Yesterday was glorious.

The sunshine sparkled like glitter at Mardi Gras, all over the winter brown grass and the newly turned soil. Dave and I were starting to prepare raised bed planter boxes with a mix of soil we have made from what we have around Sligo plantation. Dave,  our property caretaker, is learning about organic gardening, and he has constructed some heavy, serious planter boxes.

The three dogs snuffled, rolled, and leapt in the air as we built our castles of soil, planting red mustard greens,  kale, beets, and mauve iceberg lettuce. The tomatoes need warmth, and we will carry the seed trays inside, still to be warm, and place them in the yellow sunshine during the day. From a wispy seed, the tomato will suck in water and sun, and somehow become a plump, hot cheeky fruit in summer. It may need shade from the intense Mississippi heat, but stalks of beautiful jade green and purple okra will be planted next to it, helping somewhat to shade it. Wait till Dave feels the warm full fruit in his hands when he picks the tomatoes; he will then understand the pilgrim’s journey of the gardner into the shrine of summer.

At the soft fall of evening, it got cold last night. My dog, Ralph, did not come when called for supper; something that rarely happens. I called Dave. All the dogs suddenly had taken off running into the woods, he told me.  I thought they may be after a wild pig. The pigs are up to around 800 pounds, and are ferocious, aggressive, and nocturnal. They will trample or use their razor sharp tusks  against a dog. The snakes are not out yet because the days are still not warm enough for the cold blooded critters. Maybe they took off after a deer, or a rabbit. Armadillos are not fun to chase as they are slow, and a dog can’t get a good bite through their tough armor.

Finally, Ralph arrived for supper, after dark, looking embarrassed. He was caked in mud from the tip of his nose  throughout his face and ears. I breathed a sigh of relief, and placed his supper dish down for him to enjoy. It had to be a burrowing animal they chased, or they had decided to take an evening plunge into the pond. There are just the sounds of a furtive owl wing and cracking cold limbs now at night. As  spring approaches, and the secret seed of the tomato opens, the night sounds of tree frogs will begin and the serpents will start to stir in the sun.