Two weeks ago, my friend Jack Connor wrote a wonderful article, “Seven Signs of Spring” for this column. It is a very insightful set of indicators to reinforce that spring is really on its way.
I would like to offer another Seven Signs of Spring that you may be soon observing.
1. The car is wobbly: Oh my, try as you may it is next to impossible to avoid all of the potholes that take a toll on your car’s or truck’s suspension, wheels, tires and things that have just plain fallen off ! While they have your car on the lift for repairs, make sure to have your brake lines checked, as road brine seems to be wreaking havoc on these essential parts. Temperature changes also effect air pressure which can cause handling issues and poor gas mileage.
2. The rain gutter is clogged: You thought that all of the leaves were down in the fall? Hah! There are plenty still available over the winter to find their way into your gutters. As you carefully free them up, please consider where your downspouts will spill out from now on. Rain gardens, drainage swales, underground cisterns, rock bundles, rain barrels, tanks, etc. can help keep control of your roof runoff. These infrastructure items help to reduce community flooding and contribution of any pollutants into the public domain.
3. The dryer's not working so well: If you have a dryer vent tube to the outside, it is subject to greater extremes of hot and cold, leading to increased condensation and the sticky accumulation of lint. Make it part of your spring routine to clear out the duct and any catchment screens or filter devices, for dryer efficiency and fire protection.
4. You've put on a few pounds: Whoa, don’t go there; but maybe it is time to get out and exercise more. Yard work is a great workout. How about cutting back the size of the lawn, putting in some pollinator friendly trees, bushes and perennial plants? Tend to those compost piles and use your own leaves as mulch if you can; no need to send them away in the fall or spring!
5. Rust never sleeps and gas goes stale: Whether it is your car or house or items in the yard; oxidation, erosion and other processes conspire to take a piece of most metals. Do a good cleaning, perhaps a wirebrushing and an application of a brushable, non-toxic rust inhibitor whenever feasible. When you change out bad gas from lawnmowers, etc., keep it until a Household Hazardous Waste Day along with your other home, garden and vehicle chemical disposal needs. Why not consider going battery-powered for all of those devices? They are all available that way now!
6. Ants: From wherever and whenever they get their marching orders; here they come on the first few warm days! They can be in your house structure, under the concrete, in many soil conditions and they want to come visit you. Just remember, they need food but also a moisture source. Keep food safely contained and the house structure from having dampened, rotting wood areas. A borate solution or powder, strategically placed, usually is carried back to nests for control. If you have a pest control company, ask them about effective, less toxic procedures.
7. The boat, camper, motorcycle, bicycle and kayak are calling you: Yes, indeed, those items that we purchase for those priceless getaways and adventures on land and water raise their voices to you; “Use me first”, “Wax me now”, “Take me-me-me”! Keep everything in tip-top, ship-shape; including yourself. Good health to you and the environment with which you interact!
Go Green Galloway is a volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of Galloway through the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and the implementation of sustainable practices. We always welcome new volunteer members. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mary at 609-742-7076. Also be sure to like our Facebook page.