Many Years Ago I Planted Two Asters

Many years ago I planted two Asters next to each other. One was purple flowered and one was white. The purple one died a few years ago and now the white one gets purple flowers at the end of the season. What kind of spooky reincarnation voodoo is this? Einstein’s quantum entanglement theory indicates there is a connection between two states regardless of the distance. This isn’t a foreign concept to gardeners. We are constantly discovering connectivity between aspects of nature that defy our preconceived notions. I remember being blown away by the fact that mycorrhizal fungi can attach themselves to plant roots, and extend the uptake ability of the roots for miles in undisturbed forest soil. The trees can become connected underground. The plants, in return, provide the fungus with sugars, which they have produced through photosynthesis. The benefit of fungi to plant health is a significant reason to discontinue rototilling, because it breaks up the filaments.

A big fat mouse sprinted along the compost pile as I was cutting back the blackberry vines. An unturned pile can become a haven for them. They can eat, sleep and reproduce in it without ever having to expose themselves to predation. I once found a hollowed out winter squash that had a nest built inside. It was warm and dry in there and the offspring only had to leave when they got too big. Using mouse traps with peanut butter on and under the trigger is effective, especially if you can put them by the opening of the tunnels. I also put a bucket over the trap with a rock under the rim so the mice can get in but the birds can’t. The dead mice get chucked over the fence where the crows can find them. The crows know me now. We bros 🙂

The birds were happy that I took the cold frames off the lettuce. I forgot to cover it with bird netting and they wasted no time discovering it. They are so entertaining this time of year that if they weren’t dropping by on a daily basis I would probably plant a row of lettuce just for them. They scratch in the dust of the pathways like baby chickens, but It takes both their tiny feet to scoot the straw away from the mounds so they can peck at the moist ground. They hop around in the tangled branches of the six foot tall grape vines looking for raisins, making jagged jumping shadows in the shade. They swoop and dive low across the garden, putting on unexpected airial displays. They rustle the dried leaves in the garden corners, freaking out the cats. With food getting scarce they even try sneaking up on the dogs food bowl for a piece of kibble. I tend to stay very still when they land near at hand so I can enjoy a close up view of their incredible beauty.

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