cool breeze

The couch in my living room has finally been cleared off. After a nearly 8-month hiatus, I am stretched out on the couch feeling the breeze come through the front window.

It feels good. Today's high temperature was 80.9℉ at 2:21 PM; it has dropped to 77 now (3:45 PM) and the sun will start to drop behind the trees in about an hour. Sunset is officially at 8:50 PM tonight but there's at least three hours of mountain between my couch and the artificial horizon. When the trees are fully leafed out - as they are this time of year - I lose another hour.

That doesn't bother me, but my tomatoes and other veggies are having a hard time of it. Next year I'll be sure to get extra-short-season stuff. I should have started the seeds earlier, to be sure, but I bought and planted them when I could justify it in my budget. But if I get anything at all out of this, my first mountain garden, I'll be pleased.

The Asheville newspaper had a headline a little while back about this year's rainfall. We are officially out of drought status and have all the water we need plus a bit more. The undergrowth and insect life seem to be doing very well. Especially the ants.

Last year I didn't see a single ant in the house that I can recall. This year we have some little tiny ones (they remind me of Florida ants but they are more laconic) that invaded my hummingbird feeder and are turning up in odd places around the house. Then we have larger ones, of a type that I haven't seen since I left NY in the summer of 2000. They don't cause too much trouble. At least not yet.

I rarely kill an insect on sight, but if I see an ant on my nightstand I squash it. While sunning my pasty-white legs on the deck this afternoon, I saw a very interesting grasshopper. Even though they tend to be destructive, I let it be. And now I suppose I should try to look it up.

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