Monday, February 25, 2013


The edge of our back patio is littered with privet trees.  Mostly volunteers, they have grown in great profusion. 

The good things about them?  They're evergreen and provide lots of shade in the hot valley summers, somewhere in there there are a few hummingbird homes, they don't worry me during winter storms the way the Modesto ash and the elm trees that tower over the house front and back, and they don't take much care. 

Robin getting his berry brew
The bad things?  When they flower, there is yellow pollen dust that doesn't quit.  It's on the lawn furniture, the cars, the pavement, even the cats.  And when it berries, there is a party going on at least twice a day.  The tree is covered with birds--first robins and then cedar waxwings. 

They paint the patio.  They paint the cars.  Sometimes they paint the people (me, for example, when I'm walking from the house to the car).  And they paint in fashionable purple-black free-form blobs that splatter in such an artistic fashion as to be the envy of any Jackson Pollock wannabe. 

As much as I wish we lived in a berry-splatter-free world, there's something amusing and dependable about the evolution of the privet.  We welcome them because they're artistic harbingers of the spring to come, so we continue to live in harmony and look forward to the next profusion of pollen and berries.