SQUIRRELS' EARS AND RELATED MATTERS
The old Iroquois gardening rule-of-thumb says to plant your corn when the oak leaves are the size of squirrels' ears, which is a lot easier to remember than where you put the almanac, and makes seeds happier I suppose, but there aren't any squirrels around here, so the old saying wouldn't be much use in this neighborhood unless like me you're from New York and can remember squirrels' ears. But I gave up planting corn here even before I gave up planting onions. I wouldn't think of leaving that tall, delicate, long-growing vegetable at the mercy of certain natural neighbors, having so many times beheld where a lamented vegetable had been growing until but a moment ago...
What got me thus tangentially started on this is that the squirrels' ear thing now relates to the character of my daily existence in another, technological way: when my oak leaves are the size of squirrels' ears, I begin to lose my satellite tv signal. Kind and thoughtful friends say Why not just move your dish? True, I could do that, it might work, for a while. Corporate types suggest that I cut down the damn trees, clear the sky of pesky verdure or just take charge, get real: get cable! I could do those things as well; such thoughts crossed my mind, a time ago. But I don't live in that mind anymore.
What those folks don't seem to understand is that if I do either of those things I would have year-round, 24-hour access to what juridical bodies with corporate taste offer as factual perspectives on socioeconomic events occurring around the world, or as their idea of what is marketably entertaining, and I don't think I could stand that for long.
Pale bean stems miracling up out of the ground; the bite of new radish leaves; the rush of ripe plums: now that's news. More trees leafing, barn swallows whirling, frog on the window: that's entertainment.