Every year during springtime, there is a conflict between the local residents of Pinelands who want to keep the beautiful wild spring flowers on the grass verges flowering in our neighbourhood for as long as possible, and who thus get mightily upset with the city council when their squadrons of mowers come roaring down our streets in a purple-blue haze of exhaust smoke, chopping down, flattening and weed-eatering all vegetation like a plague of locusts…
… and those who, sniffing and sneezing and reaching for yet another box of tissues and yet another anti-histamine tablet, curse the lack of service delivery and the continued absence of the mowers, as clouds of pollen are swirled around by the south-easterly winds of spring and early summer.
This year, I think the City Council completely forgot about our street. It was fine – and actually quite pretty – while there were still large patches of colourful daisies and other wild flowers all along the verges. But when those wilted, withered and died, the grasses took over completely.
I noticed that some of the neighbouring streets had been cleared for a long time already, while we were still pushing our way through knee-high and occasionally hip-high grasses that were tall enough to lose a cat or a small dog in!
To make matters worse, those awful syringa [?] trees started flowering and pollen-distributing at the same time, followed closely by the jasmine-creepers on the trellises outside our office and bedroom windows, so our hayfever and allergy levels soared.
Determined not to get sucked into the vicious cycle of a reliance on anti-histamines, we sniffed and sneezed and sniffed and sneezed our way through one day after another.
In fact, I had already resigned myself to the fact that
- none or too few of our neighbours felt strongly enough about the proliferation of tall grasses to complain to our local councillor,
- the local councillor had received such complaints but was unable to assist because he had other more important problems that needed sorting, and/or
- the municipality had run out of money/buggered up the contract with the mowers/decided that the Leafy Green Suburbs should live up to their name – so there!
Oh dear, I’m going to … a—a—aaa—tschoooo!!!!!
I was astounded when the mowing team suddenly arrived in full force a week or two ago. This was a day before we went away for a week. By all accounts, the pollen and dust count – as well as the purple-blue diesel-haze of mowing machinery – in our street skyrocketed for a couple of days, as the mowers imposed a sense of order on nature once more and removed bag-loads of grass-cuttings.
Perhaps it was just as well that we were away.
Earlier today, I spotted some of the flock of beautiful pigeons that often loves to forage on these verges. I’m sure these must be high-bred racing pigeons, as they are simply exquisite. I hadn’t seen them here in recent weeks – quite understandable, given the height of the grass!
Today, I got the feeling that they were exceedingly content with their lot, as they puttered along, pecking here and pecking there, scratching the sandy earth to reveal a tasty … I don’t know … what do these birds eat? seeds? grains? worms? … anyway… they were contentedly foraging and dust-bathing, now that they could see the earth again!
I thought they were so gorgeous, that you might like to have a look at them too, so I hauled out the telephoto and did some ve-e-e-e-r-y …. sl-o-o-o-o-w …… wa-a-a-a-a-lking across the street, humming peacefully to myself and pretending that I wasn’t interested in them whatsoever. They didn’t buy the act at all, but graciously permitted me to take some snapshots. In fact, the bright white one even struck a pose for me!
Don’t you agree that they are simply gorgeous? I do wonder to whom they belong…