> jumping into life.

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The robin found the birdfeeder the next day, and we've been watching him (his mate doesn't seem to venture out as often) nearly every day since. Also a few European sparrows, a blue jay and a squirrel. The pepper plants have tiny green pepper-nubs, the potatoes are up to my knees, and the beans have found their trellis. There are twenty-five tomato plants threatening us with annihilation, though none of them have yet deigned to flower. The blueberries are turning blue.

Summer here is a halfstep back from completely overwhelming. There is green here that coastal California has never seen, the kind view you could only get in Arizona from the dead center of a cottonwood. The modest, guarded green of the madrone and the manzanita; the leaves that whittle themselves down to spines; the breezebent cypress on its seaside crag? Not here. Here the vines overtake the bushes and then the trees, and the flowers carpet all beneath. I had forgotten this green.

Of course, Arizona's nine-month growing season is as lacking as its glochids, and I have no idea if our four-inch-tall corn will make it to fruiting. Though the fruit of the garden is, honestly, ancillary to the keeping of the garden. Delicious, but ancillary.