Since the media is still talking about the Icelandic volcano eruption, I have to add another thought on the subject! In 1816 after an eruption which caused one of those summers that didn’t happen, Mary Shelley and Lord Byron were vacationing. Because there were long, wet, gloomy days forcing the couple indoors, Mary wrote Frankenstein. Wonder if a similar creative effort happened with one of the many stranded air travelers in Europe?

Last Sunday my son, Reuben, rototilled my large vegetable garden. I ran behind the tractor picking up rocks. Honestly, I used to think the days were never long enough. Now I pray for them to end so I can get horizontal with some over-the-counter pain medication. There is nothing quite like newly tilled soil ready to receive. No weeds, no bugs, no staking to be done, and high hopes.

I have been busy inside the greenhouse in the early part of the mornings. There are flats of tomatoes to be transplanted as well as seeding of the curcubits. Last year I had a near total failure of my squashes, pumpkins and melons. In retaliation, I ordered practically every variety known to woman. If you’re looking for it, I most likely have it.

The warm weather has the perennials jumping out of the ground. My peonies have budded, for Pete’s sake. I can’t remember that happening in April in past years. Of course, remembering is becoming an increasingly rare occurrence lately.

At one of my job sites, Mr. Skunk and Raccoon Removal has set several traps in hopes of catching one large destructive ’coon. Recently I came across a crow caught in one of those traps. Believe me, I had considerable concern hovering over him trying to open the trap to set him free. I was under the impression that crows were more clever. Bet he’ll never make that mistake again. My maternal grandfather, Clifford Paul Armstrong, a.k.a. Popop, was very fond of crows. He said without them there would be decomposing road kill everywhere. Someone help me out here. I believe a large group of crows is called a murder but did not find it in Webster. Have I made that up?

For the first time in years I did not store my dahlias. I threw caution to the wind and left them in the ground. We’ll see how that works out for me. I did start a good number from seed, all of which are coming along nicely. The Figaro and Dwarf Jewel varieties work very well from seed. They are the short border types and can also be used in containers.

Here it is a rainy Monday morning. I love how tulips stay all tight within themselves in rain and clouds. I feel that it must buy them a few more days without expending all that energy opening in the sun.

The Environmental Working Group has put out a shopper’s guide to pesticides. I am going to share it with you in its entirety.

Dirty Dozen (Worst; buy these organic):

1. Peach

2. Apple

3. Bell pepper

4. Celery

5. Nectarine

6. Strawberries

7. Cherries

8. Kale

9. Lettuce

10. Grapes (imported)

11. Carrot

12. Pear

Clean 15 (best; lowest in pesticides):

1. Onion

2. Avocado

3. Sweet corn

4. Pineapple

5. Mango

6. Asparagus

7. Sweet peas

8. Kiwi

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Papaya

12. Watermelon

13. Broccoli

14. Tomato

15. Sweet potato.