My e-mail’s down for the second day running–denial of service attacks on the provider–so if you’re trying to contact me, uh…I’ll get back to you soon, I hope!

Meanwhile, the garden continues to grow. The nasturtium has its first flower! (I am particularly proud of this because I raised those nasturtiums from seed.) The gayfeather and echinacea are getting flower heads–still green, but they should begin changing soon. This has led to the discover that in addition to the volunteer gayfeather that the previous owner must have planted, there’s a scattering of echinacea, too, which fills me with unspeakable glee. All the red tiger lilies have opened, and the Arkwright’s Campion is blooming in shades of vermilion generally reserved for traffic cones.

The pollinators are out in force. Verbena, both the tough homestead and the exotic brazilian, are their favorites. The lantana is thriving. (I luuuuv lantana. It reminds me of Arizona. I begin to understand the homesickness that leads to the introduction of non-natives–if I could get bouganvillea to grow, I’d be sorely and painfully tempted.) The yarrow is yarrowing happily, despite being nearly hidden by the explosive re-emergence of the brutalized Japanese maple. When I saw that murderered stump, I thought it unlikely it would survive, but a wee little sucker popped up, and then another, and now the maple is a thriving shrub taller than my waist. Some day it may be an actual tree again!

The butterfly bush and butterfly weed are both growing, somewhat slowly for the species, but hopefully will flower later in the year. Mystery Weed is getting flower heads of some sort. I’m keepin’ an eye on ’em.

Yesterday I hacked down the silktree thicket, and a few stragglers outside. One remains that will require the saw. There’s also a monster specimen on the neighbor’s property. Since it’s over there, I can’t in good conscience go hack it down, but the next time I see that particular neighbor–he seems like a nice guy–I’ll volunteer to remove it. It’s host to wisteria and being throttled by English Ivy, a kind of horrible Battle Of The Invasive Titans that makes the environmentalist in me run around clucking like a terrified spotted owl.

Got a Digger done yesterday, and getting itchy painting fingers today. I should work on the show. I am tempted to do the Right Thing, and just throw over and say “art for art’s sake, even weird digital stuff that does not lead to immediate financial gain, is more important than money, so paint whatever–” but then I know that will kill my painting buzz, which thrives on adversity. So in order to continue with these weird semi-Gearworldian paintings, I really need to force myself to paint cute watercolors. (One would think my brain would be clever enough to realize that it’s being misdirected, but my brain is easily fooled. Look! Look at the dancing monkey, brain! Watch it dance! Ooo! Monkey!)

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