bunt sign

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

In advance of Groundhog Day, coming up this weekend, I already have good news. At any rate, it's better news than a cloudy day in Punxsutawney. That traditional sign of spring makes no sense to me anyway. Pennsylvania is going to have six more weeks of winter no matter how many shadows fall on it Sunday.

Spring, I'm now convinced, will arrive. I can't be sure when, but I can report that the robins are back. They don't spend the winter around here, so I know they believe in the inevitability of spring. They've been in my yard twice this week, so far. And I haven't even been paying attention, so it could be more. It's comforting to have them on my side.

Another thing I haven't paid attention to is the garden. Uff. It's still green, but that's about the best thing I can say about it. All the places where the weeds and grasses grow have gone wild again. It's growing up between the paving stones and overwhelming the birdbaths. What I said wasn't going to happen is happening. It's getting out of control.

The gopher is back, too. Little mounds of dirt are likely to turn up almost anywhere. I've pretty much come to terms with that pest, though. I know I can't stop it, so I just let it be. I'll smash down the piles in areas where people walk, but I won't try to flood out the holes, the way I did my first year here. That was a useless exercise.

Unfortunately, it's still winter, no matter how determined I am to be hopeful. It hasn't rained for a week, but there's still mud in the driveway. I still have to wipe off my new Saturn every time I get home from running errands. And more rain is coming, if not this weekend as predicted then some time before April.

But I don't care. The signs are everywhere, if only you know how to look for them (or at least how to shade your interpretation of them the right way).

morning fog

It was springlike this afternoon, but this morning the old oak was shrouded in fog.

Yesterday I looked up from my daily drudgery and saw a ring-necked pheasant ambling through the back yard. I don't know what that's a sign of, because I haven't seen one get that close to the house. Usually when I see them they're at the far end of the garden near the creek, or in the field beyond the oak tree. This one just walked past my back door and on through the hole in the fence.

I hope it's okay, because it was headed for the vacant lot next door. Beyond that is the street, and I don't know how well it would do there. Probably not as well as the peacocks, who are used to wandering back and forth across the road. You can't hit one of them if you try, believe me.

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No, I've never actually tried to hit a peacock. I've been tempted, though. When I lived in the duplex next door (for all of four months nearly three years ago), their racket competed with the noisy neighbors to keep me awake. That's why I moved. (The neighbors, not the peacocks.)

Now I have no excuses for staying awake. I just do.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Sheltered
"Let's have one more cold night and then cancel the rest of winter, shall we? I'm a Californian, and I didn't sign up for ice and snow."

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Git along, little taxi, you can keep the change.
I'm riding home to my kitchen range
Way out west on West End Avenue.