28 March, 2009

Spring Snow ~ Spring Sun

Of Wagner, Cats,

Firearms, and Food


Today's Metropolitian Opera Broadcast was "Das Rheingold." It is the first of Wagner's four operas which comprise the Ring Cycle or "Der Ring des Nibelungen". Its a tale of theft, intrigue, infidelity, murder, mayhem and incest.

That would make a very human tale indeed, with the following exceptions:

It involves Norse/Germanic gods, giants, dwarves, river sprites, amazonian warriors, dragons and elves. That would be the standard fare of northern European fanatsies, don't'ya'know. The struggle for purity and power as embodied in the Rheingold, the purest gold in all of creation, held in secret and protected (supposedly) by three Rheinmaidens.

The gold is stolen by the dwarf Alberich and forged into an all powerful magic ring...which causes seven hell's worth of grief to all who pursue it.

In the end, it causes the downfall of the Gods and the destruction of Valhalla....And yes, then the Fat Lady sings!


The inevitable rise of the sun towards the Summer solstice, the spring monsoon snows and the promise that, yes, one more growing season will provide grain and feed for man and beast, brought out the menagerie of cats.....the Raleigh Street Irregulars to luxuriate in the bright, mile-hi sun. Its the first warm day in five. The spring blizzard is melting, slowly, soaking into the winter thirsty earth.

Brigade Commander, William Sprocket (the Black Prince who Wails) and Master Sargent, Chester Rachet rest on the front porch rail. Chester has mellowed over the years. No longer the complete feral, he allows us to be near and will actulally sit in Ms. D's lap.

The latest addition to come to live with us is Daschel Cat'tal Mutt. He is a true feral. He does not meow or purr or allow any human near. A young married couple who lived a few doors down from us went through a nasty divorce and Dash was abandonded. He likes being around Sprocket and Rachet...his "pride". We keep him fed and he sleeps in the old leaky storage garage next to the reloading shed.

Off to the east of the reloading shed is the small "Back Forty" where close by sit the smoker and the BBQ grill. Beyond is the garden plot where I have 12 years of composted kitchen waste, coffee grounds from the local coffee shop, and sheep/horse manure when available. It is a rich, double depth dug bit of ground where red wrigglers and giant nitecrawlers keep residence.
We have a volunteer sour cherry tree and a wild raspberry bramble that provide us with fruits for early summer tarts and cream.

"Square foot" intensive gardening is practiced. Wherein I plant winter hardy spinach and roots early under plastic covers. When they are harvested, I turn the earth over to summer salads. Then, on the north fence, I plant sunflowers, then south tomatoes, peppers and cukes then volunteer pumpkins rise most every year.

Along the east side of the house is an herb bed...Perennials of sage and horehound and oregano and rosemary where I mix in plantings of annuals: basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley....some of which reseed themselves to the rich earth.

In front of the house I plant mounds of Italian green beans, squash and drought hardy flowers....zinnias, marigolds, whatever comes to be ready in the local nurseries.

Food we raise and share. Good clean veges to mix with the harvest of wild game.

Not bad for an aging ol' fart living in the Nor'west corner of New Los Angeles.

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