Well, my seedlings are sprouting and my compost is cooking, but my garden still has no soil due to rail in the forecast. Its going to take me a day or three to haul my 6 or 7 cubic foot pile of garden soil from the spot in my drive where the dump truck will place it. I need a few days of no rain for that to happen. Likely, it will be next week. That puts me precariously close to my personal deadline, the date in which I think it best to have seeds in the ground, and that is tax day, April 15. If I have no garden by that date, I will be late. Still, better late than never, at least in zone 9a where I can garden year round.

Our seedlings are sprouting. I can say with joy I will have Roma, Brandywine, and Cour di Bue tomatoes. They are vigorous little seedlings. Also, my eggplant, Ping Tung, is coming up as well as a few Star of David okras. Looks like my grow light is doing its job.

Roma and Brandywine tomato sprouts come up under the grow light.
Roma and Brandywine tomato sprouts come up under the grow light.

My son and I have a bird feeder, and with any bird feeder, its a call for every squirrel in the neighborhood to come for a free buffet. I wouldn’t mind so much, but the cute little furry critters are also crawling over my house. Once my garden begins fruiting, the squirrels will tear through it. That will not do. My back yard is at the edge of a particular family group’s territory. They now visit every day, and I hear them on my roof almost daily now. I can not have squirrels in the attic, nor in the garden, so they have to go. I’ve been practicing my marksmanship skills to eliminate this family unit from our area, I know know where they nest and where they traverse. Now I am no politically correct gardener. I do not believe it is necessary to live-trap vermin and relocate them when they are overpopulated anyway. If you are offended, this is not the blog for you. Modern ninnies reel back in horror at the thought of eliminating squirrels with a pellet rifle, but these are the same folks who would prefer capturing and relocating live roaches or live rats from the garage. So, perhaps you may call me old fashioned. It is no hit on the environment to eliminate vermin, to either eat them (squirrels are good meat), or make them fertilizer. That’s what I have done with two of the three big males that have been fighting over our bird feeder. Fertilizer. Big as they are compared to their litter mates, they are scrawny as squirrels go. The third brother is now spooked, but he keeps coming around. Not for long…

My son and I planted a Lemon tree today. We re-purposed the brick fire ring to circle the new tree plot. My wife and I have always loved the productivity of the Meyer Lemon in our area; many friends have shown up at church with boxes and bags bursting with lemons, so we thought it time to have our own. Lets hope it grows. Here’s to citrus!

Our lemon tree, freshly planted. A lot of compost wen under this root ball.
Our lemon tree, freshly planted. A lot of compost wen under this root ball.

So that’s the garden update, not much, but not idle.

You will discover, as this blog progresses and if you stick it out, that I am rather enthusiastic about birds. I love them, I like to identify them, and I love to photograph them. Recently I chopped up an overgrown shrub on the side of the house and piled up a small batch of brush at the base of my pear trees. I did so hoping to attract birds. Well, it did. This happy fellow now visits daily, he’s a Carolina Wren. He is a diminutive fellow, but he’s brave. I hope to have a camera on him at closer range as days go by.

Happy Carolina Wren makes his presence known on my fence.
Happy Carolina Wren makes his presence known on my fence.
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