Various Veins

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Ross Andrews - Various Veins

The first of May, the first of May, chores to do and plans to lay!

Yeah, I know. I was a youth once.

But chores there are if you have a garden or lawn. On Saturday I checked my fish ponds. Rotting maple leaves will kill any fish so the first step is bale and scrub.

The water from melted snow and rain was clear enough to reveal thousands of mosquito larvae wriggling and jerking like burlesque queens. I hope they suffocate on more or less dry land before they get their wings. There were drowned earthworms, pale and slimy. Robins patrolling the yard will enjoy them.

My aerator pump was worn out last fall. It would run for a minute and trip the breaker. Must get a new one before I refill the ponds and stock them with fish to keep the mosquito population from exploding.

My lawn-care man came while I was scooping water. He fertilized the lawn, perhaps to ensure there's something to mow later. Dandelions and violets and snowdrops and blue stars of some sort adorn the yard. My iris garden, more grass than iris, is astir. I edged it Saturday because the dwarf variety on the margin are so grass-like my man may not notice them.

Shrubs are in stress, girdled by hungry bunnies during the winter.

I brought a couple of toes of strawberry rhubarb from Taylor Lake last fall and returned them to their home. They were really tiny. Got some sheep manure to encourage them and covered them with a bushel of shavings from my jointer plane to shelter them through the winter. Carefully fingered through the shavings until I found the wee clumps seeking the light. I said home, but those plants have moved several times over the years. I think they came from a field along Sandytown Road north of the Little Otter. It once was the farm of John Billington who married Winnie, sister of Bill and Harry Stewart, and carried her off West Lorne way. The snowball bush in my yard came from that same field.

The Billingtons moved into St. Thomas and I boarded with them for a couple of years while I attended the Collegiate Institute.

Rhubarb seems immortal, but people and houses aren't. I was pall bearer for both John and Winnie, and last time I drove by 29 Yarwood in St. Thomas the house was caving in to leave a vacancy like the one on Sandytown Road.

Friday night I happened on to Victor/Victoria on TV. Watching Julie Andrews dancing like my mosquito wrigglers, and cuddling in bed with James Garner without the benefit of clergy gave me pause. Like lots of folk I guess, I forget that the actress in The Sound of Music is not a nun, or a respectably married stepmother. She's performing a role. I really don't hold such a moral opinion about relationships but there must be some underlying attitude, remnant of Sunday school days. A sort of PBSD.

Saturday I saw the Brits welcoming the new princess. She was oblivious to the noise of the throngs, asleep in Kate's arms.

Later in the day I tried to find a replay of the Kentucky Derby. I was too late. All I found was WKBG extra exploring marriages and breakups and beginning new romances with all the passion of the celebrating Brits. The difference is these lissome ladies are trying to prolong present popularity, not hoping to wear a royal crown if history so unfolds. I wonder if the folks who follow this entertainment society also keep up with the numbers of people buried by earthquakes, drowned fleeing war zones, and all the other horrors?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Enough of this stuff. I'm going to look for the cardinal's nest out behind the gazebo.



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