Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Rains this morning in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor let Ol’ Robbo off from having to mow the lawn, although I may go do some trimming after I finish my kawfee, since the alternative is likely being dragooned into helping clean the house in advance of the in-laws’ decent later on. (At least the rain will be gone before I need to grill their din-dins.) Never a moment of peace around here.

Touching wood, it’s actually been a fairly cool and rainy late spring/early summah overall in the neighborhood, although I’m sure Our Betters, if consulted, would be quick to assert a) that Ol’ Robbo is mistaken, and b) that it doesn’t matter anyway since weather is not climate and we’re all gonna die. Nonetheless, the effect is noticeable enough that a neighbor remarked on it yesterday as I passed by on my lunchtime walk. So there.

And speaking of Our Betters, I read somewhere or other recently that there is a plan to bump the ethanol content in gasoline from 10% to 15% this summah. The same source states that such an increased ethanol content is incompatible with small engines such as lawnmowers (also with older cars). If this is all true and comes to pass, if my mower and weed-whacker conk as a result, and if the lawn goes to hell, I’m going to blow up one of those “I Did That!” Slow Joe stickers into a large sign and stick it in the front yard. See if I don’t. (And with gas around here now north of five bucks a gallon, I may suspend mowing and do that anyway.)

Well, time to go see what needs to be done.

UPDATE: A pleasant time whacking the weeds in the garden, mostly clover at this point. (And, incidentally, for once I put fresh line on the spool of my trimmer with the speed and efficiency of an Indy pit crew.) They really need a Round Up dosing, but razing them is an acceptable expedient for the moment. Meanwhile, looking about it, the hydrangea hedge is in full bloom while the foxgloves are now winding down. The butterfly bush will need their first pruning very soon and the Joe Pye weed will start blooming shortly.

As to the last, friends of the decanter have said before, “But, Tom, why would you want a weed in your plot? It’s even part of the name!” To which Robbo replies that it’s only a weed if you don’t want it. I happen to like Joe Pye – it produces lovely clumps of delicate little feathery, lavender flowers which the butterflies love, it takes no maintenance, and the critters leave it alone. What else could one ask? Meanwhile, as a contra-example, the same hydrangea hedge is forever trying to establish its progeny in the bed, much to my annoyance. So while I am proud of the hedge itself, I consider the babies it tries to foist on me to be weeds. You see? A very subjective label, indeed.

The only other note today is that I changed out the nectar in the hummingbird feeder. Even though I’ve had the thing hung up since mid-April, I still haven’t spotted any of the little brutes around it, which is too bad. I thought perhaps a fresh charge might entice any passer-by, of which there must be some, to remain. (I’m not actually concerned, as they do show up fairly late in the summah sometimes, but still.)

UPDATE DEUX: Speaking of birds, even as Ol’ Robbo was hitting the “update” button, he beheld a hawk having a very serious go at a mourning dove messing about under my patio feeder. (It missed and the dove did a quick bunk.) The wonder of nature, baybee!