Garden a tapestry of birdsong and purple corn

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Steve LaRue, Groundhog Hill

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side.

Keep on the sunny side of life.

I awaken each morning around 5:30. I don’t use (or need) an alarm clock because I sleep with the windows open. The first sounds I hear each day are birdsong.

You don’t get that natural harmonious chirping in the wee hours of Los Angeles unless you count the hum of police helicopter blades as they circle your neighborhood searching for yet another thief, bandit, or burglar.

So, a big thumbs up to life in Hodgenville is birdsong.

I love the cheeriness of the sounds, the sheer volume these birds can create is so surprising that some days, I want to shout out my windows, “Alright, I hear you. I’m up already!”

I can be less cheery, at times.

I am an up with the sun/down with the sun-kinda guy, though. These are the hours that suit my body’s internal clock.

For 25 years of life in LA, one of my favorite past-times was surfing, so my clock served me well as surfers are up at first light to check the waves and the conditions. This time of day is known as dawn patrol.

For me, dawn patrol begins with a to-go cup of hot coffee, a warm jacket to combat the chilly morning ocean air, board shorts and flip flops. Usually, you see the same five-to-10 people at your favorite surf spot at this hour of the day, each with his/her own cup of coffee, etc.

There’s not a lot of talking. “You goin’ in? Yeah, maybe.” That’s about it (and I like it).

Here, it’s birdsong, coffee, newspaper, and the Weather Channel. Also, bib overalls, straw hat and work boots.

If it’s a scorcher of a day, I’ll leave a note for Dad that says I’m picking up breakfast from Paula’s, and then I’ll head to the garden and get the weeding or green bean-picking done while it’s nice and cool.

These past few weeks, I created a new game: “Is it purple corn or is it Johnson grass?”

I have purple corn planted the first week of May, and it’s really tall. Then, I have the replacement corn planted in the original rows because wild turkeys dug up the seedlings. It’s not as tall.

Next, is the first attempt at planting late corn, and then, there’s the replacement planting of late corn, so basically, I have purple corn of varying height throughout the garden.

I also have Johnson grass.

The weeding goes faster if I’m humming a familiar tune, and lately, I’ve been working my way through Carole King’s Tapestry, the soundtrack of my older siblings’ teenage years and of my own adolescence. Good stuff.

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.

An ever-changing vision of the ever-changing view.

Nothing but good times right now at Groundhog Hill: Just zinnias, purple corn, and birdsong.

More later……

To see more photos of the garden, check out www.groundhoghill.wordpress.com.