22 August 2013

Un peu de tout... or Once in a Blue Moon

I am so spoiled for being tucked away for two months each summer in my own little world that it's always a bit of a shock to see what changes took place in the other parts of town while I was hibernating in my gardens.

An ice cream parlor replacing the quirky bookshop near my trolly stop was the saddest change.  Really?  A double dip instead of a page-turner??  Ah well. Who knows what drives the retail mind. This will be the second independent bookshop that closed on that street. Amazing considering the clientele in that area is mostly students and professors.  You would think they would be supportive of book sellers, but there you are.  I know I was always more prone to buy a book than a sweet, and still am.

My morning walk has revealed small signs of Fall, most notably all the chubby acorns that litter the pavement here and there.  (The ones the squirrels haven't purloined and, well, squirreled away.)  I remember collecting them as a child and then taking a pen and drawing little faces on the green orbs, turning them into smiling tam-o-shanter'd people.  So of course I had to pocket a few the other morning and try my hand at eyes, nose and off-centered smile.  (Some talents just never leave you....)

They are tearing our road up.  Again.  First it was the water lines, with huge trenches dug down both sides of the road as new pipe was laid down.  Then it was the gas lines, with digging that extended up and over our property lines and resulted in some new pavement being poured here and there.  (I was saddened by this since I loved the old cracked sidewalk where the odd Harebell or Loosestrife could push up.)  Now it's the water lines.  Again.  This time there are long massive pipes of various widths and age ranging the sidewalks, cobbled together with futuristic Mad Max fittings and buried under enormous mounds of tar and gravel at every driveway and front walk. Presumably these humps are a preventative measure to keep home owners from tripping over the pipe, although how one couldn't see and avoid falling over a 7-inch round pipe is beyond my thinking.  But apparently some risk management wizard decided it's easier and safer to climb up and over a pile of uneven sticky asphalt several times a day in order to gain access to your front door.  (I felt compelled to yodel the first time I made the climb.)  My neighbor suggested we use ski poles to get in and out.  I said I'll need a sherpa on Market day to get myself and my parcels over the rise.

The Moonflowers have started to bloom.  This may seem small peas for the average gardener but for me it is a huge triumph of timing.  Every spring I wait impatiently for the cold weather to wane a bit so I can plant my Moonflower seeds. I spend much of April waiting for them to germinate, carefully transplanting them into pots in May and then watching their slow progress over their twig trellises throughout the summer. By August, I usually see the first buds starting to form and then as September's chilier nights progress my gardener's panic sets in, wondering if they will blossom before the first frost.  Sadly, the past two years have been a total failure, with Moonflower vines keeling over in the cold, set with at least a dozen buds that never open.

But this year, things are different.  I've had three enormous pearly blossoms so far, with another 7 on the way.  Happily, they are taking their time and granting me a gorgeous, pale bloom every few nights, drawing out the sublime pleasure.  It occurred to me, after looking at the calendar and noting wryly that this week we have been blessed with a luminous "Blue Moon", that this might be the frequency with which I can expect this occurrence.  Let's hope not.

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