Gardening Game

I’d just decided that gardening is simply a game I am playing so there’s no need for me to fuss about anything that grows or doesn’t grow, when I went out to work on the yard and was greeted with several unpleasantnesses: more stinkhorn mushrooms and eggs, a mess of cat diarrhea, a scourge of spurge, and tarantula wasps. I suppose I should consider these things part of the game, because a game is not a game if there are no challenges to overcome. On the other hand, a game is something you do for amusement, and my “challenges” today were far from amusing.

The tarantula wasp, a two-inch monstrosity, isn’t really unpleasant . . . unless you’re a tarantula, that is. The wasp seems to have little interest in humans — at least not this human — so they don’t pose a threat. Seeing the wasp, though, reminded me that despite a return to temperatures in the nineties, fall really is coming. And it reminds me to see if I can find any tarantulas as they begin their wandering to find a mate. Although this area is known for the so-called tarantula migration, the past couple of years these arachnids have been scarce. Perhaps this year things will be different. Other things sure were different (plants that grew enormously, for example, and weeds that moved into new territories), so why not the tarantulas?

If gardening is a game (though it seems to be more of a creative endeavor than a true game), then any wins come from the good things one finds in the garden, and today there were some beauties. A monarch butterfly that flitted about so much I couldn’t get a picture, a yellow coreopsis, a cucumber, sunflowers, and amaranth.

I wasn’t sure if I liked this foxtail amaranth, but it is growing well as well as growing on me (euphemistically speaking), so I might get some more seeds for next year. (They were in a packet of wildflower seeds, most of which didn’t grow perhaps because the seeds were old, so that makes me even more impressed with the amaranth.)

There really isn’t a score to keep in this gardening game, but if there were, taking into consideration the unpleasantness situations as well as the pleasantness ones, I’d have to call today a draw.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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