Man, those praying mantises are vicious!

This one’s just for my neighbor Marcia.

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Be careful what you wish for

Like, say, rain, for example. It was so, so, so dry in August and September, and we all–I know I did–silently promised that we’d be good forever if the heavens would just send us some rain, to save the tomatoes and toad lilies and chrysanthemums. Well, our prayers have been answered, most prodigiously. It’s been raining for days. And not just sissy-ass showers. I mean deluges. Soak-the-cellar, leap-over-the-river-to-get-into-the-car torrential downpours. And they don’t really show any sign of letting up.

I did manage to sneak in a quick mowing of the lawn over the weekend. But I’ve given up any hope the considerable number of green tomatoes still on my plants will ripen after all this rain. I know in the long run it’s good for the garden, and for the environment at large. But my spirits get a tad downtrodden when, day after day, I awaken to gray skies—and then have to fight the odd driving inability that descends on Philadelphians en masse when there’s rain in the air. It’s as though they’ve never seen the stuff before: Route 422 backs up, the Schuylkill Expressway becomes a parking lot, and in general, people just drive stupid. I’ve never lived anywhere else long enough to figure out: Is this just us, or is it this way everywhere?

October already?!

How did that happen? You’d never know it from my garden, where tomatoes are still ripening (okay, slowly, but ripening!), zinnias are blooming their heads off, toad lilies have begun their show (I love me some toad lilies!), and the chrysanthemums haven’t even begun. The roses, too, are particularly persistent this year; I still have blooms on ‘Mme. Isaac Perriere,’ ‘Cottage Rose,’ and one other–the softer pink form of Mme. Isaac–whose name escapes me at the moment (!). In fact, it’s still quite a floral wonderland out back and along the side. On today’s to-do list: mow the lawn (for the last time this season, I hope), trim things up a bit, pick some of those toad lilies to take into work tomorrow, and admire the big, fat bees lazing among my remaining zinnias, of which there are quite a few! My photo-taking skills are not improving, alas. 😉

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