In addition you can purchase a small sign to place in your garden that lets other people know of your good intentions while educating them to the plight of the monarch and what can be done to save this fascinating and gorgeous creature. Who knows? Maybe you'll start a movement in your neighborhood or town. Monarch waystations can be contagious.
I feel I can call you buddy because, hey, you visit so often, plus I've seen the neighbor's surveillance video so I know what you look like. You haven't scored much from us, just a few dollars, spare change and our favorite flashlight. You do remind us of what's in our glove box because you toss it in a messy pile. You remind us to lock our cars... but then we forgot that one night.
The neighborhood is on to you. We post your prowlings on our community website. However you remain elusive.
Your shenanigans are getting old. Mostly we are just tired of you. Literally. You see, our dog always barks and lets us know you're there but by the time we turn on the lights and look out the window, you're gone or at least good at hiding. By then we are awake, for at least a couple more hours.
I could be wrong but like others I assume you're looking for drug money. Too bad, because you seem like an enterprising fellow who could put his talents to use on more legitimate efforts. I imagine you commit what they call crimes of opportunity because you see no other opportunities. In case you might want to apply for honest work I have summarized your skill set.
Reporting your pilfering isn't easy. But you probably know that too. Call 311 and they tell you to report it online. To file an online report requires all sorts of vehicle info that takes time to find even though no damage has been done to the vehicle. Calling the cops to report such a small crime feels like wasting their time so we let it slide. Although the cops did go all CSI and dust for fingerprints the first time down the street. They said it was probably kids, but now we know from your video you're older and that's a little disturbing.
If we all lock our cars we'll send you somewhere else and somehow that doesn't feel right either. If you get caught you'll probably be back at it again soon. Petty theft has been going on since the beginning of time still it isn't a good career plan. Maybe you feel there's no alternative. And I don't really have a good answer for you.
Well I guess that's all I had to say. The maternal side of me worries about you. I do hope you get clean, get better or get a job with better hours.
And hey, since everyone knows your schedule, you should probably be more careful, most of us Linden Hills people are pretty peaceful, old hippy types, but I bet the odds are ( and you are a student of odds), someone might be packing heat.
Yawning in Linden Hills
Last weeks storm felled an enormous and much-loved tree down our street. We had worried about it the week before when city trimmers lopped off half of its limbs due to concerns about rot. Days later, the gentle giant turned treacherous, the remaining trunk snapping when powerful gusts blew through the area. It took down three power poles and draped nearby buildings with wires.
With the power out all I could think about were the pounds and pounds of berries, jam and pickles I had made and frozen. After we hooked up our generator I stopped to think of the tree. Neighbors gathered round to marvel at nature's fury and pay their respects to not just a tree but a beloved member of the community. I knew I'd miss its welcome shade on my walks.
Days later a notice appeared tacked to the trunk showing the possibilities one man finds in such tree tragedies. What Mother Nature tears down he fashions into vessels designed to hold memories of our treasured trees when we can no longer hug them. He seems part artist, part arboreal grief counselor.
And so it was I ran into certified arborist, Tom Peter this morning dressing rounds of wood with a white waxy substance to keep them from drying out before he can get them back to his workshop. He had sectioned off portions of the splintered trunk and was removing choice pieces that later would become lovely sculpture-like bowls.
Meanwhile the homeowner who had lost the tree was pragmatic, stating that he had always had trouble growing grass in its shadow. He missed the tree but was ready to move on once the stump was ground. The rest of us are hoping to buy a little piece of the tree that has graced that corner for what Peter thinks, based on the rings, to be at least 145 years.
You can see more of Tom Peters work at his website Respectful Transitions. He'll be at the Linden Hills Farmers Market in two weeks with these beautiful works of art.
A front porch topped my list of both needs and wants when we planned our new home. While this week's Star Tribune reports that front porches are making a comeback with them included in 63% of new construction, they never went away in my book. We've lived in lots of houses and the ones with a front porch always seemed happier and better connected with their surroundings.
By now the neighbors on our street know that we have a weakness for dessert. They see us on our porch every evening, we see their comings and goings, but we're not spying, just enjoying the cool breeze and some rhubarb crisp or perhaps a slice of banana cake.
We love seeing the regular dog walkers and bike people, and meeting new people who wave and comment upon our house. For good entertainment though you can't beat the band shell parkers. Before the nightly show they've got to put the car somewhere; so they circle, swerve, reverse and traverse in search of elusive parking spaces on our boulevard. It's a parking puzzle every evening. Then a couple hours later they straggle back to their cars with lighter coolers and tired kids in strollers and empty the street.
Last night as the show was over and the attendees were leaving in bunches, another group was walking back from one of the restaurants discussing their meal and a few bikers were passing by too. Even by regular standards the street was busy. And then I noticed another pedestrian on the sidewalk.
A red fox, with classic black feet and white-tipped tail sauntered down the sidewalk with a plump rabbit in its mouth. It, I don't know how tell fox gender, seemed to be heading home with dinner down the most efficient path possible. It continued down the sidewalk disappearing at the end of the street.
I scrambled with my phone to take a photo (hey readers, I'm always thinking of you) but my finger fumbled onto the Yelp icon and by the time I got back to the camera it was gone. I'm just glad I was out on my front porch to see this sight. A little serendipity.
Now I can only wonder, what am I missing when I'm not out there?