Thurs. Dec. 10, 2020: The Increase In Grime & Pollution

Image courtesy of azyrit via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 10, 2020

4th Quarter Moon in Libra

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Before last weekend’s storm, we cleared most of the remaining post off the deck – the pansies were still blooming, can you believe it? They’ve bloomed since May.  For the moment, we left the hanging pots, but put everything else in the garage. They’re organized into the section nearest the light for the plants overwintering that need to be watered every week or two, and the pots that are just stacked.

The decorations were cleaned and put away; most of the furniture was cleaned and put away. The big bench is still out – it will have to come up in a week or two. And the big, round table stays out all winter.

We got it done before the storm started, and it was a relief. Less to worry about.

What was disturbing was how absolutely filthy all the pieces were. Usually, once we clean off the pine pollan, there’s a little dust over the course of the summer, a smidge of dirt, but we wipe things down and it’s fine.

This year, we had to scrub. There were layers of genuine grime.

All those leaf blowers, running daily for hours and hours. All that tree cutting. All that heavy machinery the new shady neighbors run late at night after deliveries from unmarked trucks – they’re adding to pollution.

The branches used to have a lot of lichen – which indicates good air quality. No more. We even had warnings about poor air quality over the summer.

With all the construction – or, I should say DE-struction, tree cutting, pollution – our wildlife population has seriously declined. We don’t have as many squirrels. The owl hasn’t lived here for years. I don’t see Che Guevara Chipmunk and his family that often. There are no racoons, deer, skunk, coyotes. If you’ve followed my stories here and on Ink in My Coffee since we moved here, my yard was like something out of a Disney cartoon with all the wildlife, because I have the organic yard in the neighborhood.

Gone.

Even with all the pollinators I planted this year, we had very few bees. Plenty of wasps, but few bees.

I’m so disappointed. I mean, I’m disappointed in my fellow humans anyway this year, because too many of them are Covidiots, and too selfish to do something as simple as wear a mask. But the destruction of habitat is appalling.

Earthwhile reports the decline of water quality around Cape Cod. I’m sure. We’ve had numerous alerts of contaminants all year, and have had to boil water. When we moved here, this area was proud of high quality, and we didn’t even put on the Brita filter on the taps.

The Cape and Islands were earning low marks for air quality as far back as 2012, according to this article, but it’s grown exponentially worse in the last three years or so, in my personal experience.

And no one gives a damn. Oh, there are plenty who talk a good game, but when it comes to action, they allow new construction and plenty of destruction of habitat in order to turn a profit.

I have grown disappointed and disillusioned with this area. The people here would rather destroy it to make $5 today than look long term for the good of life for everyone. But then, they demonstrate that character trait daily be refusing to wear masks. It should not be a surprise at all.

It’s been bothering me for years, but this year, seeing the evidence as I put away the furniture for the season, was just crushing.

On a happier note, we’ve had two slight brushings of snow, just enough to look like someone dumped a little powdered sugar on us, not enough to shovel. Since I have surgery tomorrow, I won’t be in any shape to shovel for the next stretch.

The tree is up, and most of the decorations in the living room and the back room. I still have to decorate my office, but that won’t happen until after tomorrow’s surgery.

Solstice is coming up, a week from Monday. I’m ready to increase the light in my life, aren’t you?

Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020: Holiday Decorating

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Cancer

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Not much to report on the garden at all this week. We’ve had a series of storms coming through. My neighbors spend all their time leaf blowing, and then the wind just blows leaves all around because THEY DON’T HAUL THEM AWAY. As usual, doing everything half-assed and spending hours creating noise pollution that does nothing.

I haven’t finished taking in things from the deck, although I will probably do so this weekend. Because of the storms, I’ve delayed putting up the exterior decorations, something else I hope to get done this weekend, although we’re supposed to have more storms.

I suppose I should be grateful it’s all rain and not snow.

The lemon seeds have not sprouted. I’m not sure if it’s because the lemons weren’t actually organic, as marked, and these are sterile seeds, or because it’s off season. They’re in a lovely pot in a warm, sunny window.

I find it alarming that so much seed-saving from grocery-bought food now yields nothing. Too many sterile seeds, and too much corporate control of our food supply.

I’m designing fictional gardens for several stories right now, and thoroughly enjoying it. If there isn’t much to say, plant-wise, over the winter, maybe I’ll share some of that.

The Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti are blossoming, though. They are beautiful, and make us happy every time we walk into a room and see them.

We don’t have real Poinsettias because of the cats. We do have an artificial one, and I have to spray it with Bitter Yuck anyway.

Our neighbor down the street has put lights up on the front of his house, and they are quite lovely. He keeps them on all night.

It seems quite a few people have waited this year to decorate outdoors. There’s a lot of talk about more indoor decorations, since more people who have the option to stay home as much as possible during the holiday season are doing that.

We have the large, artificial tree up – we had to rearrange the furniture in the living room, since the large cat condo lives where the tree usually did. I bought this tree at Pergament in Port Chester for $49.99 in the early 90s. It’s been a lovely workhorse.

We have several artificial trees throughout the house – or rather, we will, when we finish decorating, which will probably take a few more weeks.

We do, however, have a live wreath, pictured at the top of this post. I buy a plain wreath, and then we decorate it however we wish for that year.

We also use a lot of real pinecones in our decorating.

When I take it apart over the winter, I save a handful of the dried greens for the following Solstice – for instance, last year’s wreath will start this year’s Solstice fire on the 21st. The rest of the greens I also keep, and use as kindling throughout the winter for the fireplace.

That’s pretty much it, this week. If the weather lets up a bit, I can put up the outdoor decorations. At the very least, I have to start getting in the furniture and the last big pots in off the deck. It’s been mild, so I haven’t wanted to bring the overwintering plants in yet.

How’s your week in the garden?

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