Category Archives: Gardening

Of bees and boobs

We’ll call him Jose, though that isn’t his name. He’s a diminutive man, even for a Tico, I thought, the first time I saw him, and from his clothing and high rubber boots, a farm worker. Out here in rural … Continue reading

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Free medicine

When Jack’s life-long potassium deficiency disappeared, everyone, especially the doctor, was gob-smacked. His condition had required him to ingest mega-doses of the mineral all day long, or risk not being able to get out of bed. For twenty years, each … Continue reading

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Ant revenge

When we returned from our trip to Puerto Viejo, our friend Louis, who had been staying in our house, pointed to the ground and said, “Hay hormigas cortadoras de hojas!” We saw a tiny flotilla of green sailing down the … Continue reading

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What’s that smell?

One day last week, I got a whiff of something noxious nearby. The smell was not unlike ones I’ve sniffed driving through Pennsylvania farming country— fertilizer, maybe. A bitter, acrid smell invaded my senses. I felt it in my nose, … Continue reading

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How Do They Do That?

A couple of weeks ago, Jack tossed some shrubs into a water-filled five-gallon plastic bucket, to root them. I’m a martinet about standing water, since I’m a mosquito magnet and entomophobic. Everybody knows that mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, … Continue reading

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Fiery Fiends Find my Foot

I’ve always admired ants: they’re industrious, organized, and cooperative. Unlike humans, they’re unselfish. Unlike Congress, they get things done. Ants don’t have to receive orders: each one knows what to do, and does it. Among the most interesting and ubiquitous … Continue reading

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Rain, rain…..

Last year, the rainy season took a vacation. When I arrived, at the end of June, we got rain every day for two or three hours, but that only lasted for a few days. During most of July, it hardly … Continue reading

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Spiders and beetles and toads, oh my

Like many women I know, I hate insects. If I were in South Philly, I’d say they skeeve me- or I skeeve them- I’ve never been sure of the exact usage. Insects can turn me into a raving lunatic, a … Continue reading

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