16°C (60.8°F) I’m all achy from shoveling yesterday. I’ve almost gotten to the bottom of my buried boulder, but I still can’t get it to budge. In my backyard, soil at this depth (about 3 feet) is almost solid wet clay. It sticks to the shovel. It sticks to the rock. But I’m enjoying the wholesale impracticality of the thing.

Then I started a new bed for wildflowers and mixed in some rich, black compost
from a winter’s worth of kitchen scraps. I planted sunflowers for the birds, and there’s more on the way, but my back and shoulders aren’t as young as they used to be.

What’s giving me the most pain, though, is the after-effect of digging up dandelions. I tried to clear the front yard of them, though I know I only got the obvious ones (flowers, seed stalks). Personally, I have nothing against them, but I’m not brave enough (yet) to flout this core value of suburban conformity. I won’t spray the usual chemical solution (2,4-D
) because it kills fish and aquatic invertebrates, at least, and makes the lawn toxic for bare feet and pets, and then what’s the point of having a lawn?

So I painstakingly uprooted them, one at a time, with a little S-shaped weeding tool, so many times that the palm of my hand blistered (ouch!), even through my work gloves. It gave me plenty of time to think about weeds… (more later)