October 2014

3 articles in October 2014

Eevery summer is defined by a pest. A few years ago I and most of my neighbors were plagued by an infestation of Japanese beetles. These little armored warriors ate most of my garden and almost destroyed everything that was green around my house.

I defeated the ‘sons of beetles’ using the best of insecticides that caused a slight chronic twitch on the right side of my face. Another year was defined by moles that made my lawn look like Boston’s big dig. Nesting birds caused me to plant my garden late one year because their nests were in the middle of what was supposed to be my tomato patch. These birds worked in pairs to not only scare the hell out of me but also buzz past my head like Kamikaze pilots.

I actually thought this would be a different type of year. Right through July an insect or rodent attack was not to be seen but then, one day as I was watering my garden, I felt a sharp pinch on one of my gluteus maxims. This was not a little pain. I jumped up hard, threw the hose to the ground thinking I was just struck by lightning and didn’t want anything to ground me, held my butt and looked around hoping not to see the monster that precipitated the attack. I saw nothing.

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Aas bad as the weather was during August, the month of September ushered in some of the finest and freshest beach days I could ever remember.

The days were warm and the nights were cool, allowing everyone to get a great night’s sleep with the realization that summer never ended because the weather just got better. Every weekend since Labor Day I have made it a commitment to take a walk down Long Sands Beach. I never made it down into the sand or near the water but I did enjoy some wonderful walks on the sidewalk that looks out into the ocean. The only problem was that everyone who missed his or her time in the sun because of the bad August weather had the same idea. The parking spaces were filled as they should have been filled during the summer months, and the sidewalk was never as empty as it had been in past during the early days of autumn.

This, of course, made the competition for the sidewalk as tough as it was during the summer months. The walk from where the sidewalk begins, opposite the trailer park, was easy to navigate. There were few people coming at me so I thought I had the competition pretty well licked. However, right after I passed the Lobster Cover Restaurant the same people I competed with for sidewalk control during the summer months were still there, when they should have been home preparing for winter.

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Aautumn is part of a vital cycle of life for anyone who has a garden. This is the time we pull up all the plants we cherished, fed, and protected for the last five months of the year. During the summer we were proud of the way our gardens looked.

We waited patiently for the plants to grow so we could fill our family’s tables with delicious, garden fresh vegetables and sweet scented flowers. But, it is now time to put thoughts of summer behind us and get our gardens ready for their long winter hibernation. Walking out into my garden after the first frost I was saddened to see my tomato plants had turned black and were now lying limply on the ground with clusters of brownish green tomatoes still attached.

In fact, the ground was littered with tomatoes that had never made it into our sandwiches and salads of the summer just past. They did, however, make it into my clothes because as soon as I stepped into y garden I slipped on the squishy bed of rotten tomatoes and got tomato slime all over me. Getting up and scraping the goop from my pants I began the task of separating the dead tomato plants from the cages that surrounded them. When my tomato plants had been in full bloom you couldn’t even see the cages through the thick foliage of leaves and fat, sun ripened tomatoes.

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