Tuesday, July 15, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird

Somewhere during the Fourth of July weekend everything exploded -- which is what the Fourth of July is for, actually.

Since then I've been picking about a pint of sungold tomatoes daily and peering anxiously at the beans. I have seen the future and it is coming up cucumbers. When I am not squashing spotted cucumber beetles or striped cucumber beetles between my bare thumb and index finger, I am fretting over the peach tree.

Be honest. Are these not the ugliest peaches you have ever seen?

That doesn't bother me. And although I'm not happy about it, I'm not particularly bothered they're only the size of large apricots (gee, that "thinning" concept really was important!). What really set me off and running was that a mockingbird slashed into (and ruined) one of the peaches.

Harper Lee wrote something to the effect that shooting a mockingbird would be a sin because a mockingbird doesn't hurt anybody, it just sits and sings. Respectfully I submit that Ms. Lee didn't own any peach trees.

I picked and set the spoiled peach aside ("spoiled"? Like the buckshot disease and the oriental fruit moths and the curlicoes left anything "unspoiled"?) and got out the bird netting. And then I wondered how I was going to get the net up and over the tree. I unfurled the 14' x 14' squeare in the driveway and stared at it a while. Then I got the ladder and clipped my cellphone to my belt. MP would not be pleased about my getting on the ladder by myself , but if I fell and broke both legs, I could at least dial 911 while gazing at my beloved peaches. (MP hates it when I get on ladders, and I'm not sure why. Although it may have something to do with how I crash through doorways because I misjudge the clearance, and he just doesn't want to see that talent taken into three dimensions.)

There's a reason fishing nets are weighted.

After I ate the net, wore the net, and picked the net off every screw and splinter on the ladder, I got the net over the tree using my martial arts staff. The net didn't completely cover the tree, however, so I secured what I could with bread ties and then hung a wind chime over the large uncovered part. Now the peaches are ugly, the tree looks weird, and the birds are confused (or laughing). I hope I entertain my neighbors as much as I entertain myself.

I did in fact sample the green peach that got slashed. It was unripe, of course, but I can tell that they're going to be lovely. Perhaps within a week?

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