Backyard Potterer's diary - June

Written and illustrated by Tiit Kändler
Translation: Liis
June: will do for mowing
In June the yard expands and reaches out to the sea. But the sea brings us back to earth, to the yard, showing its many-layered nature. The sun deceives, baking hotly from heaven, and even the clouds have opened up their face, peering from somewhere at the edge of the horizon. The sea brings us to earth with its true temperature.
In the yard the trees gather beneath the largest common denominator in the year, the chlorophyll green. Yes, if the greatest common denominator of the yard is the June green of the trees, then the least common denominator is the morning air. It is clear but not translucent, cold but not cool, slight but not to be grasped.
Perhaps only van Gogh has managed to paint such morning air, and maybe Magritte also managed.
In June backyard potterers have to perfect their art of weeding their garden beds and hone the philosophy of lawn-mowing. How to decide who is weed, who is grass, who is lawn? Better not to weed at all, or you might weed out what would bring you joy in autumn.  Same thing with grass, the grass that genteel city folks call lawn. What lawn? Lawn grows on graves? Grass is of course green but in it all other kinds of plants grow, that burst in flower from time to time and then the grass is yellow-white-blue-red-green-patterned, the rainbow of grass has burst open. All this will be lost if you walk too often over the yard with the lawn-mower, at least if the mower works.
Of course one of the sounds of June is the mix of lawn mower noises that carry over into your yard.
From somewhere the hedgehog appears, with a May-time face on. Two squirrel pups try to catch each other on the forest road and do not even notice the approaching human – if they don’t know to fear yet or are so in the grasp of their play. Of course the air is full of mosquitoes, singing mosquitoes as they lovingly are called. The ethical question comes up – where is it morally acceptable to kill a mosquito, outdoors or indoors? On one side there is somehow no point outdoors, another will come. But indoors is not suitable either, after all it came to visit you. So the mosquito knows.
Suddenly the crows start screaming, they were not to be heard until now. It appears that the female cat has become overbold, climbed up the rowan tree and scared the crows away from the neighbouring spruce. So what business has she coming to climb in our trees!
A celeriac has begun to grow in a garden bed. Celeriac? Oh, it is the peony that the Backyard Potterer bought at the market from a nice little lady. Who would have believed that! A peony but looks like celeriac – and tastes like celeriac too. What else but that modern gene technology has reached Estonian markets too.
The June morning makes a face as if all were yet to come. It doesn’t open only the day but the whole yard. Interesting – has anyone heard that a park has ever been festively opened in some Estonian town? Inaugurations are for sewage purification plants, asphalt roads, at best some stone guest as a memorial to someone who once lived and did something. Or did someone in. But no one is inclined to inaugurate parks, or not even trees.
The roses in the garden beds are on their guard after the severe winter, don’t particularly want to bloom. In contrast the wild roses show their flowers generously. And they are scented, much more strongly scented and pleasantly so than the cultivated roses. Nothing to make much ado about – they have to have a scent, so that someone will come and pollinate their flowers. The garden bed roses don’t have this worry.
It is like a domestic cat and a stray cat. Where the domestic cat sleeps 80 % of its day, and only hunts during 3 % of the time, then the homeless cat can only sleep 67 % of the time, and must hunt for 17%. And how does the Backyard Potterer know? He reads the science news and one of them describes how the scientists put transmitters on cats. And hey presto – they got to know that the domestic cat wanders about on two hectares but a cat living in a forest on five square kilometres. It doesn’t come far behind the lynx, that manages if need be on ten square kilometres. So the cat’s yard is roughly the size of two-three football fields. No wonder that he sleeps for so long – whoever can manage to keep such a monstrous yard in order.

In June it becomes clear that virtual life is not after all real life. If the newspaper thumps down into the letterbox hanging at the fence then it isn’t all that important that there are only old news or ages. On them you can put your coffee cup and then see in the rings from its bottom for instance this news item: the eyes of a human foetus are like the eyes of a lamprey. Having developed together, from a common ancestor. Well, there it is. What else to do than take your lampreye along and go see what point there is with this June day in the yard.




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