On Valentine's Day they left two valentines on my front porch, one from each of them, with two chocolates, shaped like a heart and a bee. The nine-year-old wrote "Happy Valentines Day!" in a starburst, and drew a butterfly and a bee. The five-year-old drew two hearts, and wrote "I LOVE" twice, and drew a stick figure holding one of the hearts on a string. I think the stick figure is wearing a mask maybe? There is another circle drawn over the stick figure's face, with six tiny hearts inside it.
This morning another valentine appeared on my front porch. "For your dog, Susan" is written on the envelope in their mother's handwriting. Inside is a tiny pink paper heart, on which the five-year-old has written LOVE FROM FINN.
But which dog is it for?
Half of the life of trees takes place underground, and almost all of it happens too slowly to catch our attention. Trees communicate with each other and with other species through chemical signals and soundwaves that we need instruments to detect.
Wohlleben draws on the scientific literature and his life's work as a forester to talk about what's going on with trees. Trying to take the tree's point of view of those facts does lead him to anthropomorphize, but that mostly shows up in adjectives: he'll call a tree's behavior "loutish" or describe salt spray as "painful".
The 36 short chapters are perfect for reading at bedtime, then turning out the lights and imagining what it is like to be a tree.
I went up to Masonville to watch "A Band Called Death", a movie about a Black proto-punk band in 1970's Detroit. (At the dark of the moon, Neal projects a movie onto the side of the barn. A few friends come to watch and be social, six feet apart.) I thought the movie's ratio of talk to music was way off. But we all got to see the comet! I looked for it again when I got home but there was too much light pollution.
My reading brain seems to be coming out of lockdown. I'm reading The Breath of the Sun by Isaac Fellman for SF book group. I managed to read This is how you lose the time war by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone for last month's SF book group. One nice thing about having book group online is that someone I really like who has moved away has been joining us, and both my kids, who are not in the book group but loved This is how you lose joined us last month.
Next I will read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben for Tawanda book group. I was thinking of choosing The Overstory Richard Powers for my month, but it isn't out in paperback! It would go so well with this book and with Braiding Sweetgrass, which I chose last year.
Movies I watched from the library in the time of coronavirus:
The Sisters Brothers
The Milagro Beanfield War
Jumnaji: the Next Level
Queen & Slim
The Chi, season 1
If Beale Street Could Talk
I watched things on Kanopy and Netflix too, but I don't know how to see my history there.
I am just not reading! I hope I get my reading brain back before Network Effect comes to my mailbox.
I lent some books to the neighbor kids today. Ursula Vernon's Nurk and Kelly Jones's Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer for the nine-year-old. Nova's Ark, by David Kirk, I Spy Treasure Hunt: A Book of Picture Riddles, a pop-up book about bees, and the DK Insect for the five-year-old.
I'm doing okay as long as I tire myself out every day. Fortunately I have a young healthy dog who chews things that should not be chewed if she doesn't get enough exercise, and also I ordered way too many plants, including three lilacs and three buddleias, and I have to finish digging out the old dead hedge before they get here.
The Horticulture department's plant sale is happening online this year. It opens to non-members tomorrow at 7:00. I do not wake up at 7:00, but I will get my shopping list ready tonight.
They've probably been back for days already, but this was the first day I was in the right place at the right time to see them. I counted 39, circling, just after 5 p.m.