Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's it like?

When I tell people what I do for a living they often look at me funny. "Can you make a living at that?" they ask. Then, "What's it like?" I've decided that being A GARDENER is a fantasy to most people. They can't quite imagine I get paid for doing what most people just fiddle around with on the weekend. For the record: I do very little fiddling.

As for what it's like, well that depends on when you ask me. Yesterday I was terrorized by an enormous and territorial carpenter bee.

Carpenter bees are about 2 inches long, black, and shiny. Males hover and swoop, both to check out possible mates and to chase away possible competition. I'm not sure which I was, but Mr. Bee wouldn't leave me alone. I felt like an idiot, dodging and ducking as he flew directly at my head. I feel even more ridiculous today, since I've learned males don't have stingers. I'll be back there tomorrow and I promise to stand my ground.

Also yesterday, it was 90+ degrees. That is just too hot for April. Even if you like your work, 3 hours in the blazing sun saps your energy. When I walked through the park at the end of the day I moved at half my normal speed. What's my job like? Tiring but satisfying.

But on a day like today (temperature about 60 degrees) I have the best job in the world. The air is cool but not so breezy as to interfere with sweeping. The crabapple is in full bloom, azalea buds are plump and ready to pop. Redbud flowers are open

and the Anemonella are in bloom.

My client was out of town this morning, so I listened to music as I fertilized. I don't usually listen to music while I work, because I find it VERY hard to listen to good music without singing along. And dancing a little. Some people find that entertaining...others do not. And since I always strive to be professional I usually leave the musical performance at home. But not today. It was glorious: sunny, cool, floriferous, tuneful, and a lot better than being chased by a giant carpenter bee!

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At April 29, 2009 at 4:40 PM , Blogger Domino Bianchi said...

I know it's hard work, but the rewards are great! I'd have loved to seen the dancing and gardening show.

At April 30, 2009 at 10:06 AM , Blogger Jennifer AKA keewee said...

That is an incredible shot of the bee in flight.

At April 30, 2009 at 6:34 PM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

I was out doing a garden client in that 90+ weather, too. Whew! Fine for August, but April?! Good to know about the male Carpenter bees.

At April 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

Thanks Domino, the rewards are indeed great and it's so nice when the work is also play.

Keewee, I wish I'd taken that shot but alas, it's the only one I DIDN'T take! I don't think I could have stood still long enough to focus on the bee.

Leda, I was back on the terrace today, armed with my new knowledge...but no sign of the stingerless bee!

At May 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM , Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks so much for dropping by to let me know about my fiddlehead fern misidentification. I will definitely give fiddleheads another try, once I figure out where some tastier bracken or ostrich ferns are.

At May 3, 2009 at 3:07 PM , Blogger molly said...

That bee photo is to DIE for!
(oh, i just read you didn't take it...dang it!) But I do love your garden photos! And domino is so right

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