Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"The Horror! The Horror!"

Gardening is dirty business. 

Soiled clothes are a testament to busy bodies.

Calloused hands signify manual labor.

Dirty fingernails, no matter how unsightly, are always indicative of the tenderness we bestow upon our changelings.

But our surface dirt is no match for the real dirt in the garden: the carnage.

Yes, the carnage.

While figuring out where to plant my new Fritillaria bulbs, I happened upon a monarch butterfly flitting about, seeking sweet delicious nectar from the Tall Purpletop Verbena.

Suddenly, the Praying Mantis sprang and grabbed its prey, and before I could blink an eye, the mantis ripped the head right off the butterfly.


And then I did what any self-respecting blogger and gardener would do: I raced upstairs to get my camera to document the horror, THE HORROR!

And oh, what horror it was! Oh, Mr. Kurtz, you have no idea. Or had. he died. Or was fictional. Or both. So perhaps it doesn't matter what he said, but it certainly matters what I saw.

After documenting the carnage, I looked around. What a sorry state! A graveyard! Corpses of honey bees--so scarce as they are--littered various spider webs.

I felt somewhat bereft, unable to control nature the way gardeners do with plants, or try to do.

So the only thing I could do was to stand there, shooing away butterflies and moths as they came closer to my garden, aware that at least one mantis was stalking prey in one of the chrysanthemums, all in an effort to control nature by starving those murderous mantises.

And then I realized how ridiculous I must have appeared to the neighbors, who stood on their porches, speechless, mouths agape, staring.

Such horror.

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