White birds and snow.

In West Michigan much of this weekend, where we saw…

…the wild swans of Muskegon:


And one unlucky one:


It was terribly cold, and I stayed mostly off the Internet. But there was this one story, which I think you all will just loooove, becaus so many of you are gardeners, and know how high the stakes are.

Let’s have a good Monday, because that’s pretty much it for me. See you tomorrow.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |

32 responses to “White birds and snow.”

  1. David C. said on April 15, 2013 at 6:50 am

    It’s nice to see that friendly and efficient home owner association management style has left the confines of the gated community and entered the garden club.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 15, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Got peppered with phone calls and FB messages from three residents on the opposite side of our HOA, where there’s no “public area” (space owned by the HOA, in other words), two of whom have been greatly irritated by the fact that people in the association used the association to pressure them to do things with/on their property they didn’t want to do, but that the covenants and/or village code requires. I tried to help mitigate the inconvenience in that situation, but they had to make changes.

    So now the adjoining property owner is looking for a minor adjustment, to install a structure on their land that’s well beyond the setback lines, but is going to sit where there had been an open view — and these folks, so upset last year that they couldn’t do what they wanted to do on their land, want me to raise holy ned to keep a neighbor from doing what they want to do on theirs.

    Irony, much?

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  3. Julie Robinson said on April 15, 2013 at 7:34 am

    It’s Eden all over again. We humans screw up everything.

    There’s a similar fight going on at a small local museum. Founder getting old is ousted by the board, creates her own board, locks get changed, lawsuits are threatened, and the museum sits closed. He said, she said, they said, and how much revenue is it generating now?

    If you are tempted to watch the most recent Anna Karenina, go schedule your next colonoscopy instead. You’ll have a better time.

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  4. JWfromNJ said on April 15, 2013 at 7:38 am

    That NY Times article reminded me of one of my favorite movies – Capricorn One.

    David Huddleston’s editor character told Eliiot Gould’s TV reporter character that he was the type of guy who would be sent out to cover a garden club meeting and come back with a story on embezzlement from the club.

    Plus that movie had some of th best non-cgi stunt flying ever and also O.J. as an astronaut. I always was drawn to local legends and conspiracy theories because of that movie, and the adversity the reporter had to overcome to nail down the biggest story of his career. And the scene at the cemetery when Gould and the last-surviving astronaut, Brubaker, are leaping over tombstones and the cameras (film) pull away from the vice-president’s speech and zoom in on them.

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  5. JWfromNJ said on April 15, 2013 at 7:40 am

    ugggh – I meant David Doyle from Charlies Angels. Huddleston was the VP. Mourning the demise of the edit function.

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  6. coozledad said on April 15, 2013 at 8:43 am


    Straight outta William Buckley, mother fucker named Perino
    Fartin frat rhyme needs a enema of beano
    From the gang brought you Iraq
    your baby in a black sack
    if you don’t call em off
    they’re gonna rob your balls off,
    Squeeze the trigger, and securities are hauled off .
    You too, boy, if ya want a little fracas
    police are gonna hafta come and pepper spray your black ass
    That’s how I’m goin’ out, in vintage Dior
    and the cops will sniff my pussy while you’re stretched on the floor
    they can’t afford to ask for more, they’re my certified whores.
    For you punk motherfuckers that believe the rule of law
    pull this glove off bitch, and talk to the claw.
    1948 done come and went
    And now Strom Thurmond is shitting out your government
    Roger Ailes eats it and vomits it on vinyl
    You can’t have the motherfucker back, all sales are final.

    (Fixed that shit for you, Dana)

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  7. Scout said on April 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

    @coozledad- thanks for the coffee I just spewed on my phone. Dat shit was LOL, yo.

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  8. brian stouder said on April 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Thread Win! And for the week, and the month…and probably the year!

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  9. Peter said on April 15, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Julie, your opinion of the film is an understatement. Talk about two hours of my life that I’m not getting back.

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  10. Snarkworth said on April 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Mr. Schuppert, who attributed the “sex noises” to the garden’s full-throated bullfrogs, disputed Ms. Ward’s charges

    I’ll be chuckling all day.

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  11. BigHank53 said on April 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Regarding unlucky birds: I had the occasion to drive the entire length of Tennessee twice in the last week, and I must have seen the corpses of five wild turkeys. On the one hand: a bad day for the poor turkeys. On the other: the population has recovered enough that idiot juvenile turkeys are getting whacked on the interstates. I was in my mid-twenties before I’d ever seen an undomesticated turkey, and now it’s no big deal to see a whole flock.

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  12. MichaelG said on April 15, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I had no idea that wild turkeys were ever an endangered species. There were tons of them around when I lived in Auburn. And they didn’t travel in flocks. They traveled in gangs.

    I saw a great comment yesterday and I can’t remember the site. Somebody had posted a very funny comment and the next one up simply said “You owe me a keyboard.”

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  13. Charlotte said on April 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

    When we drove down to Lava Hot Springs in Idaho last winter, we came across thousands and thousands of swans on the river — in December — adults and tons of cygnets. It was really cool.

    Put strawberries and blackcurrants and some more raspberries in this weekend. Then it snowed and temps went down into the 20s. Let’s hope that frost fleece + tarp works on the new strawberry plants …

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  14. LAMary said on April 15, 2013 at 11:49 am

    We planted some succulents, rosemary, lavendar,jasmine and roses. Not all in the same part of the garden. I’m aiming or a great smelling corner of the garden and a low water corner, with the rosemary and lavendar in the middle.

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  15. crinoidgirl said on April 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    MichaelG, Michigan was down to 3,000 turkeys not too long ago. Now we’re at about 200,000, due to vigorous reintroduction efforts.

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  16. Prospero said on April 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Swans. A great poem, I thinkl. One of the greatest days of my life was openining up my AP English Lit exam and being asked to assess The Wild Swans at Coole. I speak Yeats.I believe he’s the greatest poet that ever lived.

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  17. Prospero said on April 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Absolutely lovely plants LA Mary. Jasmine is particlarly gorgeous, and lavendar. As are roses of any sort, or color. I can remember seeing pheasants flushed by my mom’s ’63 Tbird back in ’63 on 17 Mile Road, which I think we also called Long Lake Road. It was dirt and they oiled it. Back in the Pullte dayes. He went to ouur church.

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  18. Dorothy said on April 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Michael G you have an assignment tonight – scroll through your browsing history from yesterday and figure out what that comment was!

    We have 12 trees in our new orchard now, and 3 blueberry bushes. Or twigs, if I’m being honest. But they’re planted and will be growing soon we hope. I got a flat of pink petunias to put into last year’s empty hanging baskets. Fingers crossed they work out. I’m tired of buying new baskets every year.

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  19. Dexter said on April 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Ah yes, Dana Perino, addressing the American public through the national press, supporting the goddam President of the USA, George W. Bush…and … she had never heard of the situation , in 1962, that was only one degree of insanity away from resulting in a nuclear strike on Miami, Florida. A nuclear strike, yes.
    Nevvv-err HEARD of it! I recall some forgotten apologetic pundit actually saying she was to be given a pass, after all…she wasn’t even BORN by 1962!! Hitler WHO? Wha’?

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  20. brian stouder said on April 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    For me, the ‘greatest poet who ever lived’ was that tall guy from Kentucky/Indiana/Illinois.

    AT this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.


    On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.


    One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”


    With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

    He speaks to me.

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  21. alex said on April 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Breaking news from the Boston Marathon. It sounds like someone detonated some explosions at the finish line.

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  22. paddyo' said on April 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I so am digging that Roosevelt Island garden story that it’s got me thinking that those involved are all digging themselves right
    down in the hole, so to speak.

    As Tom Waits wrote and sang, and The Wire reminded us at the start of every episode:

    When you walk through the garden /
    you gotta watch your back . . .

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  23. beb said on April 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    But apparently, 3 hours after the winners crossed the finish line…

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  24. JWfromNJ said on April 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    The news from Boston is disheartening. Images like that always conjure up memories of September 11. I guess they don’t sweep the area as well as I would have expected. My biggest with terrorism isn’t a huge flashy attack. I always said Americans are not as tough as Israelis and if we were suddenly confronted by a string of suicide bombers, machine gun attacks in malls, places like the Friday concert series the Today show hosts, and supermarkets – that’s when we’d be truly terrorized. Hope it’s not that bad and everyone from my employer is OK. They had a few staffers including the managing editor who were running the marathon and blogging and tweeting from Boston.

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  25. Connie said on April 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    That surprises me about Michigan turkeys, as I have seen them regularly all over the state. My brother moved to Leelanau County this past weekend, and this morning he posted on facebook pictures of turkeys in his front yard. My sister-in-law north of Flint posts numerous turkey pictures regularly.

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  26. Hattie said on April 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    HOAs are the natural habitat of people who mostly get ignored.

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  27. Scout said on April 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    The pictures and video coming out of Boston are horrific. Another senseless, needless tragedy.

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  28. Deborah said on April 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Sad, sad, sad, I just read that an 8 year old boy was one of the 2 people killed in Boston today.

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  29. Jolene said on April 15, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I think there were quite a few children among the injured too. Lots of family members had come to see “their runner” finish the race.

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  30. Prospero said on April 16, 2013 at 12:13 am

    I’m betting on homegrown. Boston.

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  31. LAMary said on April 16, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I’m thinking it’s domestic too. Tax day?

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  32. Dexter said on April 16, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Boston and the country in shock, a friend of mine dies in hospice, and now Frank Bank, an icon from the black and white TV days of the late 1950s is now gone also.

    I am sure some of you are too young to remember Lumpy Rutherford (Frank Bank), a character on “Leave it to Beaver”. It was a great show for kids to watch. Jerry Mathers is just a year and a half older than me so I sort of grew up with the Beaver character on that show.

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