Hyatulips, Crocuses and Dog Turds

Ah, spring is here! Out with the snow shovels (one can hope) and in with the … well, mess in the yard and on the back deck behind the southwest end of the house, I found out today. I’ve been glancing out our kitchen window all weekend watching the 5-inch snowfall from two days ago melt away. I ventured out this afternoon in our sunny, bright, best-spring-we-can-hope-for-whopping-47-degree weather, intent on investigating a mystery – which, let’s call it, “The mystery of the Caraher family’s indubitably invisible crocuses” Yeah … I planted the crocus bulbs last fall, so where are the bloomin’ (not) things now? How else are we supposed to know it’s spring around here with our 5-inch April snow falls and such?

My neighbor across the street, the ‘two-green-thumbed-dynamo,’ pretty much has the spring signal thing covered with her fluffy cloistered bunches of yellow crocuses singing out spring!!! beyond her front bushes. And that’s nice. Except they have been blooming for three weeks and are waning now, which might indicate that my crocuses, still invisible, are a hopeless cause, at least for this year. I’m not going to have a crisis over it, though. I figure I either (a) planted the bulbs too deep or (b) planted the bulbs too shallow or (c) didn’t water the bulbs enough when I planted them or (d) watered the bulbs too much when I planted them or (e) maybe got bad bulbs or (f) maybe they’ll come up next year or (g) maybe they aren’t crocuses.

So there I was in the back yard, checking things out, soaking up the sunshine with my pasty bare arms. Oh! The tulips I planted last fall with the invisible crocuses are up! So are the, um, hyacinths, the ones I added last fall to the bed which already had tulips – except I didn’t know where the tulips were when I planted the hyacinths, but I do know now, since I see several tulips and hyacinths are coming up as … Siamese twins, co-joined at the bulb. “Hyatulips” is what I have! Wait a minute. That won’t do! So I carefully dug … uh, rip-rooted … up a few hyacinths and transplanted them to more pleasing locations. And now I will gather my “Experimental Data From Transplanted Hyacinths With Root Lobotomies.” The poor things. Oh well. Teach them to end up in my garden!

Then I decided to turn my attention to removing the ‘quack’ or ‘crab’ grass (so named for what it turns the person into, trying to pull it out?) taking over the same center back garden that houses the tulips and invisible crocuses. I squatted over one clump of crab grass about the size of a small muffin, tore at it with both hands, twisted and pulled at it, digging my feet in and … fell backwards empty handed. Okay! So I need a hoe!

I arose from my haunches to fetch the hoe, and on my third stride toward the tools, I stepped in a dog turd. Glancing across the back yard I could see, of course, scores of turds – little prizes the dog had deposited in the snow all through the winter months, which were now laid bare and grounded by the thaw. Another sure sign of spring. All right! I’m not gonna collect dog shit all over my shoes. I charged into the house and back out again, donned for battle with rubber gloves and a plastic bag. I began plucking wet turds out of the grass and flinging them into the bag like a one-armed turd-flinging maniac. The turds settled in a deadened heap in the bottom of the bag, and a thick dog turd scent wafted up and filled my nostrils …”Ahhhhh!” After clearing the turds, I returned to the task of locating the hoe.

The hoe, of course, was stacked among 10 other rusty long-handled lawn tools in a corner on the back deck on southwest end of the house, buried behind the mower, wheelbarrow, two bikes, six wrought iron deck chairs and three tables, the grass catcher, the lawn spreader, a large bag of charcoal, and two twenty-pound bags of garden soil, that had all been stored there for the winter.

I looked at that mess, turned, and hot-footed it towards the garage, thinking that’s where I might find the ‘Roundup.’ I did want to get rid of that crabgrass before it took over the whole garden. You know, in case the crocuses do come up.

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