Friday, April 27, 2012

A Day Out

I have been needing to give myself a guilty pleasure. Something that's just pure enjoyment. Gas prices have gone up enough that I stay at home. I think about going places but I don't. Gas is for going to town to do what must be done. So, my guilty pleasure was to have a short drive. The goal was to find my lillies or iris or lilacs, whatever. The plants a justification for the expenditure in gas. The day was beautiful. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. I had gone for drives around the area with my neighbor and his wife. I've learned a few of the back roads, but not many. Part of the issue with learning my way around is that the roads immediately west of our home seem to be defined by hills and the river. Very little of it follows a grid pattern. The roads wind. In places there is more up, down and around then straight. I set out on my adventure with the intention of getting lost, learning a bit of geography and bringing home some plants. Things have changed a bit since I last got to explore. Some land has changed hands. Lots more 'no trespassing' signs. Big deer fences around some property. The wealthy have invaded our little back woods. Many of the properties are marked that they have aerial surveillance. So, when I found a lilac bush to dig starts from, I called my neighbor Bob. Bob spends a lot of his time in his dump truck hauling gravel. But he knows everybody and he is the go to guy for information. I described the piece of land I was on and gave the number that was out on the post by the drive. It wasn't his property and I couldn't get permission to dig. He also advised that I pay attention as there were a number of guys in the area that were "particular" about their land. With regret I passed on the lilac. The day was so fine though it was hard to feel bad about anything. I continued to cruise around. I found quite a few places with ditch lillies but the plants were up close to the to the warning signs. So, I passed on those. Finally I found the perfect spot. The old house was gone. The drive still there and not even a livestock gate. The lillies were right next to the road, some growing right out into the gravel. I got out my shovel and pulled a plastic tub out of the truck and started to dig lillies. I knocked off the excess dirt and tried to heal the spot that I took the lillies from. I'd take a clump, then move to another spot. I filled three tubs with lillies. Unless you looked very closely you would never have known that I was there. I drove for another fifteen minutes before I found the cat tails. There were many places with cat tails in standing water, but I wasn't dressed for wading. I finally found the right spot. No obvious water. The cat tails interspersed with a good deal of grass. I got two clumps and headed home. I turned south in what I hoped was a loop around to my road and there in the middle of the road was a badger. At first, I thought it had caught a rabbit. I slowed to give it time to get off the road. It did not act aggressive, which I expected if it had a kill. It just got frantic about getting it's bundle off the road. I think it was moving it's baby to a new lair. I stopped and watched it move off down into the ditch. It must have been the day for babies being out. Around the curve was a sandpiper zooming at the road. It flew up about ten feet, curved round and zoomed the road again. I watched as I continued on my way, but you don't really slow down for birds. That is until you see the hatchling on the road. Running back and forth, not quite sure where he is suppose to be headed. I didn't see the little ball of fluff until the last minute. I slowed and swerved. I checked my rear view mirror and the ball was still running amok and the mama was still trying to do aerial herding as I went on my way. Time to go home. I got the lillies planted. They now encircle the LP tank. Hopefully they will fill in and make the tank a little less ugly and they will take away the need to do any trim mowing. Some of the lillies also made it down to the wetland banks. And the cat tails went inside the wetland. The goal for them is to help with waste water purification. I will try to get more. Some iris might do well there too. At end of the day, I realized I had gotten something done. I almost never feel like I've gotten something done. It's more like I tried.... or I got a little of something accomplished... I got the preliminary work done... but never DONE! I was so tired, but it was so nice. Maybe I could get something else done today...maybe. We'll see. Louie

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