Monday, January 20, 2020

You're Being Put on Notice

You're Being Put on Notice

            Humans notice what they want to notice, though each has their own focus.
             Birds? What birds?:  A man enjoys a vacation in France, even taking the TGV from north to south. He reports to his friend, a birder, how much he enjoyed the trip and how much he saw. The friend asks, “Did you see any birds?” The man shrugs, “No.” The birder's eyes pop. “You traveled through a whole country and didn't even see one bird?” The reply, “No.” Of course he saw many birds, but didn't notice them or remember them.
             Lawn? What lawn?:  One day I showed a co-worker a photo of some of my azaleas taken in the back yard. Expecting perfunctory compliments, I was floored when he simply said, “Don't you ever mow your lawn?” I hadn't even noticed I had a lawn. At least, not in that picture. My yard-life is dominated by the care of azaleas and some other flowering plants. A lawn? I sort of remember mowing the lawn occasionally, I think. The area of the yard others call a “lawn” is, for me, a collection of low, herbaceous green stuff: clover, plantain, crabgrass, Stiltgrass, dandelion, Creeping Charlie and the like. They're green. I'm fine with green. My standard line is: “When the weeds in my yard green-up, it must be spring.”

Did you notice the Ground Orchid flowers? Don't look at the ground.
            Bushes? What bushes?:  Which brings me to an event last summer. A micro-burst had taken down a couple of large branches of Red Maples (note to self: don't ever plant such brittle, short-lived specimens!) The branches missed most of the azaleas, but were too big for my handsaw, so I called a tree service, and they came the next day. I had them take down a few small, dead branches from some oaks in the front yard, too, and they were done in an hour. They showed they were a complete service team by using a leaf blower to clean the lawn of debris, which was too small to bother picking up by hand. Where did this debris go? Yes, you got it on the first try! All over the azaleas, leaving them covered with “leavings,” leaving a clean lawn, and leaving me to pry off the leaves and other debris from my favorite plants. I'm sure they were sure homeowners would appreciate their cleanliness. I'm sure, on average, they were right, as they noticed the lawn and ignored the bushes.
            Bushes are for workers to empty excess paint behind, drape hoses and tools over, and hide other activities that would/should never be noticed by the homeowners.

            I've noticed that almost every hobby can be lonely.
            I've noticed that maintaining a large garden is a lot of work, not 100% successful as winds, rains, droughts, bugs, branches, and maintenance workers torture it.
            I've noticed that other people don't notice what I notice, though their variety make the world more interesting. I'll give the universe a pass on that!


  1. I noticed that my yard's been very quiet. I guess the birds are sleeping elsewhere this week.

  2. We're in a middle period now as some birds who come down for the worst of the winter have gone (or never came) and the spring migrants mostly haven't started moving, though I did find a pair of Woodcocks in my backyard yesterday. They only pass through, but will be at Huntley Meadows for the spring and summer.