Gardener's Grapevine 2013.03.06

Written by David Green.

Hasn’t the weather been a mess this past week? We had snow, sleet, rain and sunshine all in one week. Welcome to northern Ohio/southern Michigan where anything is possible at any time of the year.

We are getting ready for the arrival of our new little fellow and everyone is so excited. We met in Angola, Ind., with our good friends from Kalamazoo and had lunch. Of course conversation centered around the new baby and getting everything set. It amazes me the amount of stuff babies require to survive. I know much of it is for the caretakers’ convenience, and years ago it didn’t exist and children survived and grew into adults. Even when our children came along it was such a surprise at how much stuff one little person has. I couldn’t even begin to imagine raising triplets!

Thinking about this got me thinking about gardening gear and all we use to put in and maintain half decent gardens and lawns. It takes a lot of tools, pots, stakes, and lots of other items to maintain a garden. No matter what we do in life we seem to acquire “stuff,” it just seems to go with living. I have been on a kick lately of living with less stuff and simplifying my surroundings. If I don’t need it, use it or have to have it to maintain day to day life, why am I keeping it?

You can only wear so many clothes, sit on so much furniture, eat so much food and look at so many knickknacks in a day. So goes it with gardening tools. Do I really need four shovels and two shovel heads that need new handles? How many lopping tools can I use at once? Do I really need to keep every pair of pruning shears when I get new ones? Gardening is like everything else in life. We can get so bogged down with stuff that we can’t keep track of it and can’t find what we need when we need it. I plan to clean out my gardening shed in the spring just like I’m  doing with the house, and donate the excess to charity so maybe a would-be gardener on a short budget might try gardening.

I donate to St Vincent dePaul in Fayette because of their ethics. They are need based not income based and they don’t question why you need something, they just give it to you. Sounds like a perfect charity to me. Maybe my old pruners, shovels and pots will help feed someone from their own garden. 

On our way home from Indiana we drove straight back on 120. It is a pretty straight shot with a few curves and stops. We must have been coming home at feeding time for the deer. We saw a lot of herds of deer in the road, in the woods and in the fields. My daughter Jacquie and I were cooing over how cute they were and my husband, who was driving, was having conniptions over them possibly jumping on the car. None ever got close to jumping on us. I think someone called ahead and warned them we were coming as most of them just stood looking at us or grazing as we passed. The ones in the road ran as soon as they heard our car coming.

I often wonder what a deer thinks when it’s running around doing it’s business and all of a sudden there’s a car coming at them. My husband would laugh and tell me deer don’t think. I just wonder if we surprise them half as much as they surprise us. It’s a point to ponder. Wildlife and humans do not mix for the most part. When my daughter worked security at Wal-mart, a raccoon came in the front doors and was wandering around the store looking at people. It was quite a chore to get him back out of the store. My daughter watched the surveillance tapes to try and figure out where he went so the DNR could remove him. She said it was hilarious just watching him try to maneuver past the automatic front doors. Can you imagine how he felt wandering the store? He probably wondered why these humans need all this stuff.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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