First, Clarion West Write-A-Progress: (Sponsor me here!)
June 22 – 609 words (novel)
June 21 – 942 words (novel)
Meanwhile, participants, M.K. Hobson has pledged a buck for your best sentence.
I have successfully grown, ripened and eaten three strawberries in my deck garden so far this summer. There will be more, potentially quite a few of them. Many, unfortunately, will be mutant berries like this fellow here:
I attribute this to the insect warfare raging out on the deck. The garden’s just big enough to support a lively colony of ants, you see, and they are enthusiastic aphid farmers. Each spring when the tulips have come and gone they pack the strawberry stems with little black aphids, so that each stem looks like a miniature football team huddling under a green umbrella. I retaliate by kidnapping unsuspecting ladybugs from the neighborhood fennel plants, and dropping them at the base of the strawberries.
I didn’t think this had worked at all this year, but about two weeks ago I went out and found a ladybug laying eggs on my pansies, and a few days ago I dropped a ladybug in the berries only to realize that there was nothing there for her: all the little black huddled dots were the husks of aphids that had been sucked dry.
So the berries took a hit, but I’ll still get some deliciousness out of it, not to mention the entertainment value derived from the carnage.