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Signs of spring

Posted: March 16, 2013 - 9:16am

I can always tell when spring is creeping up behind the mountains across the bay.

First, around 5 a.m., a pitiful glow appears about the peaks resembling the radiance of cheap 2-4-1 LED lanterns whose batteries are dying faster than their 24 hour warranty.

Days later, just as it gets bright enough that I don’t have to wait at the access road for a vehicle to come by to use as a moose sweeper, Daylight Savings Time kicks in. The artificial time flux abruptly slaps me back into dodging shadows that may be ungulates with the intellect of underarm hair pondering the possibility of catching a ride to the burg via my grill.

I find this dictated change almost as annoying as the guy who came up with the idea in the first place. It seems that the modern DST crawled out the mind of a New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, who wanted more daylight time to collect bugs after he got off work back in 1895. His countrymen didn’t buy it and that was cool but the seed was planted. Later I discovered that an Englishman, William Willet, also came up with the idea in 1905 after he had to cut short his rounds of golf because of dusk which resulted in him suffering unseemly bouts of deep pouting. Who would have ever thought that bugs and balls would spawn such a major fuss twice a year? But I digress so let’s get back to more signs of spring sprouting near our cabin by the bay.

Our resident ermine Whiz has been making a lot more appearances in the yard and under the boat. His palace is located somewhere in an old wood pile and he is acting like he has a “honey-do” list longer than his torso. He and the Misses had a nice brood last year and methinks the long winter nights have resulted in a tribal expansion that will have him on vole safaris until his whiz wilts.

Turbo is back lurking in one of the fir trees across from the driveway. He is a bit early in arriving but there is nothing normal about the little hawk. It attacks like it has booster rockets under its butt. I’ve seen the feathered missile take out pheasants that were so large the raptor could have ridden them if he had a saddle. The talon enhanced critter hits hard enough that it could play line backer for the Kansas City Chiefs if they only had a proficient enough team not to embarrass him.

My only problem with the airborne ninja is that it has a real yearning for toy poodle tartare so we have issues.

I don’t worry about my bison-sized dog Howard. If Turbo attacked him, he’d would get tangled in his fur and be morphed into a dream-catcher when the mutant rolled on him.

Princess, on the other hand, is clueless and represents a banquet so she stays on a leash around the yard until the jerk heads out to his summer haunts. Until then, I’ll carry an old golf club. Why? Because last year when the serial killer ran out of mice and other raw treats it took a shot at the dog while it was about six feet from me. It missed and so did my drop kick that would have launched Turbo past our lunar base.

Trust me, I missed on purpose. I don’t want to get on the wrong side of the law. But this year I’m going to use the club as a blocking instrument because the drop-kick scenario ended up with me on my derrière in a pool of water so cold that it temporarily changed my gender. That won’t happen again.

Hopefully Turbo will ignore us this time and there will be no duel for the doggie wench. That would be nice because if it doesn’t lay off its craving for mutt munchies, I could end up scoring a birdie on my first golf outing.

Lest I forget, coyotes are raising a fuss during daylight hours now in the huge alder patch below our yard. This near-spring yipping and restless activity has every rabbit within a square mile headed inland much to the glee of a couple of paired eagles and of course Turbo-The-Gluttonous.

Well, it looks like it’s time to roll on out of here. I’ve just been notified by my less than amused bride that Howard must have fallen through an overflow again. He is standing on the deck looking like a hundred and five pound saturated wool sponge with colossal drip-dry ears.

By the time we are done with the blow dryers the pooch will probably resemble the world’s largest ball of angora fluff with paws that’s just itchin’ to get back to ditch diving. And so it begins ...

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t kayaking the rapids in his backyard’s runoff.

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