Wisdom from the late John Prine

No photo today as I open up this blog for the season. Nothing much to see but bare ground.

But even bare ground is better than the World out There. John Prine was right.

“Blow up your TV”.

“Throw away your paper”

I cancelled cable TV weeks ago, unwilling to pay car payment sized bills to be depressed. MSNBC gone. CNN gone.

I do not get a paper, but I cancelled a dozen sites of a political bent.

The news of the small world around this old farm is that a Norway rat has come to live under the house. Every day he sneaks out at five to look for corn and peanuts under the tube feeder. The property handyman is now involved, and he came over the other afternoon to shove a bar of poison into the rat’s digs. Two days later the rat is still roaming. He tried to get to the ground under the platform feeder, but the resident sheriff is a red squirrel who sent the rat back under.

The handyman and I both agree that the rat did not walk here from Manchester, and even Goffstown would have been too far. Occom’s Razor says he came in a garbage truck, or the dumpster, though he may have stowed away with Amazon, UPS, or FedEx, since they are here many times a day.

And what creature is more of a rover than a rat, and has done as much damage to humans. Eating up grain stores, spreading deadly diseases. Dogs have been bred to dig him out and destroy him.

I am rereading the Aubrey-Maturin sea going novels of Patrick O’Brian. Fighting ships carried chickens, cats, cattle, and once in a mission to islands off Turkey, an rhinoceros as a gift to a local potentate. But these were bit players, compared to the omnipresent Rat. While the ships’ officers drank Claret and port and ate meat , the lower sea-going orders drank grog and ate rats.

And on to a different subject – local hardware stores. On weekends the one in Goffstown is the place to be. I had to park hell and gone, and then entered to find a line that went to the end of the store. The line was serenaded by wire cages full of cheeping baby chickens. I did not want chicks or seed packets, I only wanted 10 bags of potting soil, so I turned around and left, feeling stupid at having violated my own rule of never going into Goffstown on the weekend.

And to anyone wanting to order plants on line this year, here is some information. Bonnie Plants has ads popping up now offering vegetable plants to your front door. A two pack of tomatoes or peppers for 15.00 each. Seven dollars a plant. Truly the Pandemic has taken us into strange times.

Those ordering ornamentals from on line nurseries will be shocked by the companies that have abandoned the sad old USPS for the truck delivery companies. It has always cost to get mail order from the California companies. Add up the price of your order, then double it. But now other companies, burned by dead plants arriving two weeks late last year during the deliberate postal shutdown, have switched to Fed EX and UPS as well.

Yet this does not deter buyers. One excellent nursery in California has now suspended taking orders they cannot handle. They are weeks behind and invite you to look at their catalog anyway, which may not be the best business decision.

Why I bother to order plants from 3000 miles away is a different subject, and one I may get to soon.

It is chill and dreary today, but of course this is New Hampshire in April. But Nashville had its miserable spring days as well. They have names for them.

Dogwood Winter. Blackberry Winter. Cotton Britches Winter.

Published by talesofanashvillegardener

Professional gardener, Experimental Cook. Constant Reader

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