A Paradise for Mosquitoes

It’s been humid all week, wet and soggy. Last weekend was unpleasantly hot. Then the rains came and came and came some more. I’m sure it’s hell for tourists and summer people – I imagine being cooped up in a rental in the rain with three children would make anyone want to kill themselves – but so far it’s been great for the gardens. Last year I could barely manage a skimpy green salad for the workshop party the 2nd week of June. It’s mid July and we’re still eating lovely green salads. The broccoli is still productive. I froze another pound plus yesterday. We’re inundated with zucchini and patty pans. I froze more pattypan puree for the winter.

We picked black currants from our bushes. We don’t seem to have resident Baltimore orioles this year. Normally when I’m picking black currants, they get overhead and scold me. I keep telling them that my picking barely makes a dent in the currants, but they begrudge every berry. I dehydrated this batch to see if I can dry currants and use them in cooking. When and if they dry out, I’ll pick more and make freezer jam and liqueur.

I began a short story this week, my second this month, so I wrote only one poem this week. I had a lot of fun on Amazon prime day ordering household and garden objects we need, a new cat carrier, pruners. I’m done buying clothes at the moment so didn’t even look at them. Don’t feel in the mood. I buy clothes on line except for the day after Christmas when we hit the department stores in Boston. Generally I buy sweaters them.

Schwartzie is suddenly a teenage boy cat and is acting up. He’s not nearly as wicked as some of our male cats have been when they hit that age. Jim Beam, Max and Puck were all difficult adolescents, marking, escaping, bullying. Schwartzie so far hasn’t been a handful, just acting aloof at times – then getting scared and demanding affection. He and Xena are still the power couple. I think it was the two of them who caught a mouse last night and dispatched it. I don’t think it was Willow this time as she slept with me most of the night while the two of them were dead to the world this morning, exhausted.

Mingus is a pacifist like his sweet departed cousin Sugar Ray. It’s odd because the two previous Burmese we had many years ago were mighty hunters. Mingus is all tight muscle but he is not a bully and never has been and has no interest in killing even a fly.

Because it has been an unusually wet spring and early summer, the mosquitoes are flourishing. Last evening we got into the car to drive to Terra Luna to take our friend Ann Wood to supper. She’s the editor of the Ptown Banner; she wrote a novel BOLT RISK we published when we ran Leapfrog Press. Terra Luna, one of our favorite restaurants, belongs to and is run by our friend Tony Pasquale. In the car we were immediately set upon by six mosquitoes. We walk out the door and are besieged by little vampires. Itch itch itch – that’s our constant now. Deet is sauce to them and we’re the entrees. Also many ticks with their rich load of diseases – five, I think. Our last few summers were hot and dry – last summer a killing drought – but at least we had almost no mosquitoes even though we live on the edge of a marsh.

The tomato plants are huge and bushy and making little green marbles except for my paste tomatoes – they’re not coloring yet but they’re getting perceptibly bigger and more shapely. I didn’t get to check the cherry tomatoes this week. Today I weed in the lower garden where the pumpkins, winter squashes and pole beans grow.


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