Sunday, June 12, 2005

The heat, my Ghod, the heat

Some of you are decent people who remember decrying the winter and are forebearing decrying the summer. Goody for you. This is weather I put up with reluctantly in late July and August, not NOW. Now is supposed to be 75, low humidity, and gentle breezes, The Goddess at Her loveliest, not the raddled hungover hag who sits in front of her computer and runs the fan, drinking Macon Villages... damn, that sounds more like me.

Doug came here yesterday and mowed more. Sarah has also mowed. We have the mower at the highest setting, like 4" (10cm) above the minimum, which means that it looks like we need to mow the lawn -- but nothing seems to be dead. Not even Doug, which considering that at 4:30 yesterday afternoon it was 93F /33.9 C in my yard, is pretty remarkable. He also mowed around the individual rather spindly first-year transplanted irises and daylilies we put in a non-border -- that is to say, in little undefined holes in the turf under the encroaching sumac, so when the grass grows up you have to rather scrupulous about discerning grass from cultivar -- last fall. I was most impressed. I hope mowing will keep the sumac at bay. And kill the poison ivy, which is having a great year, apparently.

But despite cutting down grass up to my waist, I don't think we're killing too many plants or animals. The little almond-sized young toad is still hanging around the vegetable gardens. While Doug pushed the very well-mannered Engine of Destruction (Toro Electric Start Personal Pace Recycler) around I picked up yard litter from the reroofing enterprise. This is taking all summer as Paul has some neurosis about making holes in the roof when it is going to rain in less than 24 hours. We have thunder fairly often, he's been varnishing the room and muttering.

Anyway, roofing is a messy business, but I can tell you that in my yard, the preferred habitat of the Eastern Red Eft, the adolescent form, land-roving form of the aquatic Eastern Red-Spotted Newt("Mom, I don't know if I'm terrestrial or not... I'm just trying it out. Don't have a cow." "Honey, don't take it so hard, we all went through a phase like that, he'll want to settle down in a nice pond and breed when he's ready." "But what will his grandparents say?") is under pieces of heavy brown paper. Not tar paper or shingle or cardboard or rotting plywood or decaying furniture.

This one needed to be moved out of harm's way; it's the smallest eft I remember ever seeing, there in my huge glove:

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I left one big piece, with two efts living under it, and transferred the next two efts there while I picked around the nasty Rubbermaid vat full of rainwater and broken canning jars. There's a problem with tidying that up:

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He's very proud and doesn't want urban renewal. Doug remarked that there were certainly no mosquito larvae wiggling in that body of water.

But it's too hot and I don't want to plant anything and the mosquitoes are intense and one sweats a great deal and I hope it gets better soon, because I don't want to knit much or do anything but sit in front of the fan with a chilled glass of Macon Villages.


Laurie said...

Is that REALLY a frog tongue? Or is it well-placed garden detritus?

Your post said it all about this weather. Perfectly.

Norma said...

Heeheeheeeee, I love this post. I don't have any salamanders, and I miss them. Where I lived for part of my childhood, Bristol, Vermont, we had them. I had the most wonderful pet toad living in my veg. garden a couple years ago. I loved him to no end. I found him under a pile of leaves when I was cleaning up the garden in the spring. I made him a little shelter under an old clay pot, and when I was up weeding each morning, he'd come out to say hi, just like a little puppy. Sweetest thing EVER. My husband wouldn't believe me, so I made him come up with me one morning; and he didn't want to believe, but he became a Believer then. Then one morning the little toad was gone. And I mourned, more than I have ever mourned a pet before.

Scullery Maid said...

Macon Villages white burgundy? Save some for me!