It is Monday – the heat of summer is here with a thick layer of humidity. I have spent a good part of the weekend inside due to this high heat/humidity combination. It is driving me nuts and so today I decided I would venture into the great wilds of my weedy backyard early in the morning. I would get my “fresh” air and outdoor fix before the temperatures begin to rise.
I also knew to think small – you can’t weed the whole yard in this weather so I choose one bed that was really over run. There are Iris plants on one end hidden among a tall set of weeds, really tall to hide Iris plants. The other side was fenced with new strawberry plants developing. The problem there was the weeds were high, lush and fully developed, some ready to go to seed. The strawberry plants are small and just getting settled into a new location and a great deal more sun. They had been in a little circle around a neighbors plum tree. It was going to be a matter of careful pulling and watching to not pull up the strawberry plants that were well hidden.
I was ready. I had on long pants, a bright blue t-shirt with yellow print and bug spray. My hair was pulled back and up to so I could see and also be cooler. It was already 80 degrees, climbing, and it was not yet 9:00 am. I would not have much time before the sun and heat hit the area I was working on. So to work I went.
I know I said I was into the wild. Well, as it turned out my backyard that had been ignored for weeks had turned into a wild meadow. It was beautiful in one sense. It is green, lush and dense with plants. But..
The grass is a good six to eight inches high and wet from the humidity. The weeds have taken over which means it has left nice hiding places for wild critters to nest. The plants I want to grow are there but it takes a bit to find them. The insects are having a field day. Literally!
I began pulling to find the ground but under the Iris’ and along the strawberry fence there now was a rabbits nest with four baby bunnies. They are very cute but NOT wanted. I was not going to kill them but decided to chase them off and let them fend for themselves out in the neighborhood. Three took off like good bunnies should but one moved just a few feet along the fence line and the tall grass. I kept weeding his direction but he was not moving. I tap on his bottom to finally get him to move to the other end of the fence. (2 more feet) I knew he was scared but I still did not want him in the garden eating all the plants.
I weeded some more aware that two bubble bees were now moving around the area as well. Fine – bees don’t scare me. I know to move carefully and not scare them. So on I weeded. I pushed our little bunny one more time and got him to move to the neighbors fence and continued working my way around the garden. I had found strawberry plants doing well under all the tree starts, purslane, and other weeds.
I was just finishing this bed and was thinking I might be able to weed the rhubarb and horseradish bed when the bees took over. I moved away but while gathering my tools and bucket of weeds one little critter decided he liked my bright blue shirt or my sweaty head or both. He headed my way. I tried moving with care but the wet and wild yard got the best of me and so did the bee.
Circling my head and landing right behind my ear I felt that tell tale sting. I brushed him aside and headed quickly away from the bed. Knowing also I am an allergic kind of girl, I moved quickly to the house took my allergy meds, put Benadryl cream on the sting and found an ice pack. Two hours later with a sore spot on my neck (tender but not too swollen) I returned to clean up my tools, throw the weeds away and left the beds to the rabbits, the bees and the now 96 degree heat. (current afternoon temp. feels like 100 with the humidity)
So much for my day in the “wild” backyard!
NOTE: My research told me that bumble bees are attracted to blues, yellow and smells like sweat. I was a perfect target for our bees today!
You have written a lively description of your morning in the yard. I imagine that I can actually see it. You are a more dedicated gardener than I am, but I sympathize! We have also had so much rain and it is now so hot! (I’m in the Chicago area.) We had planted nothing this year due to a tree falling down in a winter storm and taking over much of the patio and lawn. It’s gone now, just today I planted my flower pots and herbs. Best of luck with your gardening!
I loved your description of working in the yard. I also try to do one part of the yard but it is so hot this year that I can’t spend much time before I’m soaked. So far, I’ve gotten a pile of old rotting wood removed from the fence line. Good job — glad the bee didn’t cause too much trouble.
I think your heat and humidity are headed our way. We are in the low 90’s today with the promise of higher temps and humidity as the week goes on. I took today to cutting the grass because I knew I wouldn’t have the energy later in the week with the forecast.
We moved last night about 7:30 hoping it was a bit cooler but it was still a hot job. Glad you got yours done. Hope it does not get to hot for you guys!
I admire your work ethic and trying to get ahead of the heat. I won’t tell you about our predicted high for today, only to say that it’s lower than your 9 am heat. It’s making it hard for my tomatoes to ripen, so I’m definitely hoping for some warmer weather soon.
We have been cold until recently so my tomatoes are just forming. They are no where near to turning red. Hope they make it before frost!