Rite of spring
It's spring alright. Everything and everyone is getting
horny, including Bob. Horny enough to break out my ol'
trombone to help the
4th Street NiteOwls put smiles on
faces at
Barbes. Scuba aficionados can log this Park Slope
bar as a dive. Great beer selection at good prices, and
even better tastes in tunes as evidenced by having the
NiteOwls play 30s music. What's old is new. So long as
we've got another depression on our hands, why not face
it with the uplifting tunes of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller
and the like. It's not nearly as old as dirt from which so
much life springs at this time of year. Just weeks ago, a
cactus was one of the greenest shoots at Brooklyn
Wildlife Sanctuary. Yet in the 40F waters surrounding the
park just off JFK Airport's runways, watersport
enthusiasts donned serious drysuits to get a jump on the
sailboarding and parasailing season ahead. A little inland,
Brooklyn Botanical Garden teems with new life as cherry
blossoms, daffodils and domesticated wildflowers like the
tiny American Grape awoke for their new year. Of course
I didn't have to remind my garden that a new growing
season had arrived. Weeds knew that months ago and
were ready to knock on my door to say "Feed Me!"
Instead, they got assaulted by a spade that still bears the
crudely scratched initials of my grandfather, Samuel
Sterner. He was way too feeble to turn a shovel when I
knew him, but my dad, Wilbur, turned tons of soil with
this tool before it was passed to me. This simple hand tool
makes light work of turning a garden and somehow I feel
it has something to do with generations of foot power
teaming up to get a tough job done. Before long 40 pounds
of fertilizer and 80 pounds of topsoil were mixed into the
8- by 10-foot plot, making it ready for the first of three
annual gardens. As the newly planted salad greens wind
down, they'll be replaced with summer veggies like beans,
tomatoes, peppers and the like. Mid-August will be time to
start the fall garden of salad greens and sugar snaps that'll
produce until the first frost, and hops will be ready to
harvest for homebrewing. Stay tuned for the Rite of Fall.
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Bob Sterner
photos © 2009
Kurt Hoffman and Bob, BKrooss photo
Bob / BKrooss Photo
Dale Burleyson, Dave Dorbin, BKrooss photo
Megan Burleyson, BKrooss photo
Pianist Karl Bagley, BKrooss photo
Sowing seeds in Hoboken
Gramp's shovel
American Grapes, Blyn Botanical Garden
Daffy's, B'lyn Botanical Garden
Cherry Tree, Blyn Botanical Garden
Sailboarder, B'lyn Sanctuary
Prickly Pear, B'lyn Sanctuary
Paraskiing, B'lyn Sanctuary