Rites of Spring

52  bar rises 29.94  2mph NW  dewpoint 20 Beltane, sunny

                Waxing Gibbous Hare Moon

Nope, this isn’t about naked pagans dancing under a full moon.  Sorry.

Rather, it’s about those things we do.  In spring. 

The Mickman’s guy just left.  “Charlie,” he said, “We came through the winter pretty good.  Just one dead sprinkler.”  He handed me a sandy, wet plastic sprinkler head, smiled and went on his way.

Kate bought her annual supply of, well, annuals.  Alyssum, impatiens and coleus.  She’ll go back for a few more.

We prepared and planted new beds, cleaned old ones.

The furnace last ran in April, but, unlike most years we have not turned on the air conditioning yet.

The dogs spend more and more time outside, just like we do.

The guy who cleans the gutters and does the outside windows will show up after the cottonwoods disperse their seeds.

We moved the snowblower to the back of the garage bay and the riding lawnmower to the front.  These are his and hers machines.  Snowblower–his.  Lawnmower–hers.

We have all of these mechanical/electronic servants.  Instead of a gardener, we have a sprinkler system and a riding mower.   Instead of servants working mechanical fans we have an air conditioner.  Instead of a summer kitchen we have Vent-a-Hoods.  Instead of the post office we have e-mail.  Instead of shopping in real world stores we have Internet retailers.

These are sophisticated technological devices and they replace human labor of the domestic variety with skilled human labor.  The skilled folks make more money because they work in several locations rather than just one.

I find though, that when I work in the garden, I prefer hand tools:  a spade, a spading fork, pruning saw, trowel, rake.  In general  I allow only one mechanical tool into my work on our grounds.  The chainsaw.  It replaces labor I’m not sure I could perform even if I had the time.  On occasion I’ll rent an industrial strength chipper, but only after many hours cutting down trees and brush, then delimbing.  I plan to rent a stump grinder sometime this spring, but that’s a very special purpose piece of equipment.  Otherwise it’s shovel and pick, adz and drawknife.  Small sledge hammer, wire cutters and bolt cutters, Japanese weeding knife, serrated sickle and unserrated sickle.  A tool in the hand is worth two in the bush.  Or something like that.