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Ah, spring

DSC_0316In 14 years I have never seen so many bees hanging around a more fragrant grapefruit tree. The perfume from the citrus blossoms floats and lingers in a scented halo. This is the first year I treated the tree with a modicum of respect — a little dung here, fertilizer there, a proper prune and there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, a generously fragrant citrus tree that forgives more than a decade of neglect.

And then the bees, the extremely busy buzzers, are in high pollination, doing good, really important work and much appreciated. They pause only to urge others to sign up for Obamacare. Then they just go about doing good things. I think in spite of the queen, they are liberals.DSC_0323

The roses are doing very well, having supped from the same manure-spreading sessions. A small dose of Rand Paul can go a long way, proving the ground of a fanatic is fertile indeed. Some roses, alas, have been beset with nasty, liar aphids, sometimes known as koch bugs. Makes the blossoms wilt. These are particularly irritating because they are tea poddy aphids. You can get rid of them, mirabile dictu, by spraying profoundly with truth and reason. They leave, grumpy and ill-tempered in a great Rush.

My grapevines covet territory. They spread like wildfire looking keenly to cover and engulf the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine withDSC_0322 distant dreams of tendrils and vines in Poland, Austria and Sudetenland. I am content to do my impression of Chamberlain and appease them as best I can. If we can’t have peace, at least we’ll have grapes in our time.

I have to say that my prickly pear putin cactus has never looked better. It froze badly the past two winters, but this year it has flourished, grown tall and confident, even bold. It has more putin pricks than you can shake an economic sanction at. You do not want to handle it because it will stick you without warning, take a vote and annex you.

There’s not a lot you can do about it except sing “Crimea River.”



  1. Bill Waters says:

    Great wordplay in el jardin, joven!

  2. Bill Waters says:

    Also, great shot of the honeybee in paradise!

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