Previously, the trowel was for playing games with the scrub jays: try to find this stale almond. You watched me walk over to the tool on top of the barbecue grill, go see what I was up to. Kinda fun to play peekaboo with them and to watch those long crow-like bills poking around under there, theirÂ heads bent down to their toes. They’re on to me.
Yesterday I put out suet for the little birds but not the jays’ expected nuts at first, trying to avoid those few steps into the sun because it was a little later in the morning than I liked and I knew there would be more sun time in the afternoon.
Big and blue and it flew in close, staring me down from the other side of the window and then swooping out in a slalom over the grill. Playtime is serious stuff. I got the hint. Next time I looked up, the trowel was moved halfway across the top, a first. Calvinball, bird style.
This afternoon, with the sky a late shade of gray, I picked up that trowel and walked halfway across the yard and put it in front of one of the holes I’d spaded out. August Pride: that went furthest to the left (I’m recording it here, I’ll never remember later) where it will eventually block out the view of the weather vane the neighbor put on top of the fence years ago, an aged Snoopy with his arms twirling stiffly in the wind. Just peachy–or it will be.Â I scooped out the hole a little more thataway with the trowel, trying to use my arms but not my back.
Then the middle one, on the other side of the bay laurel tree: the Babcock. The variety my friend Constance grew up with and raved over and that I have childhood memories of my Dad saying was a great one among the white types. Again, in a great spot. I was very pleased.
Then going further down the raised bed and to the right of the lemon tree, the Tropic Snow.Â The one that’s supposed to be so ornamental as well as (like the others) among the best in taste tests, but there was just no room to put it where it would be the first thing to see looking up from my window by the computer, at the other end of the bed. It had to go at this end. I’m not so pleased with the spot also because we have some major trimming of a weed tree to do to get optimal sun there, which hasn’t happened yet and probably won’t till spring at the earliest. Putting the peach there now might–might–even make it a little longer of a job for the trimmers to do.
Although. The worst thing that could happen is that they drop a limb and snap the whole sapling off, in which case I’d be back to square one and no time lost than if I hadn’t tried at all; so much better to have a head start and take my chances.
I think it’ll do.
It wasn’t quite five o’clock and, overcast or no, I should really have gone inside at that point. But I didn’t quite right away. I walked up and down, taking it in, admiring the growth and the health of these baby trees bursting with inner life, still green at their new-this-year shoots. They are going to thrive, they are going to bless my family, they are going to give us the best peaches ever, they are going to survive my grandchildren climbing them someday and waving at the neighbors with the you’re-so-vane Snoopy.
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