Friday, June 15, 2012

Consider the lilies

The Easter lilies are blooming out back this week, either too late or too early --- depending on how you look at it.

Easter was several weeks ago, so they're a little late for that. But since growers force the bulbs to make sure blooms coincide with the date of a movable feast, this is closer to a more natural cycle, in Iowa at least. On the other hand, in previous years these have bloomed more than two weeks later since coming home from church and being shoved nto the ground. That's another sign of our premature spring.

Old-fashioned daylilies (above) are blooming, too, also a couple of weeks ahead of the usual schedule. Although many of the new hybrid lilies are showier, I still like the old daylilies best.

It also is extremely dry --- a Register headline this morning announces "Southern Iowa counties in drought." I can't read the story, since my quota of free stories for the month has been met. But I'll take the headline's word for it --- the fried condition of the flower bed south of the house, which I do not water, lends it credence.

This is a little disappointing because I have a new push (or in this case, pull) lawn mower and limited opportunity to exercise it now that only weeds are thriving.

The old lawn mower --- perhaps 15 years old --- finally gave up. Last summer, it was running too fast; this season, too slow. Finally, it just stopped. It's hard to complain about this, since it was cheap in the first place (but had the mandatory Briggs & Stratton engine).

So I went uptown to True Value, figuring I'd find something comparable. You know how that goes. The Snappers looked classier. I've never had a mower that collected clippings before. Nor had I ever had a self-propelled push mower and considering the sloping nature of my lawn --- than sounded like fun.

It is, but the adjustment first time out wasn't easy. Fortunately only the back yard needed to be cut, so the neighbors' view was limited. The mower wanted to trot, I wanted to pace. Finally, we reached a compromise.


Although there's rain in the forecast, it looks like we'll stay dry through lunch at the museum and dedication of the Nickerson monment early this afternoon. Here's hoping. Then --- let it rain. Please.

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