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Senior Correspondent

The plan last spring was to build a new garden shed and put a field fence around the garden. Then it rained, and summer never came except for that one afternoon in July, and it wasn't until not long ago that the earth began firming up again.

OK, now it's concrete. I fully understand how the ruts of covered wagons heading west can still be seen a century and more later. We still have ruts in the garden from that soggy day when I took the bush hog in there to mow down the feral weeds and locusts that had shot up from the never-ending monsoon. I expect they will be there for another six months — a liability for a feller trying to finish stretching the last of the fence and add a couple steel gates.

One day last month, I snipped the last of the 12-gauge wires and drilled the holes for the L-shaped hinge screws and hung the gates. Simple as that, now that the field has stopped tugging the boots off anyone who walks near it. So the fences stand more or less vertically, the gates swing as intended and the garden cleanup for the fall has begun. I've mowed out most of the sorry-looking tomatoes, sorry-looking broccoli, sorry-looking okra, sorry-looking squash vines and the sorry-looking-I-don't-know-whats, and begun removing most of the gizmos that held up the foliage that never really bore anything edible. Also mowed around the asparagus patch and the blueberry patches, and need to get some mulch on the asparagus ferns before cold sets in.

A bear, or something big and surly, I think, got into our best blueberry patch and laid waste to a couple of bushes, so I've  got some pruning to do there, and if there's time I'm going to get started on transplanting some blueberry bushes from the wrong side of the creek to the west-facing patch. But most of the spring's projects are now about done, so I'm only about six months behind, and catching up. And beside, wood's up, split and stacked, just awaiting the first cold day. Time moves on.

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