Like an old squirrel?

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Lately I’ve been looking out my window at the various places where I have planted, tended and harvested vegetables and flowers in past years. I’ve realized that I may have the same problem as some 1 older squirrels: I don’t remember where I put the nuts. (In my case, the seeds harvested from last year’s plants.)

This may seem like a simple problem—just see what emerges when the ground warms, and nurture those plants to maturity. We older gardeners will tell you that’s a good way to spend the entire growing season raising a crop of grateful weeds! Another difficulty: I have a creative bent in my gardening genes, so always hope to sow new varieties each year to create ordered vistas of color and beauty.

Not so this year. I’ve forgotten where I planted last year’s seeds under the protective cover of mulch. What may result is a patchwork quilt of 2 Mystery Flowers and Veggies in the Wrong Spot, allowing tomatoes and sunflowers to co-exist in the same space. Cosmos co-habiting with cornflowers, and Shasta daisies taking over everything else. A growing mess!

This situation—Forgotten Nut-Placement Syndrome—may also yield unexpected benefits. The weeds and I will have lengthy philosophical conversations about their right to populate the yard. Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators will stay around longer to find the locations of attractive odors. Squirrels of all ages will be confused about what to dig up for food. Small niches of growth will harbor eye-catching wonders. And I will again approach gardening with grateful humility.

So you won’t fret about my fretting, this assurance: I’m ready to be surprised and delighted when 3 Spring has sprung. I will rejoice that the grass has rizz, even though I will always wonder where the flowers is…..!

 

1  Lest you think I’m impugning the good character and sharp memory of squirrels in general, please note that I am only wondering here whether it’s particularly older squirrels who experience this cognitive challenge. Because they have spent neuron-destroying years evading hungry hawks and dealing with squirrely youngsters, senior squirrels might just suffer from locational memory.

2  I’m really into mystery-gardening. Every year I plant seeds from places in the seed catalogs where mortals fear to trod—and then lose the visual reference of the seed packets. Again, offering undeserved grace to local weeds.

 I will never be ashamed of using drivel to end my blogs. Never!

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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