May 2, 2010

May Things

There are two mallards showing up in the yard every day: a male and a female. The female appears to be pregnant. The male arrives first and scouts out the lawn, and then quacks until she flies in, all wobbly and rotund. They waddle around the yard, the female feeding from fallen seed beneath the bird feeders while the male keeps watch. Then they sit side by side in the shade and just hang out. Zoe was here over the last week, and chased them off again and again, but it doesn't seem to have left an impression. I am glad to have them. I'm hoping that they're nesting in the marsh, where I see them feeding at night. Maybe I'll have ducklings. Grandmother tells me that a mallard pair had a nest in our juniper bushes a few years ago, but a black snake ate the eggs. The black snakes really are something out of southern gothic fiction. They are like giant pitch black garden hoses. RC hates snakes, and kills them every chance he can. I wonder what it is like to be a duck.

The spring weather didn't seem to last very long. It was 90 degrees today, and humid as August. Not that I'm complaining, as I am just the kind of weirdo who loves this jungly weather. I managed to get my garden in last week. RC begrudgingly cleared me a dirt patch in his magnificent lawn, telling me repeatedly that that was the end of his involvement in the garden. RC hates vegetable gardens. I am not sure why. Anyway, it's a fairly small patch, but I've packed in as much as I can. Zucchini, cantaloupe, eggplant, bell peppers (red, green, and orange), tomatoes (cherry, beefsteak, and better boy), and cucumbers. I planted marigolds all around the edge, hoping to deter insects and rabbits. No telling if this plant husbandry stuff actually will work here, where insects and rabbits abound. I have a little container kitchen garden on the other side of the house. I am pretty excited about all of this. I haven't had a proper garden since elementary school. Thunderstorms are supposed to be rolling through tomorrow, and I'll welcome a break from all the watering I've been doing to combat the temperature.

The mosquitoes and tourists have arrived. I am glad I have a few months here before I start school. Months to sit on my front porch and watch the boats and listen to the drawbridge horn at night. To sip gin and tonics and end this sojourn just as I began it, but happier. I am comforted in knowing that the island will change very little in my absence.

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