Matters Quotidian

by wjw on March 1, 2010

The Winter Olympics at least provided a pleasing distraction as I was preparing my taxes for the accountant. Hundreds of check stubs, hundreds of little receipts with cryptic scrawls on them. (What is “sprawk?” Is it deductible? Does it go on Schedule C?) And then I look up, and Canucks and Austrians and Chinese Communists are gracefully doing weird aerial stunts on ski slopes. And tonight there were the giant mechanical beavers and the Radio City kick line of Mounties.

Satire is impossible. Just impossible.

This morning we ventured forth to perform our yearly task of burning weeds and leaves stranded on our property last autumn. Normally we would have done this earlier, but starting in December we started to get weird weather. We’ve been getting milder versions of the storms that have been vexing the rest of the nation, and so we’ve had lots of rain and sleet and occasional snow. Likewise, it’s been maybe ten degrees cooler than usual. It’s hard to burn leaves in a heavy rain.

As a result of the weather, many of the weeds, normally dead and dried by this time of year, never died at all. I would have thought the unusual cold would have killed them, but apparently it’s been wet enough to keep them going.

They are not only thriving, they’re blooming, and attracting a rather sinister cloud of bees. And where the hell did they come from at this time of year?

I fear the spring, Montresor. I fear it. For it is the season in which the giant mechanical beavers move south in search of warmer climes.

Pat Mathews March 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

This year my yard worker cleared off large sunken areas around the fruit trees and piled the leaves into the pits. She was out in mid February and says they're mulching up very nicely.

Carrie March 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I got the feeling Bob Costas waited all night just to be able to say "giant inflatable beaver."

Dave Bishop March 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Bees are good, surely?

Curiously, I visited a local church yard this time last year looking for Crocuses. I found a spectacular display of two species – C. vernus and C. tomma sinianus and, possibly, the hybrid between them. These flowers were swarming with bees – which were probably from beehives belonging to a friend of mine who lives nearby.
I re-visited the church yard this afternoon, hoping to repeat last year's experience. Sadly, there was a subdued display of Crocuses and no bees. I put this down to the very cold, snowy winter that we've had here in NW England.

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