Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beautyberry Bush

A friend of ours brought us a new plant, a beautyberry bush (Callicarpa ?) that I planted next to the upper pond on Sunday and it already has doubled in size, a good sign that it's in the right place. These evergreen bushes have nice berries (not sure what color yet) that can be used to make wine, and the plant repels mosquitoes, so it was a very thoughtful gift. Mosquitoes don't seem to like me (maybe because I eat so much garlic?), but they really enjoy biting on Cheryl, whose many charms and attractions are evident without my unworthy attempt to describe them.

To change the subject completely, a news story yesterday reminded me of an incident from junior high, when an older guy put me in a head lock in front of several classmates, none of whom seemed very concerned that my dignity was draining out from my head and onto the floor. I'm sure no one in the world remembers the incident except me. The guy said he would let me go only after I quacked like a duck. And so, unable to struggle free, I said quack, quack and he let me go.

But yesterday I learned that the Iranian regime, the guys who stole the recent election there, have trotted some of these demonstrators in front of the TV cameras to make confessions--how they were sorry, how they were influenced by the U.S. to betray their county, and so on, all obvious lies--forced confessions made by brave people to save themselves or to save their children from being picked up and tortured. These people had no choice other than to humiliate themselves, and yet, to the end of their lives, after the political events in Iran play out, after their friends console them, they will still remember their time in front of the camera and the meaningless quack, quack they said in 2009, that is, if they are not executed soon.

Last night Cheryl and I started watching Persepolis, an animated film made by an Iranian, and I've never seen anything like it--a very compelling story about a girl and the events in Iran since the days of the Shah and about how the extreme faction of Muslims gained control of the country in a series of events that could also happen in the U.S. if we do not keep an eye on religious nuts and the dumb thugs (those guys from junior high) that become their enforcers.

On a lighter note, the leatherleaf fern (I believe that's what it is) in the upper pond finally reached critical mass, like it does every summer, and toppled over from the weight of its leaves. I have big rocks in the bottom of the pot, but they can't keep it upright. Here is Willow, taking charge of the project even though she dislikes yard work. To fix this, I'll need to lug the thing up out of the water (it must weight 80 pounds) and trim it back severely. Nothing in the yard grows with more intensity than this fern. In a couple of weeks I'll start a new project in the house--probably paneling the guest room with pine.

On a yet lighter note, here's another in a series of "hopelessly devoted" videos from around the world.


  1. At the risk of being insensitive, anonymous always felt that you were a world class quacker!

  2. Like all quackers, I've attempted to perfect the art and, of course, I quack for money now. Can anonymous say otherwise?

  3. No, he can not but he will say he is very good with the word uncle.