Due to the cold-that-wouldn’t-die (since February!) and turned into bronchitis-verging-on-pneumonia we have not been terribly active this spring in searching out the wildflowers at the arboretum. Hopefully we will be well enough soon to get out there and maybe see the shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia) and bluebells. In the meantime there has been some interesting neighborhood activity. We are used to hearing gunshots around here occasionally, attributable to what a resident police officer calls “disputes between associates,” and which, we understand from folks who’ve been in the neighborhood longer than we have, are a phenomenon that did not exist even 3 years ago. But here’s a new twist: A damn fool who lives a few houses away from us shot a possum in his back yard on Thursday morning, not just once but 7 times, and then had the temerity to brag about it on the neighborhood website, even going so far as to offer his “services” to others with “pests” in their yards. The bastard really just wanted to use his damn gun to kill something and I now consider him a danger (not to mention an asshole). Said the possum was stalking his dog! Give me a break- possums are among the most timid and retiring of creatures. Dennis has been crafting some devilish practical jokes to play on this guy and stoking up neighborhood discontent with the incident, which really doesn’t need much stoking-lots of folks are of like mind but the rational ones don’t put it on the social media, which unfortunately lends credence to fools. Other news- yesterday as I drove through the park I saw the St. Louis Forestry crew removing the magnificent cottonwood tree that I viewed as a sort of sentry to the park. It stood toward the front of the park and often hawks would sit in its top in the morning. I will miss that tree. Can’t imagine why they took it down- perhaps its proximity to the golf course doomed it, perhaps it was regarded as messy. I have always thought that golf courses were a terrible waste of space- all that space for little ball. Well, I guess I am grumpy from being unwell, listen to all this. Here are some recent views from the park, and celandine poppies in our back yard.