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2014-04-23 / Loose Ends

Coping with spring

Susan Nienow

Why am I afraid to put away the coats, scarves and slush boots? I feel like I might jinx spring. I’ve waited so long for this. I really like spring to arrive right after New Year’s. Of course, that would be a history-making event once again pitting the global warming people against the “It’s just hot” people.

The spring peepers know it’s spring. They start raising a ruckus at dusk every evening – the purpose is to attract a mate as only the males can peep. So I guess the pond is an amphibious version of a speed-dating site. While all that is going on in the evening, during the day the bird feeder is full of couples mooning over each other and sharing sunflower seeds.

Spring means my brown pants look very wintery. It means I really want to wear brighter colors, but they are all in bins on the shelves in my closet. I do have a turquoise sweater I can put on over my black top and pants. If I bring things down now, it might bring on a cold snap.

I am a firm believer in Murphy’s Law. Murphy inserts himself in the most unlikely places. It’s like carrying an umbrella and expecting it to rain. It only rains when the umbrella is in the car, and I am in a store a block away. And just to make a point, it is usually on a day when I am going someplace in the evening and need dry, styled hair, not frizzy, drizzled-on hair.

In taking a census while walking around the yard today, I realized that voles took care of a few shrubs that wouldn’t have been bothered by the cold temperatures. The yellow rose bush is now a half a rose. The three climbing roses are now one. One of my caryopteruses – or is it caryopteri? – doesn’t seem to be sprouting any new leaves and there are little holes around the base.

The official count so far is deer 3, voles 7. There may still be perennials that I will remember planting that won’t show up. Replacements are coming. I don’t give up. However, I will plant these new plants with protection around their roots. And yes, I understand that because Murphy will be present, the deer and voles will pick other plants to destroy.

My other half has been busy mowing. It’s not that the grass is growing; the weeds are. I want them mowed before they go to seed. We don’t use many chemicals on the plants because we have a well. That means I have to pull or dig them out. There are some things that we need to find a use for so we could make a fortune selling gum balls or chickweed.

It was a banner year for gum balls around here. Too bad the deer don’t eat them instead of acorns. That’s Murphy again.

Soon the baby squirrels will be on the deck trying to find a way up to the bird feeder. And the joke will be on them. It truly is squirrel proof.

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