An All-Volunteer Army

As conservation authorities in the Ottawa area warn of low water levels
on area waterways this spring, Environment Canada’s forecast
suggests the lack of rain will continue.
CTV News

As an aside, it seemed wrong, at first glance, that a lack could continue.

While I might not express it quite that way, it certainly captures the feeling of this absence, dearth, shortage, paucity, and scarcity of rain to say that it will go on, extend, linger, keep up, and otherwise endure.

And so, too, must we.

Rain? Distant mem’ry.
Plants? About to be mem’ries.
Weeds? Growing like weeds.

It seems even wronger that near-drought conditions that are hard on the intentional components of my garden seem to have no effect on the volunteer components, apart from making them even harder to dig out of the baked-down soil.

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Don’t yell at me.

I looked at the retired colonel in surprise. I hadn’t raised my voice.

Had I?

No. But there’s more than one way to yell. Tone and intensity work almost as well as volume.

As one of those touchy-feely types said to me later over dinner, “Yeah, you yelled at him. Next time, think about what’s happening inside.” I don’t think I rolled my eyes. What’s happening inside, indeed.

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La bee en rose

If I’d been a day earlier this could have been raindrops on roses.

If I’d been a minute later I would have missed the bee.


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Is it the great circle of being? The never-ending cycle of life? The grand procession of the seasons?

I dunno, but the tulips, irises, magnolias, and now even the lilacs are pretty much done until next year. Cue the clematis and the poppies.

By the time I got outside this week, the poppies were past their best – but even their second-best is pretty fine.

2-photo collage of CA poppies

CA poppy seed head with petal

Seeds lift in the breeze;
pink leather melts into green.
A start and an end.

2-photo collage of poppy seed head and petal


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Four Easy Steps

Put the bottom of the violin under your chin.
Hold the neck of the violin away from you.
Draw the bow back and forth repeatedly
across the strings to make music.

As I remember it, there were several of these silly instruction sets back in the day, but of course I couldn’t find this one. I did find another, attributed to Monty Python.

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Back to Normal

I know we’re not quite there yet, but what will normal look like?

For some, being able to get back on the links.

For others, feeling not quite so much on the brink.

For some, getting the kids back into school.

For others, going back to work in an office, or going back to work at all.

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A Peek Outside

I may have mentioned that I am working silly hours at the moment. Maybe once or twice, even. I figure another two weeks and I should be clear.

In the meantime, I do poke my nose outside occasionally. The last time, I found Batman lurking, and both my car’s roof and and my flowering crabapple tree (which almost got carried away by tent caterpillars last year) shedding: raindrops and blossoms, respectively.

2-photo collage

Batman lives? And raindrops on (car) rooftops.

Crabapple on driveway


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Can It Wait?

It’s all right.
Glass doesn’t stain.

I’m sitting but I still stop in my tracks. He’s absolutely right and I had never thought of it that way before.

The year is oh, I don’t know, 1996 or so. I’m in PEI on a business trip and am taking a few days to tour around because it’s my first time here. (There?) (These point-of-view words are so tricky.) (And when you least expect it.) My first time in PEI.

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Premeditated Resentments

That’s what AA calls “expectations”: premeditated resentments.

Expectations of how the world should be, expectations of others at home and at work, expectations of how I should be, expectations of  being able to enjoy my magnolia tree without squirrelly interference, dagnab it.

When reality does not match your expectations
Adjust your expectations.
– Anonymous

So this week, while my expectations of work and the contributions of others are not matching reality, I focused on being grateful for the few magnolia blooms that somehow evaded the local munchers. And for the break from work that this photo-shoot afforded me.

Triptych of magnolia blossoms

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