hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Sunday, I noticed a few ants on our back porch.  Monday, it was clear they were on their way to somewhere, the where being under the green wood in the upper left corner of the picture above.  Ed watched them a bit and decided to put out some borax solution for their delight (or ours, really).  They eat the sticky stuff, carry it back to the nest, and then that all is supposed to end the nest by ending the ants.  I hope it does because otherwise they are chewing little pathways through the wood, I'm afraid.

But it is interesting watching them throughout the day.  First we put down one little 'plate' (it is actually a piece of thin copper-colored metal), dripped some sticky borax on it and within minutes, a half dozen ants showed up from under the wall and lined themselves around as if it were an oasis.  In hardly any time, they drank it up and disappeared.  So, Ed put down a 2nd plate, and then a third.  And they come and go throughout the day, eating, eating, eating, and when it's empty, he refills their plates.  When I took this photo, it was 8:30 p.m. and getting dark.  Last night, they all disappeared by the time it was dark but maybe there's a late show tonight or something.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bargains, All Round, Sort Of

While perusing the internets yesterday, I discovered that the Point Roberts Water Board offers us an unexpected opportunity.  You can now pay your water bill on line, but it will cost you an extra $2.95 for the privilege.  (I understand why the extra charge and why people would want to do it this way regardless of paying extra, but it still seems strange.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Community Run Amok

I found myself at the Community Advisory Committee meeting last night, which meeting is usually at least mildly informative and sometimes engaging.  There are the four or five committee members (who sit at the table) and then there are 3 or 4 other people who show up, who sit in the chairs around the wall.  (This is all in the back room of the Community Center.)

The general procedure is for the committee members to introduce an agenda, to bring everyone up to date on the various topics, and, occasionally, for those in the outer chairs to ask a question or bring up a new issue.  And after an hour everyone goes home.

Last night, however, about 15 people showed up, filled up all the seats at the table with the committee members and then leaked out into the outer ring of chairs.  And then, although the agenda was presented as usual, it was an extraordinarily chaotic session which seemed likely to go on for 2 hours when I left, after 90 minutes.  It was if the filling in of the chairs at the table turned it into some kind of free-talking dinner party, leaving the outer ring of chair-fillers to treat the main event as a performance that they were free to kibbitz.  Everything but applause and boos.  And everyone talk at the same time.

I thought about that time back in the early 70's maybe when they tried to figure out whether the Vietnam War participants would sit around a round table or a square table to discuss an armistice.  At least they weren't inviting a bunch of other people to sit with them.

I know this is a community group and open to everyone, transparency and all that.  But if it is going to work, it's going to need a better plan that just having everyone talk simultaneously.

Some conclusions from the evening (that is, action items, as they are called in the meeting biz):

No light at Johnson and Tyee, and instead reflective posts.  The County wanted four lights, the CAC wanted 1 and no compromise number was available or feasible or something.  No one blinked and so there will be no light.  If you are turning onto Johnson from Tyee in the dark, please slow down and look.

A walking path like the one on Benson will be attempted down on Marine Drive somewhere near the Cannery and which is called something else right now, but at least is also known as the Yellow Building.

Goodman Road is a county problem not a CAC problem.

Some kind of temporary trial of radar speed detector (not for the use of the Sheriff's Office to give tickets, but for driver information) will be sought to see if it will affect the disastrous speeding problem that exists on Point Roberts.  There seems to be substantial agreement among some people that there is a terrible problem here (although I don't so much sense it myself: occasionally I see a car on Benson, say, going too fast, but it isn't like I fear to walk along the roads, nor that we are locally filling up crash wards or anything).  I don't know that anybody has actually substantiated this problem.  Complaints of 'Hollywood stops' at stop signs may infuriate those who feel the law must be followed to the letter, but they are called 'Hollywood Stops' because they are standard practice throughout southern California.  That's how they drive.  Maybe that's how they drive here, too.

Finally, Maple Beach parking.  Although I doubt anything will come of this, the CAC will ask the County to assess the parking problem at Maple Beach and make recommendations.  The recommendations at the meeting were to remind people that you can park on both sides of the street on every street in Maple Beach.  Apparently, the property owners would have you think differently.

Actually a lot got done, but it was plenty confusing, nonetheless and no way to run a railroad or a committee meeting, in my view.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dressing Up Trees

A short vacation from blogging to mark the beginning of I think my 4th year of doing this.

In my spare time this winter, I've been knitting neckties for large conifer trees.  The smaller trees are happy enough with scarves and the stop sign/street sign is content with a body stocking, but the big firs and cedars are a problem, primarily because they are so big around.  The ones in our front yard are 4-5 feet in circumference (update: I mean 5 feet in diameter, which is about 17 feet in circumference), which means that to wrap five seventeen feet of tree trunk, I'd have to knit something 8" wide by 40+  120 feet, which is a sizable amount of knitting to achieve only five feet of coverage.  Thus came it to my mind that the firs could have neckties instead and, since their trunks are so wide, multiple neckties.  Three such neckties, ranging from 5" to 12" wide and about 12 feet long (each) doesn't begin to cover this tree, of course, but then it doesn't have to cover it: it's a necktie.

Furthermore, because it isn't surrounding the tree (as the scarves do), I can leave them up all the time.  Fortunately, Ed is happy to climb 18 feet up on the ladder to do the dressing.