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June 1st 2010    Tim Candler

    Can't recall this time last year with great clarity.  Pretty certain it wasn't quite this warm, nor were Brussels Sprouts feeding the young of white butterfly.  I know this because last year there were no Brussels Sprouts in the Vegetable Garden.  

    Inevitable for a plant to sit there sometimes with dumb loyalty as an absent minded gardener potters around ignoring it because in his bones he knows the relationship will be an unhappy one.    I always think the cabbage family of plants is Mecca for the more voracious butterflies, and reckoned upon Butterflies enjoying Brussels Sprouts more than I.    As well I have seen Brussels Sprouts overcooked, I have watched grubs the size of a little toe pop out of them, and they remind me of those social gatherings where the unlike are forced to mix without benefit of mind altering medication.

   But sometimes 'why me' signals are transmitted, and these are hard to ignore because they can create a guilt in the gardener that leads to deft work with a shovel, which is usually followed by an equally guilt ridden concealment in the compost pile, an act that anticipates the ever present 'why did I do that.'

   Suffice to say my hands have a bluish green to them, they smell bitterly of caterpillar goo and there was one little white butterfly amongst the fallen.   Now all that remains is cooler weather, which won't happen until October.   And between now and then there will be European Cabbage White, Southern Dogface, Checkered White, their relatives, their eggs and their wretched children.  Then grasshopper will occur, root blight  and other poxes will encroach, and I understand with clarity the chances of plucking Brussels Sprouts in December remains low down upon the horizon.

    Some enjoy a challenge and then there are brick walls. 

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