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THE FARTHERMOST VIEW

Selected Podpieces

JULY DAY

I went over to Sea Call Farm this morning to check on my tomatoes and squash, which I had not seen for a week or so. After parting the waves of purslane and pigweed, I saw that most of my planted things had so far survived. One pumpkin had only one sad-looking leaf, but just about everyone else – the tomatoes, the beans, the chard, the leeks, the gladioli, and the white pumpkins – was churning out leaves and blossoms like nobody’s business. The onions were looking pretty spindly, but I never seem to have much luck with onions. Maybe they need more fertilizer than I care to offer.

I watered the whole crew and then took Pippin, who had been waiting in the car, for a walk around the grounds. It was hot, other gardeners were coming in to do things to their vegetables, and the eastern red cedars were heavy with those little blue cones that look like berries. Pippin and I discussed the possibility of harvesting a few hundred to flavor a small batch of gin, but we came to no conclusion. He marked one of the trees as ours, but probably we will never get around to it.

As I pulled out onto Tonset Road, a female turkey strolled carefully across the road. I could tell she was being careful by the way she held her head. I slowed to a stop, suspecting that she wasn’t alone; and sure enough, a dozen small copies of her were loitering behind her under the shrubs. Accompanied by their aunt, the little turkeys came out of the shadows and headed for the asphalt. I saw a car in my rearview mirror, so I put on my emergency flashers so the driver would slow down; but the car swerved out and roared around me, and the flock squawked and fluttered and ran back to safety.

Sometimes I hate people.

But another car coming toward me did stop, and we watched as the turkeys bravely started out again. They had a joyful reunion with the anxiously waiting mom, and then they headed down toward my beans and pumpkins.

Sharing a wave, the other driver and I continued on our own ways, probably also sharing a cheerful mood. If there is anything cuter than a flock of small birds following a parent into the world, I don’t know what it is.
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