Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The land of caged trees

My Smyrna quince is, as you can see, putting on a crazy amount of new growth. The whole upper half of the photo is a new stem. I honestly don't think I've ever seen such a vigorous fruit tree. And no, no fertilizers were involved. I'm of the school of thought that says "Let them get their roots established before you encourage them to go crazy with the leaves." So it's been bone meal only so far.

The deer* have been dutifully cropping any plant structure that's not enclosed in wire mesh. That includes the gorgeous red Japanese maple that I was just about to photograph and post here. I wanted to show it to the world, and especially to my mother, because the seedling came from Mom's place a couple of years ago. It'll be fine--it's not the first time the deer have nipped it--but it is not as aesthetically dumfounding as it was a week ago. Mental note: Make cage for maple tree. *sigh*

In other news, pigs fly. Or so it seems. Our bees eat so much sugar syrup. We're talking as much as four cups of cane sugar per day. We're supposed to keep feeding them until they stop taking it. I had no idea how greedy the little insects would be. Yesterday they caught me very badly off guard and they went without syrup for half a day**, so now I'm full of guilt and worry, wondering if I've killed a bunch of them unintentionally. I doubt it, but still.

Tonight the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture is speaking at a local library. I plan to attend, even though it means missing both the Sweater Support Group at the yarn store (no, I'm not making a sweater--it's open to anyone who knits anything) and American Idol***. I want to meet him and hear what he has to say, but I also want to ask him where he stands on a certain issue. Wish me luck. I'm never very articulate on political matters, so I'm likely to get garbled when the stakes are high.

* I am not exaggerating when I say that some nights there will be upwards of seven or eight of them in the yard. They are not afraid of us. The s.o. shoots them in the butt with BBs, yet they return. I race at them with snarling dogs on leashes, yet they return. I guess we will have to resort to filling our freezer with venison one of these days.

** Sugar syrup is easy to make, obviously, but it has to cool for quite a long time before it can be served up. I have a pot of it cooling right now because my morning walk revealed one hive to be at 1/4 tank.

*** And this week is the music of Queen! Arrrrghh. This week of all weeks.