Yesterday I was out working in the gardens, something I try to do every day. Getting out of the house, out from behind the computer, and playing in the dirt with the worms, with bees and birds twittering about, is very therapeutic for me. Keeps me sane.
Two nine-year-old boys stopped by yesterday. They are expert skateboarders and came roaring down the steep street in front of my home, coming to a complete stop right at my driveway. I have watched them for eight months, since I moved in, and almost—almost, I say!—wished I was nine years old again without a care in the world other than being the best skateboarder in the neighborhood.
I was informed that their mom had given them permission to talk to me. That’s nice. It’s too bad that the world is in such bad shape that we have to be wary of anyone and everyone.
So they started talking. Asking questions. Brains and mouths going a hundred miles an hour. I was tired just talking with them.
They asked if I would give them a tour of my gardens. Absolutely! Of course, that would take them to the back and one side that were out of the parental eye of mom, so I waved at her as we were talking to let her know that things were alright. Hopefully.
They were intrigued with Wildlife Corner where we saw several ground squirrels, rabbits, and lizards, but what really got their attention was when I showed them how RR Bee Rescue Service rescued drowning bees from the Wildlife Corner pond. They asked if they could rescue some bees. Absolutely! I think the three of us rescued about twenty bees in fifteen minutes. They really had a good time, and hopefully I taught them the value of life, even the value of a little bee’s life.
We walked around my cactus & succulent gardens with them asking questions about individual plants that caught their attention, like this one, which was their favorite:
They asked me if I named my plants. Well, uh, no. I had never thought about naming them. They asked me if they could name some. Absolutely! So the little fellow above is officially “Cactus Pete.”
One of my latest creations is what I call my Cactus Condominium Complex (CCC). Looks like this:
Of course, they asked me about names, so I told them:
Front row – Stenocereus hollianus cristata, Espostoa guentheri
Middle – Mammilaria pitcayensis
Back row – Mammilaria elongata ‘Copper King’ cristata, Cereus peruvianus monstrose
“No, no, no! We mean real names.” I said that I had not named them and asked if they would like to. Well, you know the answer to that question, so here are their real names:
Front row – Joe, Nick
Middle – Sheen
Back row – Ryan, Shaun