22 tagged with #summer

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i stepped outside and could feel the sun rubbing against my arms, like the air was barbed and pricking my skin. heat rose from the ground, tickling under my chin. i wanted to jog to the gym, but the thought of exerting myself under this sun wilted all motivation.

instead, i went to the yard and stuck my fingers under the hay, feeling for the cold dampness that kept my potato plants healthy. this is a rough place to grow potatoes, sometimes. some of them haven't broken the surface yet, and i can't bear to cover them with grass cuttings until i can see them. but my eyes swim in the heat, and it's only mid-june, and i don't know what they want.

i covered them. come back to me soon, potatoes.

14 June 2018 22:22

wet season

i left a plastic cup next to the green onions; over 24 hours, it almost overflowed with rain. the shoots stretch fanatically towards the sky, their cells turgid with fluid as they race to outgrow their cousins. the ones that fall, i pinch off in a quick twist so i can dice it and freeze it before it rots in the dirt. i want to have green onions late into the winter seasons when nothing grows. i will not let any of these go to seed, or become snail food.

all the potatoes i buried have rotted, and i threw them back into the compost in disappointment. ironically, the potatoes my housemate threw into the compost months ago have sprouted, so i extracted those and replaced my failed sprouts.

i never understand what plants want. sometimes, i squat in the grass, staring at them as if they will mutter their desires to me if only i paid enough attention to them. when i was a child, i'd see my father doing the same, while my mother rolled her eyes at him. at least i understand that.

10 June 2018 17:24

to the earth

(mentions animal death)

we walked through the quiet cove, middle-aged hemlocks locking overhead in a canopy that keeps us cool. a sight ahead stops us short; a shiny, ropey black line draped across the crook of a tree forked near the ground.

"black ratsnake," i said. a rattler would have asked us to go away by now. it wasn't moving, and i couldn't see the head from the trail, so i cautiously circled around to the other side of the tree. its eyes were hard to see, under the cloud of flies looking for a soft spot in the scales to reach the flesh.

"snake ran out of snake. it's dead for sure."

and i thought, how peaceful it must be, to know that you are out of snake, drape yourself over a log, and slowly give your body back to the forest.

later, a garter snake barely flinched when i walked past it; i bent down and looked at its healthy, full body, dark scales that gave off a rainbow sheen. it curled into a question mark, resting its chin on its body to face me.

the world is full of things.

08 June 2018 00:14

breakfast fellows

when the chipmunk creeps across the brickwork, its position is given away by the rustling of weeds above its head. it pushes its head out, looking at me while i have breakfast; experimentally, i lift an arm, in simulation of a spreading wing. faster than i can see, it's gone, leaving a trace of quivering stalks. i smile; this one has learned how to hide.

i've watched a single squirrel for years; it's old now, for sure, moving with a relaxed swagger along the curb. it's black from head to rump, with a rust-red tail and two lighter splotches on its back. this squirrel, too, flinched when i raised my arm, but only to flatten briefly while regarding me with suspicion. but it knows i'm no predator, only an occasional antagonizer.

there's a rabbit i recognize because it likes to sit in the shade of my motorcycle wheel while ripping at the plantain leaves pushing up through the brickwork. some years, i try to defoliate all the weeds myself, because the dying hemlock needles collect under them and make a startlingly slippery surface. this year, i don't think i'll bother.

05 June 2018 23:16

it's so humid

it's so humid that i cannot really see across the river, for all the water molecules trapped in the air. for all the pollen and the particles of burnt fuel and all the insects and all the fuzz from mammals shedding their coats.

on the trail ahead of me, a man paused. when i looked beyond him, i knew why; a deer was attempting to cross from one stand of trees to the next. it was probably a button buck. it almost didn't realize we were there. minutes later, i passed a group of children herded by a tired parent, but didn't bother telling them a deer was nearby.

countless toddling chipmunks scattered underfoot, some of them not even getting off the path when i pass them, because they don't see me as a threat. it's always the smallest animals that make the most noise, rustling the undergrowth in loud chattering fights. whole saplings shake when they fight, sometimes.

it's so humid.

01 June 2018 17:55

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