Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summer swarms

It is officially summer in Newfoundland but with a bonus this year. It is actually warm. Often heat doesn't kick in til July and exists in fits and starts til days start to noticeably shorten and cooler evenings are apparent. But this year heat has drifted in for the last two weeks and its blissful.

However with summer comes some unique phemonenons, not all peculiar to Newfoundland. Today's is flying ants. I finished a couple of days of meetings early and as it was warm and summy, came home to enjoy some of the sun in the garden. Noooo. Heavy rain followed by heat seems to bring out swarms of these creatures and they're everywhere. I don't like bugs in any form, so sitting in the garden with these ants landing on me every minute or so doesn't thrill me.

Of course, the ducks and chickens are having a field day capturing ants after they lose their wings or grabbing them out of the air. I commend their efforts.

The older chickens have been given their freedom for the summer now too. The yard is full of birds with occasional squabbles when one crosses the others territory,in particular the geese maintaining the 20 foot perimeter of 'no go' around the ever growing goslings. The old hens, however, faced with the great outdoors, are cautious. They're anxious to walk across the tarmac to the grass, but fearful of the scope of the world in front of them. A fews days of venturing further and I'm sure I'll be shooing them off the front step and having hunts for eggs in flowerbeds and other odd places as they enjoy their freedom.

With freedom comes danger and there are eyes in the woods and the air watching the chickens. Hawks, foxes, coyotes and mink all wait for a lapse in concentration of either human or fowl to pounce. The geese are good in that respect as they have tackled hawk attacks and are perfect air raid sirens. Retirement, even for birds is faced with problems.

This pen and ink drawing was an experiment in technique, completed as I was learning how to control the medium. I like the position of the pots, but its a bit 'busy' for me and I find it distracting.

Another summer phenomenon seems to be the collection of 'things'. Acquisitions that really are of no great use to anyone except as a temporary splash of colour. Now colour is fine, but it costs money. My husband keeps edging towards a set of patio furniture. I haven't any interest in it for a couple of reasons: 1. Newfoundland summers have 2.5 days of sit-out-and-eat weather as a rule (please prove me wrong 2006) 2. Sets of patio furniture cost around $400 (provided you want one that doesn't collapse under the weight of more than 2 glasses of wine on the table or hefty Uncle George relaxing) Lately acquisition of material items doesn't interest me as it once did. They really are just that, things that serve no great purpose in life except to prove to the neighbours (if I had any) that I work my guts out to buy things that I don't need. I came across an interesting article that summed up some of my views well. Don't Die With Your Music Still In You. On the other hand, the footnote of 'send a donation to Steve' made me laugh at the irony of it as well as the other listings of articles that he had written about increasing wealth.

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