Our small orchard is the current project in the ongoing saga of making a little piece of paradise even more delightful. We love the little wild creatures which share our 14 acres, but we recently discovered that some of them had played hob with the drip irrigation system that was watering the fruit trees. Some of the native fauna had chewed hoses, plastic tubes carrying water to the trees, and even the electrical wires that controlled the system. It was almost certainly squirrels that slashed the hoses since the gashes were too high for the rabbits to reach and squirrels could climb the rubber hoses. Obviously, the animals were looking for water, and found it since the gashed tubes were releasing their fluid whenever the system went on which happened automatically several times a week. Unfortunately, the further consequence was that some of the trees did not get the water they should have, and several have died. We are now replacing the soft plastic tubes with polyvinyl pipes which we hope will resist even the powerful teeth of squirrels. The control wires will be enclosed in a strong wire box. The similar wire box which was built around my tomato and pepper plants is working well, so the squirrels are no longer able to steal my tomatoes before they are ripe.
It is not surprising that the animals are looking for water. Southern California is back to drought conditions with almost no rain since early April. James keeps both food and pans of water in the yard for the animals and birds. I have seen as many as a dozen little wild rabbits in the yard when I come back from swimming in the late afternoon. But there are probably many other wild ones who lack the courage to come that close to human homes. The hummingbirds are the bravest. They will feed at their nectar fountains with humans standing within arm’s length. And some of the rabbits are gaining confidence so they wait impatiently in the morning for the food to arrive and start eating from the pans almost before James has turned away.
Maritha, Mark and I were all speakers for the recent astrology conference in Del Mar, California, and everyone had a good time. I hosted Nick Kollerstrom from England before the conference. He has done several interesting research projects in astrology and has others in progress. Francoise Gauquelin is visiting from Paris for a short time and she will be here overnight this next weekend. Soon after that, I will be going to Mexico again to lecture on secondary progressions. I have been spending all the time I could manage for the past month on a new time for the U.S. Declaration of Independence. For years, I had tried repeatedly to find a time in the late afternoon which would fit the events in our history. An increasing amount of evidence seemed to point to a late afternoon time, and I finally have one which is “working.” The fall 1993 Asteroid-World will be mostly devoted to the “new” chart. Meanwhile, have a happy holiday in case (as is likely) the Sagittarius Mutable Dilemma does not reach you until 1994.