The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Sassy Made a Bed for Herself - On Mrs. Ichabod's Clothing.
The Call of the Wild

Sassy rang her servant for a laugh this morning.
She must have read the recent post.

We are re-arranging the Ichabode a bit. The guest room is a convenient place to sort clothes, but the garments were knocked from the futon to the floor, two days in a row. So I asked Sassy, "Did you do that?" She could have denied it, but she got all nervous and began her mercy pose, leaning back. I wanted to comfort her, because it was no big deal. She stiff-armed me. Eventually we got back to normal. We agreed - she is the best behaved dog and simply did not leave messes.

Dogs love to claim areas for their beds. Sassy has a routine of scratching up her nest that drives us nuts at times. "Is it fluffy enough for you?" She continues to scratch up the blankets. Finally they are just right and she plops down.

Hardware and Software
We seem to be over our three days of rain and flood watches. Doubtless the low lying areas took a hit again. The squirrels were up early to enjoy some fruit for breakfast. Now that other gardeners are writing about their blueberry harvests, I am tempted to get some bushes from Almost Eden.

No matter what we do, Creation arranges itself to suit the new circumstances, within certain bounds. As someone noted, if we concede physical development of the hardware to the evolutionists--which is absurd--how does anyone account for the software, the programming of Creation?

Believing in Creation through the Word, because the Word teaches us this mystery, we can see how abundantly clear this doctrine is, wherever we look.

If people promote the monoculture of grass and bushes, they have the predestined response of Creation. They are not supporting more than robins and squirrels, so they have robins and squirrels, with a few bonus creatures.

When people shriek and spray everything that moves outdoors, pretty soon, nothing much is moving anymore.

The software built into Creation should astonish us daily. We not only have the instincts, as they say, where the animals raise their young and teach them to live on their own, but also the constant interplay between all the elements, plants, animals, micro-organisms, and weather.

LI has a certification in this process, which began with the Gannt Chart, a way to organize big projects. Microsoft sells software to facilitate this, called MS Project. But the flowers and insects are already certified in Project Managment.

When plants are hurting from pests, they send a chemical signal to alert the beneficial insects. If there is damage, most beneficial insects help by laying eggs on or near the pests. The hungry hatchlings eat the pest and the damage stops or slows down measurably. The babies grow up to be beneficial adults and often live from nectar and pollen at that point. Ladybugs are one exception, eating pests at both stages.

Common gardening lore makes a lot out of ladybugs and lacewings, but there is a vast army of beneficial insects out there. Most Beautiful Lawn and Garden methods decimate that population and people do not look for or notice the difference. One gardener, at a meeting, said he began his garden by laying down Preem, which is a poison, killing weeds and a lot more besides.

Dahlias.

Weeds are part of the plan. They are literally Guardians of the Soil - a classic book on their value. Weeds hold soil in place, mine minerals like calcium from below, and serve as havens for bees and beneficial insects. Dinnerplate Dahlias are very impressive, but tiny insects like the inconspicuous flowers of certain weeds and common flowers.

Some people want to kill weeds with toxins or pull them up and haul them away. That applies to poison ivy and truly toxic plants, but weeds are candy and nutrition for the soil.

Novice organic gardeners know that green stuff is loaded with nitrogen plants can use. Green stuff heats up the compost, killing pathogens and weed seeds. Weeds are an abudant source of green, so I let them grow to some extent and use them for beneficial insect havens and mulch.

I have plenty of ragweed and pigweed now. Ragweed is ugly but a good plant for beneficial insects. A little definitely goes a long way. Pigweed is more attractive and appropriate for Hog Country. One cancer clinic is called H.O.G. in this area - Hanson Oncology Group, to attract Arkansas fans who are ailing. Pigweed is also good for beneficial insects.

We adjusted the far backyard by trimming trees for sunshine, so it now features a group of taller varieties:

  • Queen Ann's Lace
  • Pigweed - already there
  • Cow Vetch - already there - growing on the fence
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Chaste Tree
  • Buckwheat
  • Ragweed - already there
  • Sunflowers.

I also placed logs and flat watering pans around the area to support the toads.

Fortunately I do not need to learn new software to make this work. The software is already in place. I only need to observe and learn about what is already going on before my eyes. Now, when I bend down to look closely at perfect roses, I see little creatures that protect rather than damage.