Cottage Status Report 20200607

I am pleased to report that the family of dock spiders is enjoying the fine spring weather. They bask in the midday sunshine in a physically distant array. All seven of them, spaced out in their own isolated zones of dock real estate, ensuring I will maintain a distance of at least a ten-foot pole. Or maybe they aren’t a family after all, just roommates in a waterfront condo. I have not and will not ask.

The spiders seem to prefer one arm of the dock over the other, probably because the outside projection is prone to assault from the wake of passing boats and jet skis full of carefree people who do not think laws regarding limited speed in narrow channels apply to them. Luckily, the swim ladder is on the outer, lakeside portion of the dock and if I stomp heavily and dash quickly, I can pretend there are no colonies of mutant arachnids lurking under the decking boards. I refuse to let mortal fear stand between me and a swim. Dock spiders can’t swim. Can they? Please do not tell me the answer.

I am somewhat alarmed at the extent of the raven activity lately. Isn’t there a thing about ravens and the Apocalypse? I admit I’m a little behind on my doomsday proclamations, so many to wade through these days. Anyhow, they are busy terrorizing something near the cottage, maybe the cats, or maybe just each other. I think they weigh at least fifteen pounds (just like the cats), and I am expecting one of them to break the dead branch it chooses as a perch at the top of the oak tree, near the back deck, and fall dead in my lap. I hear they taste just like chicken. Or maybe just like cat. Either way, I wish they would choose to be never more.

This year has announced itself as a planting season without annuals. After trying seven places, I have been unable to source geraniums. Petunias seem to be pandemic immune, but alas I am immune to their charms. Nothing that perky has any business in the middle of a forest landscape. I also hate the smell of them and cannot be bothered plucking the shriveled blossoms, so they look worse and worse as the summer progresses, in lockstep with my guilt. My view is that any self-respecting flower should not require human intervention to maintain its good looks. Good looks, after all, are the very reason for a flower’s existence. Which is the reason I can’t stand tuberous begonias. They seem to actually enjoy being orange and don’t even have leaves that are passably green. These mangy excuses for flowers have also emerged unscathed in the garden centres. Like cockroaches after a nuclear war.

Instead, I will rely solely on my irises, purple cone flowers, black-eyed susans, and daisies. They all know when to show up, when to leave, and how to tread lightly in between. A lesson for us all.

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