I detect a fairly large schedule slippage.
The gnats have had a wonderful (and prolific!) year here. They live only such a short time, but every time they started to settle out, it would rain again and a whole new batch would emerge. If it weren’t so hot in summer, (and if I didn’t live in such a red state) I’d seriously consider a burqa, just to keep the gnats off. I don’t mind them much on my arms and legs, but I hate having them crawling around inside my ears. And honestly, they should have the decency to just die as soon as they’re inhaled. Instead, they just wiggle around in my sinuses and trachea, which makes for misery digging.
This is the hole with the fourth layer dirt removed.
The summer monsoon has slipped directly into the winter monsoon, and so the digging is progressing slowly. In fact, the north end (at the left) didn’t get well cleared out before the rain came again. The tomatoes are loving it though. You can see a few of them in the picture. I finally got a large enough group that ripened all at once to make a big pot of spaghetti sauce. It was the first time I’ve tried that, and it came out well. And I probably have enough canned now to last until February or so, and still have a few whole tomatoes left for slicing onto sandwiches.
Actually, I’m about to go out and pick all the big green ones today. There are still a few flowers on the plants, but I hear there will be a hard freeze tonight and if I don’t cover everything well, by tomorrow they’ll all be black mush. It seems a bit early for a real freeze, but the weather is getting so strange, isn’t it?
Noontime shadows are getting pretty long too (well yes, that’s normal), making it harder to get a good view of the south end of the hole. So I took another picture from the other side.
So far, the rocks coming up have been mostly fist-sized or smaller. The deeper I go, the bigger are the rocks I find. You can see a couple developing in the southeast corner (top right). Even those don’t look all that big (as far as I can tell). I’m just hoping there’s nothing bigger than a basketball lurking below.
In that picture the hole looks a lot deeper at the south end, but that’s an effect from the shadows, plus the ground is higher there, so the dig is a little deeper but the bottom of the hole is mostly level. This is working out better than the first hole.
After the freeze tonight, the temperature will be back in the mid-70s by the weekend, which is perfect digging weather (as long as its dry). But it’s now getting on toward the end of November and soon, too soon, it will be too cold to scrape and sift the dirt across the metal screen of my sieve with my bare hands. And there’s the schedule slip. I was hoping to be almost done by now, so that I could put in potatoes and carrots and garlic and onions next month.
Well, no matter. There will be other entertainments over the next few months. Meanwhile: Look at my pile of dirt!