I have been hesitant to spend much time outside given our pollen count of late. The warm spell in early spring led every species of plant to bloom ahead of schedule, along with the plants that normally emerge early in the year. We have had lilacs and roses blooming with the tulips and the dogwood trees. My yard is full of millions of oak and maple seeds blown from next door. Mary’s 100-year-old oak has outdone itself this year.
Standing in the bakery on Wednesday waiting for the server to fix two sandwiches for me and David and assemble other goodies including pecan pie for David, led me to spring my back. I simply cannot stand for any length of time.
Sprung back and hay fever and I felt so poorly, I stayed home last night. Penitent, went on my university website this morning to write a note to my professor asking his forgiveness for my truancy only to discover he had stayed home with a 101 temperature.
Owing to attrition, illnesses and travel by my classmates all of whom are younger than me and gainfully employed in demanding jobs, Professor cancelled the class. I decided to forgo my message and keep my secret. As the end of the semester approaches we are all ready to collapse. He is a new professor who overworked us, and even he is paying the price.
My back a bit better this morning, I began pulling weeds from the brick walkway. It hurts so badly at times I was afraid bending over hurt me, but my doctor says no, it is good to stretch those back muscles. Gently, gently of course.
A few drops of rain came two days ago, and my rain barrels are half full, pollen floating on the surface like powdered detergent in cold water. The storm seemed relatively mild. Nevertheless, I found a baby dove lying under the rose trellis, fallen from his nest and killed. The doves are such sloppy nest builders. We don’t need any more doves, but I have tried to keep the rose on the front support trimmed in such a way as to keep the nests from falling. Mother Quail makes a “sort of” nest in that trellis every year.
Meanwhile I continue my annual bird watching and have seen the chickadees move into the Nuthatch bird house where they are feeding a clutch of youngsters. I have not seen the House Wrens this spring although the Carolina Wren checked out one of the wren houses. Yesterday a Goldfinch pair investigated the wren house near the suet feeder in the Holly tree. I have removed the dead Echinacea to make way for the new plants, and the male seemed to be saying to the female, “I found Echinacea here last year. (Goldfinch in the Echinacea. Photo taken by me two summers ago.) They flew off muttering, apparently, she disapproving of the potential quarters. The Downey Woodpeckers drilled for weeks, but they have formed a hole in one of Garland’s half dead trees and seem to be busy taking suet cake back to their brood. I have come to love half dead trees, they make such nice bird houses. Soon the Fuchsia will begin to bloom, and I should see the odd Hummingbird. They generally return in May.
Pollen be damned, I will have my time in the garden.