Posts tagged “change

Critters

Posted on June 5, 2012

caterpillarone

Yesterday I battled cookies, both cyber and edible. I’ll write about my tangle with meringue later. Today, I’m writing about this little guy, pictured above. I turned my back on my vegetable garden for a day (because I was battling cyber cookies in a seemingly never-ending effort to upload my approved thesis to the university database) only to find that this little bugger had laid waste to one of my parsley plants. Rather than make the beast pay for its transgression, I ran inside, grabbed a plastic container and scissors and made a little home biology experiment for my youngster. After all, we grew and released an army of painted lady butterflies a few summers ago when we lived in Atlanta. Why not see what this little monster becomes too?

caterpillartwo

Once I captured our little friend (and a few bunches of withered parsley), I closed him up, punched little holes in the container’s lid and watched as he climbed up the side like this. That is where he has been since last night, when I Googled “caterpillars in South Louisiana” and discovered that he will not turn into an evil swamp creature that will devour us all, but a beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly.

Photo: brooksvillegardenclub.us

Photo: brooksvillegardenclub.us

On being an alchemist

Posted on August 3, 2011

“Deep down I suspect that many gardeners regard themselves as small-time alchemists, transforming the dross of compost (and water and sunlight) into substances of rare value and beauty and power.”

–Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire

I started a garden because I wanted to prove to myself (and perhaps to a few unnamed others) that I was no longer a plant killer. I started a garden because I wanted to grow things that I could cook and that my family and friends could eat. There is a special sort of Zen in all of this — the digging, the weeding, the planting, the watching and waiting — and I wish I had learned it sooner.

Because I am battling the hell out of this garden right now.

I spent months and months planting every square, fertilizing them accordingly, and watering, weeding, picking and replanting them as needed.  I got tomatoes earlier than expected, fresh carrots in time for my daughter’s sixth birthday, more basil than I could handle, salsa-enlivening Serrano chiles, and cucumbers upon cucumbers upon cucumbers (I owe a post about cucumbers and it’s coming). The okra I’ve been picking? Ridiculous, especially when fried (another post to come about that).

Then the rain came.

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