Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Madness & Daylight Savings Time

Texas Redbud  photo by Phyzome
Is it just me, or has March come listlessly in like a lamb on Librium? These past few days have been like moving through cold molasses both mentally and physically.

The month started off fine. Lord, was it really just over a week ago! If spring wasn't exactly bursting out all over, the signs certainly were closing in all around. Henbit was up and growing. Dandelions were in bloom, and the more adventurous among 'em had put on seed heads.

Even our Texas redbud trees were showing pink flower buds by the second day, and green tips were showing from leaf buds a couple of days later. Seems to me this is a touch early. I always have the best of intentions to faithfully record the dates of first budding, or bud burst, for the various trees and bushes in our immediate area, yet somehow I never do it.

A north wind, crossing the lingering snow field of Oklahoma, carried a chilling breath, but the sun pushed afternoon temperatures near 60F the first several days. In fact, clearing the dried St. Augustine grass from the south-facing beds fronting our house was down right warm work. No doubt that's why we did not persist at it for long.

Down and dirty. The trick is getting up again.
 Working in our front yard drives Beano, our boglen terrier, bonkers. He perches on the back of the sofa, barking and whining behind the window, but he is not to be trusted outside unrestrained.

I swear, Jewish mothers have nothing on this damned dog when it comes to throwing a guilt trip!

A stretch, a yawn and time for a walk!

All things considered, we decided degrassing the front garden plots could wait another day. We would go a wandering.

Ever since we first took up residence in Brook Village, I had my eye on a purple sage bush that lives on a small city-owned plot about a quarter mile from our house. And ever since we first spotted this particular specimen, we have had designs on taking a cutting.

Well, Beano agreed we had put this foraging mission off way too long. I suspect his motivation had more to do with leaving peemail on the neighbors' mulberry tree than with scoring a free sprig of sage.
Sage cutting

Much needed exercise aside, the great benefit of a half-mile hike is that it wipes Beano out for the next few hours. We returned with enough purloined sage to make three good cutting starts. Beano immediately hit his water dish and proceeded to collapse on the cold tile floor of our utility room. He would nap away the remainder of the afternoon, keeping him from under foot.

My theory of March's initial doldrums seems to be supported somewhat by the Farmer's Almanac. Save for a couple or three days when the almanac claimed it would be okay to plant root crops, the bulk of the first half of the month are reportedly the pits for putting seed in the ground.

Now, I'm not sold entirely on planting by the moon. Virtually every old person I knew in my youth swore by it, particularly my old-school farming Aunt Kitty and my Grandma, the witch. Regrettably, when these living libraries of gardening lore were alive and available to me, I had other priorities and failed to avail myself of their considerable wisdom in matters of the Earth.

So we have refrained from further planting, spending these sluggish days in lackluster spurts of preparing beds for seeds to come. A couple of rain days allowed us to build our supply of captured rain water to near 30 gallons, and we at long last installed a flagstone footpath across the breadth of our western plot to allow better access to the back side along the fence.
A stone path will aid access to this plot. The repurposed cat liter buckets contain collected rain water.
Finally, hawk-eyed, unemployed English majors and other perfectionists will note the erroneous 's' on Daylight Savings Time in the title above. The majority of Americans believe the 's' to be the proper pronunciation, and the majority of Americans are dead wrong.

So why use an error on purpose? Daylight Savings Time scores higher in keyword searches than does the proper form.

Today is the first day of the so-called daylight saving time. As we are no longer among the ranks of wage slaves, we join Arizona and others in refusing to participate. So for about the next nine months we will be behind the times, and we are perfectly fine with that.

Y'all come back, now. Hear?

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