Saturday, October 24, 2009
Dahlia Daze and Squirrels Baffled
Productivity this week was at an all-time high. I was the master of the zen of get-it-done. And so no time for a Garden Putter post. Though I posted on Around the Mall this week--after previewing a wonderful show at the Sackler, "Falnama: The Book of Omens."
This weekend will rush by, I have no doubt. But for now, in the early morning, I'm enjoying a beautiful fall scene through my huge windows. The trees are a delightful copper yellow with burnt orange hints and still plenty of forest green. In the garden, the leaf litter is piling up and every time, we step outside, we bring inside a trail of detritus. The dahlias are in their glory. Mine are the size of your fist and they are swollen and heavy, but somehow their seemingly delicate stems manage to hold them high. They blaze with color as if they can sense that they have just about 20 days to strut their stuff before the first hard frost. It's unusually warm and wet, but not raining, so the air clings and smells deliciously like decay and fall and chill and cooking and family warmth and holidays and presents and shopping and everything all at once. Tomorrow, J and I will head up to Pennsylvania to Harper's Ferry for a hike with our friends, who are birders, and to see the leaves.
Speaking of birds. Last night, as I stumbled home with my friends from another fabulous Friday night party (I was hardly sober, slurring my words and laughing at the messy, silly results), we all stopped to marvel at the decidedly overbuilt, over engineered, over structured bird pole that I bought from a picture I'd seen on the Internet. When you buy on faith and hopefulness guided only by a picture, a testimonial and some barely acknowledged measurements, you have no idea really of the true scale of these things. When the enormous box (and the surprising shipping costs) arrives at your door, you keep the faith. So, a good idea at the time becomes, under the influence of many hours of scotch, tequila and gin, a huge giggle-inducing structure planted now firmly in my tiny front yard.
Now I had to defend my actions, bolstered by online testimonials, but undone by the lime-laced liquors I had consumed. Squirrels will hardly attempt to climb this behemoth. (And I must get a picture to share.) It comes complete with a patented squirrel baffle that hangs like an enormous cow bell from the pole. Rigged with a set of interior springs, it is an engineering marvel.
My friends, my husband, my brother and I stood there last night laughing so hard at its ridiculousness, we could barely breathe. The Putterer