There are a few things about spring that really annoy me. The first is the veil of green that coats everything. If you leave your car out of the garage you’ll be sure to find it covered in green goo. Green goo is defined as the stuff that trees make and shed in the spring. The winds carry this substance through the air and drop it everywhere. There’s absolutely no sense in wiping it off your outside furniture or BBQ grill because tomorrow will bring more. You’d think the wind would blow it away wouldn’t you?
And I pity anyone with allergies when the green goo begins its rein. My poor husband about goes insane. He sneezes from his toes up to his nose. He can be heard a block away despite his nasal spray.
I had a neighbor some years ago who could not leave her house in the spring. Her allergies were so bad that her eyes would almost swell shut and her nose would run like a faucet yet she couldn’t breathe through it. She loved to garden and work in the yard but the green goo made that nearly impossible.
A large part of working in the yard includes picking up branches. The strong spring winds are brutal on the trees. They not only knock down big branches but small twigs blow everywhere. And even if you’ve raked and picked up all the dead leaves left over from fall, the winds deposit new leaves all over the yard. It’s a never-ending process. As a pool owner I find this especially irritating because a large portion of the leaves and twigs seem to gravitate toward the pool. Get out the leaf net because the pool sweep is choking to death and the pump won’t run. And you can’t ignore cleaning it out because tomorrow’s winds will bring forth more. It’s a never-ending chore.
Another bane I find so aggravating is what the squirrels have done. While they may be amusing to watch as they scamper about chasing each other up and down trees, their planting of forests is the pits if you ask me. Each spring I find literally hundreds of new little oaks coming up all over the yard. Trying to pull them up is very hard. You can’t simply mow them down because they resurface. The two large oak trees, one in front and one in back, offer an infinite supply of acorns. If I’d known when I put the trees in what I know now I never would have planted them.
For years I never saw a squirrel, not one. And I don’t know why we have them now. Just because the trees have grown up is no reason. I mean where do the squirrels come from? Do they get dropped off by other homeowners who’ve had enough? Does one lone squirrel go for a walk one day and see an acorn tree? Then does he go back from whence he came and tell others about the bounty? Do squirrels only live in certain counties?
Most every one has seen a squirrel busy burying nuts. I always used to think this was cute just like their bushy tails. And after all, they needed to bury so they would have food over the winter months. But how in the world would they remember where the nuts are buried? And even if they did recall, they certainly didn’t recover many based on the tree farm they left behind. So, of course, this is Mother Nature’s way of replenishing the tree population. I just wish she wouldn’t choose to do that in my yard.
When the ground is soft (which it sure hasn’t been this particular spring) you can pull the little seedlings up and most times get the nut. But due to the lack of rain this March a digging tool was required to get to the root of the problem which caused yet more work. It’s a backbreaking chore to undo what the squirrels live for.
And that’s why I don’t feel any shame at all for laughing out loud when I saw a squirrel fall out of a tree. He was making a huge leap from one branch to another and darned if he missed his target. The branches were pretty far up and when he landed on the ground it was with an unhealthy thud. He laid very still for a minute then shook his head and up he bounced as though nothing had happened. I didn’t want to see him injured (dead would have been okay) but I did think he deserved the headache. After all, he’d given me plenty.
Originally published in the May 2011 issue of The Cross Timbers Gazette.