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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
From the Garden Bench
I find my favorite garden bench in the shade, sit back, open a book and get lost in its pages.
Summertime, the living is easy. The gardens are all weeded, the plants well tended, and spent flowers are deadheaded. It is time to relax and enjoy the garden. I find my favorite garden bench in the shade, sit back, open a book and get lost in its pages.
Time for a reality check! I go to sit down on my favorite garden bench and plan on reading a book, but then I spy the watering can that whispers to me, "Psst, those newly planted shrubs need watering." I look around and notice the seed heads of plants that need to be deadheaded. On further inspection I notice some prickly weeds that escaped my attention until now, growing in between the plants. The weed flowers are ready to burst open, and if I wait another hour, it will be sending its seeds parachuting into the wind and into the rest of the garden.
So I put away my book, change my clothes, get out my garden tools and proceed to snip, pull, prune and rake everything in sight of my perch. I know I am not going to enjoy relaxing on that bench until the garden surrounding it is looking pristine.
At last the work is done. I take a shower, put on clean clothes, grab my book and head out into the garden. Once again I sit down on my favorite bench ready to open my book to read, when suddenly two hummingbirds dart quickly by my head. Both birds are ignoring me; one is intent on protecting its territory, the other one invading it. As one gives up and flies away with a buzz, I watch the victorious one land on the bird feeder, taking a victory drink. Then just as quickly he darts over and lands on a thin branch. The small bird perches and watches, waiting for the next interloper that dares invade this little one's space. When the invader arrives on the scene, it's back to the two of them darting and buzzing and chasing each other until one gives up and flies away. The victorious one flies in front of me, hovers for a moment to check me out and see if I am something to be concerned about. Then just as quickly he flies back to his perch, probably deciding I am nothing it needs to be spending precious energy chasing away.
I settle into watching the bees fly from flower to flower in search of sweet nectar. They are so intent on their tasks they ignore me, as I stare into their world, watching and observing what it is like to be a bee. Suddenly, a white spider jumps out between the petals of a flower and grabs a bee, quickly giving it a bite. The spider's venom works fast and the bee stops struggling. The spider holds its meal motionless for awhile, and then begins to consume its freshly caught meat.
From my bench, I watch the endless stories going on in the garden. A bee murdered before my very eyes, the war of the hummingbirds, the tenderness of a papa swallowtail feeding his brood, all in a day's adventure in the garden. I put down my book, knowing it is not going to be as fascinating as what is going on right in front of me. Tragedy, mayhem, even love stories are all part of the ongoing saga. When all my chores are finished all I need to do is take a seat, relax and observe the drama unfolding in the kingdom of the garden.
by Debbie Teashon