Crudeness for today out of the way (it's a chore, I can tell you), I can enlighten you as to the joys of the day at Camp Knitingale, where we decided that the lack of deluge from the heavens for a few hours was reason enough to go tend to the (wild overgrown insanity that might well be hiding more than just our garden gnomes...a hound dog, maybe, or a '57 chevy) yard. This meant bending over approximately 800,000 million times to pick up 800,000 million slimey sticks and branches to put them in wheelbarrows and haul them over to this burn pile:
It is now approximately 2.5 times the size it was when I took the photo (yes, I went back and helped him...I'm not that mean, or that clever that I can come up with an excuse not to) with Mr. K for perspective and I'll remind you now that it is the third such burn pile we have compiled from the sticks the heavens saw fit to throw at us back in December. Mr. K says we're only about 2/3 finished....which makes me question my choice to use him for perspective, as that particular perspective makes my back muscles throw up their hands in despair before packing a bag for parts unknown. But anyway.
It has been said many times that zucchini could just about resolve the world's hunger problems in that every beginning gardener hereabouts has, at one time or another, innocently planted some of the stuff, only to find that it produced more than enough to assure that they would no longer have friends by the end of growing season....and those souls at work who are stuck with them to scurry away in fear at the mere hint of any sort of basket that might hold produce. (Such gardeners often have to smuggle their knitting into the office in pockets, lest the knitting bag be mistaken for a cache of zucchini and both bag and knitter beaten to death with sticks). Given that I don't care for zucchini (I think I've said that I'm a veggie-phobe...I sometimes wonder if my mother was terribly frightened by a veggie platter while pregnant with me. If so, it apparently wasn't one of the ones with dip, because I love ranch dip.) you can sure that I've never planted so much as a single seed of the stuff. However, the people who owned the house before me planted--not zucchini, but it's fruity equivalent, at least in these parts: rhubarb.
Although I love most fruits, rhubarb is a puzzle to me in that it seems like nothing so much as red, sour celery which I have a hard time imagining a pressing need for. And so, not surprisingly, I ignore this rhubarb year after year and, year after year, it dies and disappears in autumn like it should, only to return like Lazurus, growing up from apparently barren earth in the Spring and spreading out like chicken pox in a daycare. I don't even water this stuff. And, at least a few times every season, I manage to mangle huge clumps of it in the mower. It forgives me, though, or it withstands it because it is hatching a sinister plot to take over the world. I'm not completely sure which. But I did get to looking at it today and it IS kind of cool-looking while it's growing:
For the unitiated (and trust me, I was not initiated willingly--gardens and I share an uneasy alliance at best), this is how those giant leaves look when they first come out. They're all wrinkled and wadded up, (kind of like my green silk panties that got caught in the washing machine workings a few years ago and I had to watch while a burly guy named "Earl" hauled them out of the bowels of the machine with a leer and said "I'm guessing these are yours?" Good times.) and they kind of explode out of the little red thingies. (Quality botany terminology all the way, baby. Don't say I never offered you anything educational.)