By Robert Thomas Opinion/Commentary

Despite a bit of a false start it seems finally Spring has arrived in the Friendly City after what was the coldest Winter we have had in a very long time. February can be described in just one word - brutal.

White daisies on a lawn seems better than the yellow of dandelions

White daisies on a lawn seems better than the yellow of dandelions

At the same time as we rush into Spring we have just got some really great news for many people out there and that is Ottawa’s imposed Carbon Tax is now in effect and yes it is has drawn a lot of complaints from more than a few people in the community.

Those few added cents at the pump are really going to bite it seems as really how much of a change is it having on people’s driving habits. Who really is driving less now because of it? I think it is a time for a reality check on this one and that is unless they really start ramping up the Carbon Tax it really is not going to have a lot of effect in our lives.

But it is going to give Ottawa a few goodies as they rebate us at least part of what we pay for the Carbon Tax and then hey who really knows where the rest of the cash is going. It seems there are boundless places it could go to which would really help out and maybe reduce carbon dioxide emmissions but in all likelihood there are some high priority bureaucratic problems it could grease over.

With that said it is really nice to see Spring is here once again and yes I even saw a couple of hearty souls out in their yards out raking and cleaining up the mess left by Winter or is it just stuff they did not bother to do in the Fall? It is very hard to put a handle on any of it.

As I take a look out into my backyard I see it as just one gigantic mess and yes it is going to take a lot to get back into order as I likely give it the Spring clean up for the last time. As they say as the weather changes so to do we in our own lives, we move on to different places. And by all accounts it is time I am moving on as my significant other has no intention of moving here - it never was part of the deal as they say.

I look out into my back yard and I see the cherry tree which this Summer is going to be the great nature preserve for birds as they feast on the berries as there is nobody here who is going to pick them. It is just that simple. It is just that simple I am just too busy doing other things to be bothered with picking those cherries.

The crocuses are already out in southern Ukraine soon they will be here as well

The crocuses are already out in southern Ukraine soon they will be here as well

The birds however love it and it is something I am sure they enjoy and yes even Katie the Wondercat enjoys the cherries or I should say the opportunity to try to catch a bird but she just never does.

This past Winter has been a very tough one on my friends, the people I grew up with. Cancer is starting to take more and more of them now - I suppose it is a sign of getting older.

When I went to university I had three really great friends I would hang out with but they are all gone now as breast cancer robbed two of them and a dangerous driver stole the third one and got a few hundred dollar fine. I like to sit on the deck and think of them when Katie the Wondercat crawls through the garden in search of a new adventure or at least a place to poop without me noticing. The last of my best university friends passed away just over six years ago now just shy of the age of 50.

In the backyard like so many other backyards there are raspberry canes which are in desperate need of pruning and yes it truly is the time to go out and get at it. There is room in the garbage bin to get them out to the dump.

Soon there will be people putting on cleaning bees in a few neighbourhoods, here is hoping people find a few minutes in their busy lives to help make Moose Jaw a cleaner place.

Moose Jaw gardening seems to run in what you could best call seasons. A lot of it tied whether you believe it or not to Canadian Tire. As their plants go on sale there always seems to be a big rush down there, When the Wave petunias come on sale the store we all seem to have a slang word for is over run by gardeners looking to fill their planters with colour for another year.

Then there is the big weekend when the hanging planters go on sale and the entire parking lot turns into a bit of a carnival where you seem to run into your neoighbours out there showing off their prizes that will adorn decks, balconies and out at the cabin for yet another year.

For me this year my number one project is likely to finally get the lawn re-seeded and if I do happen to get really, really adventurous to actually go out and do some much needed trenching and get more of those underground water lines in the backyard to water the trees and such automatically.

This is also the year for many people they are hoping not to do any yard work on their present abode as they are praying they can sell their homes in a glutted market.

Spring this year is going to be a really busy one for me as I have some ambitious plans to get done before the garden is seeded for yet another year.

I still have yet to decide what I am going to be planting but I do know I want to go out and clean out that overgrown pit I call a strawberry patch and once I have it all cleaned out to then transplant the strawberries back into the soil. But this time to save time I am covering it all with weed fabric and then very carefully transplanting the delectable fruit back.

Take that you nasty weeds. How dare you take advantage of me like this.

This Summer I am going to be honest I cannot see MJ Independent doing too much as it is a tough job out chasing the news during the time when most people cannot be bothered with reading. As I told the other five people who regularly write here it is a good time for us just to relax. The plan is to continue to continue to produce our regular fare and perhaps tailor it to more of a Moose Jaw Summer experience but beyond that it is nothing to lose our Summer over.

With Spring there are plenty of chores out there which everyone is going to be working on and the backyard seems like such a nice place to spend your time in.

It is a chance to get out and return to some primal need to put our bare feet into the dirt and feel its warmth and moist carress replace that smelly cramped feeling winter boots has inflicted on all of us.

I have done some reconnaisance work already when it comes to this Spring gardening stuff and my prediction this year is going to be once again another big year for planters. As gardening moves into a more intensive miniaturized format.

Out in the general area what is really needed though is rain and I am sorry to say lots and lots of it. The ground is parched in the Moose Jaw region and we need to see those soil moisture conditions improve dramatically and yes a wet Summer would actually in fact be a great blessing.

Our ranchers and farmers need a break and the weather guy had better be cooperative this year.

With that said as I look out into my yard I still see good things out there and the dreams of something so much better well within my grasp this year or is it next year? Time will tell.

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