pick & pit the cherries this year.

Doesn't he look happy to help?

When I asked him to look a little more enthusiastic, this is the reaction I got - smart a** teenagers.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I miss Ian...he is such a smart aleck like his cousin, Michelle!