April 20th, 2013

gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

Achoo

Something is pollinating. I sneezed all day and feel like I've been pummeled. A few bees were out, but clearly they aren't collecting all the pollen or there would be less of it blowing about. Maybe if there were more bees they would get it all before the wind does. But then this might be a pollen even the bees don't want. It might be from one of the nasty grasses that now fill the fields. I think bees prefer flower pollen, but aside from a few roses and irises and camellias and some fading lilacs there aren't many flowers blooming right now. The azaleas have all died, and the daisies haven't bloomed yet. The jasmine and gardenias probably won't bloom for a few weeks yet. I don't think any of them make me sneeze, either. Yes, it must be grass.

Tomorrow is supposed to be very warm, so my sneezing might get even worse. On Sunday I'll get to go to the store and breathe some air conditioned air for a while, which will be nice. This is the only time of year I actually look forward to shopping. Most of the time it's just an inconvenience, but in spring its a chance to get away from the pollen for a while. I might even go to K-mart for a while, even though I don't have any spare cash to spend there.

Oh, look. I've run past midnight again. That's because I keep doping off. That's another thing the pollen does. Or maybe its just my clogged sinuses putting pressure on my brain. Ech. Must put tissues on my shopping list.
caillebotte_the orangerie

Warm

There were three butterflies in my back yard this evening. One was mostly orange, but I don't think it was a Monarch. It might have been a West Coast Lady. This one perched on a plant I'd just sprinkled, probably to get a drink. Another was mostly black with some dark blue near its tail. It never alighted on anything for long, and I can't identify it, but it resembled this bug that somebody posted video of on YouTube. The third one was small, pale yellow, and very active, never landing at all but flying very near the spray from my garden hose. Possibly it was an Orange barred Sulpher, though if so it must have been a young one as it was not as big as that page says they are supposed to be.

It was nice to have butterflies keeping me company as I sprinkled the lupines, which are just beginning to bloom. I also sprinkled some patches of small-leafed, ground-covering volunteer plants with tiny yellow flowers on them. Wherever they grow, they completely crowd out the foxtails and other noxious weeks. The foxtails might sprout up when those plants die back, though, and as I recall those plants don't like the hot weather at all. But I'm glad to have them while they last. The butterflies seemed to enjoy them, too. The butterflies probably like my yard because it has so many weeds in it, and because I use no pesticides or herbicides at all. I'm hoping to see a lot more of them. They are my favorite daytime insects.

This week I had to go shopping early, as I couldn't arrange transportation for Sunday. The markets are more zoo-like on Saturdays, and today was no exception. At least it wasn't the beginning of the month, when the stores are even more crowded. I got three ears of corn today. It's the first corn of the season, which is always a bit underdeveloped, but I managed to find three ears that had mostly mature kernels on them and I'm going to boil them up for dinner. I also got a great deal on some frozen fruit bars, so I have appropriate snacks for the upcoming warm weather.

Also appropriate to warm weather: Rumba!