Something ate the Russian sunflowers I planted in what was once a duck pen. The peas, lettuce and beets struggled to grow, but I couldn't keep up with the weeds until it was too late. One tomato plant is thriving. I suspect a grey squirrel who nimbly walks along fencetops, jumps up on the potting shed roof or balances on top of a four-by-four post, brazenly munching on bulbs I planted years ago, which explains the lack of fifty purple tulips last spring.

There might be Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and if I'm lucky several yellow squash in the rabbit and groundhog proof fenced garden up the small hill, in full sunlight, where carrot and spinach seeds did not grow. Zuccini and yellow squash seeds only produced one squash plant that has been nearly decimated twice, despite putting a cage around it. Seeds, I might have blamed on birds in the past, however this year I am certain it's that darn squirrel or one of his brethren.

I feel oddly detached from gardening this year, neither too hopeful nor too disappointed. I still have herbs and a few flowering containers, plants on the front porch, and this summer that is enough. The sunlight on the front porch has changed since the pruning of the maple tree, and late yesterday I noticed as the light faded, a large squirrel nest left intact. Great, a mother squirrel, which means more squirrels in the future.

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