Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, it’s the first really “springy” Saturday of the year at Port Swiller Manor, with a high expected to get up into the 70’s.  Okay, there’s a front coming and it will be cold and rainy again tomorrow, but still…..

Ol’ Robbo took advantage of his day off yesterday to put down a layer of weed n’ feed on the lawn.  I’m not crazy about this sort of thing, both from environmental as well as personal health concerns (God alone knows what toxins I was breathing in), but it’s been such a very long time and the lawn is such a mess that I felt the need to step in.  My only fear now is that when the stuff has done its job weeding, there’ll be nothing left to feed.  (I plan on an aggressive plan of spot reseeding this year, so at least this will help me see what I’m dealing with.)

Today’s main task was cleaning out the ditch by the road. It seems a bit odd to still be moving big piles of leaves on the cusp of April, but the fact of the matter is that not only do oak leaves take a very long time to come down, they also take a very long time to decompose.  So I was basically dealing with about three months’ worth.  Then there were the sticks.  Mrs. R has long held the belief that anybody whizzing by at 45 mph can still spot a twig the size of a toothpick and will criticize us for it.  My standards for what’s worth picking up are…..less exact.

My forsythia is blooming, and surprise, surprise, although its flowering is hardly hearty, it is less anemic this year than the past couple years.  As I believe I mentioned last year, I think the lack of vigorous bloom is simply the result of Anno Domini, but I’m stuck with it for a while and must make the best of it.  Just as soon as the bloom is finished, I’m going to raze the hedge to the ground and thickly scatter whatever it is that forsythia crave.**

And speaking of yellow things, I’m seeing the first hints of change in the goldfinch plumage.  Once it starts, I’ve noticed it happens very quickly, indeed.  Ol’ Robbo loves him some goldfinch, of which he gets quite a respectable mob each year, probably because I’m the only one in the immediate vicinity (so far as I can tell) who puts out a special thistleseed-feeder for them.

Well, with any luck it’ll stay warm enough later that we can have our first dinner outside of the year.  That would make me very happy, indeed.

**Spot the reference

UPDATE:  Those of you who bet on March 30 as the date on which the rear-seat side-panels come off Robbo’s Wrangler until late next fall may now go to the window and collect your winnings.