Archives for posts with tag: points of view

You can tell that we’ve finally passed the point at which cold nights can be expected; there is a freeze watch in effect for tonight. I’m not too worried—the National Weather Service does not actually predict sub-freezing temperatures—but I will cover the east planter with black plastic sheeting just to be safe.

The radishes, always first off the starting block, made their appearance three days ago and the Sugar Snap peas, not to be left behind, started to peek out from the soil a day later. There are now seedlings to protect and the root vegetables are particularly susceptible.

With the trellis in place, I cannot fully cover the peas, but I don’t think it is necessary. The pea shoots are quite hardy and even without completely enclosing the planter, the sheeting will capture the heat that the garden acquired during the day.

I wonder what date the National Weather Service uses for last frost in our area? I conservatively use May 5, which has a 90 percent confidence level (i.e., there is only a 10 percent chance that the temperature will fall below freezing). Apparently, the NWS uses an earlier date.

I suspect that they use a lower confidence level, probably at a 50 percent chance of exceedance. Their date—whatever it might be—is less conservative from a freezing temperatures point of view but more conservative from a freeze warning point of view (i.e., its use will likely generate more warnings). Given that the NWS is in the business of forecasting the weather and not gardening, this makes perfect sense.

Point of view can make all the difference.  Where one person might see something worthy only of the trash, another person will see a prize to be treasured.

Last fall, we used a hand-held gardening fork to help divide Siberian iris rhizomes (see September 15, 2012).  During the operation, which was quite physically demanding, the v-shaped bar which formed the outer tines of the fork broke off, leaving only the center tine connected to the handle.

As far as I was concerned, that was the end of the fork.  I tossed the v-shaped bar in the dumpster but, having packrat tendencies, returned the now one-tined fork (which some might consider a fork no more) to the bin with the rest of the hand tools.  There it has resided for the last eight months; I haven’t given it another thought since.

And I probably wouldn’t have thought about it again except that this spring has produced a bumper crop of dandelions.  They have popped up everywhere in dense clumps of intense yellow flowers which, despite an interim lawn mowing, have morphed into airy white seed heads.

As with other weeds, we leave the dandelions in the lawn alone.  They certainly do not merit the use of an herbicide (not even poison ivy does, actually; we just carefully pull it out) and, in general, are not worth bothering with at all.  Theoretically, we could eat their leaves (they are delicious raw or sautéed in bacon fat) and if they continue to spread, perhaps we will start harvesting them.

Dandelions in the ornamental gardens are another matter, however, and this is where a different point of view comes in.  Where I saw the garden fork as broken and functionless, Rachel saw it as a potential dandelion-removal tool.  Apparently, it resembles other weeding tools she has seen in catalogs or used in the past and she thought the broken fork might be perfect for the job.

This morning, Rachel put her hypothesis to the test.  The ground was soft and moist after yesterday’s rain, ideal for weeding.  She pressed the end of the fork into the soil, adjacent and parallel to a dandelion’s tap root, and pulled it upward while rotating it slightly.  The tool’s action released the root from the surrounding soil and she was able to pull the weed out entirely.  Success!

I could say that I knew the broken fork would come in handy one day but no, I did not foresee this.  Rachel gets all of the credit for repurposing the fork into an effective weeding tool that will probably get more use now than when it was a fork.

I wonder what other abandoned items I have in the workshop that she might be able to put back into service?

Our favorite radio station is WFUV.  Located at 90.7 on the FM dial (and streaming at wfuv.org) it is the member-supported Voice of Fordham University.

One of our favorite programs on WFUV is the Big Broadcast.  Hosted by Rich Conaty and airing between 8:00 pm and midnight on Sundays, the show features jazz and popular music of 1920s and 30s.  As described by its host, the Big Broadcast is for the “old and the old at heart.”

I put myself in the latter category because clearly, it is the music that is old, not me.  It’s great stuff:  upbeat, danceable, boistrous, and for the most part optimistic.  It is both historically significant (in the development of musical genres and pop culture) and a joy to listen to.  But it is music from before my time.

No, music from my time begins in the 1960s and 70s.  And I realized this evening, while listening to some tunes from that era, that to a younger generation, this groovy music is before their time; that to people born in the 1990s or 2000s, what I consider my music will soon have (if it doesn’t already) the same relationship to them as Rich Conaty’s favorite music now has to me (and him).

Of course, there is nothing wrong with this and it doesn’t, as some would suspect, make me feel old.  Older, perhaps, but not old.  The shift in point of view, however, does feel odd.  Music that I consider an integral part of my youth and, to some degree, a reflection of (if not an influence on) my personality and style is for others primarily of historical interest, music about which someone might create a radio show.

As Annette Hanshaw (a 1920s jazz vocalist) would sing, “That’s all.”