Looseleaf Laureate: Spring bling not to be taken for granted

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By Terri Likens, Editor

Look outside.
Chances are, you’ll see plenty of green. Delicate greens, deep mossy greens, even yellow-green chartreuses.
No other color is as easy on the eye and calming to the spirit.
The spring transformation never ceases to amaze me.
Spring got a late start this year, but now we are fully into the richness of the season. We should pause to appreciate it.
Some of us take for granted the emerald paradise spring provides for us every year.
Some of us have lived in areas where a green landscape isn’t something you can take for granted.
My time in the Desert Southwest taught me to embrace green.
I loved the desert, but some years, there wasn’t enough rain over the winter to allow any significant growth.
Scrub and cactuses would hang on for another year in a landscape that was predominantly brown.
And some years, adequate winter rain would bring a dazzling springtime bloom, but the show was relatively brief.
Everything soon dried up in the desert sun, and became ample tinder to be ignited by the lightning storms of summer.
I also spent close to a decade in Chicago, a city that strives to provide urban gardens and nature preserves.
But despite their best efforts, brick, stone, glass, steel and pavement dominates the landscape.
Moving back to Tennessee a decade ago — I’d lived in Cumberland Gap previously — was an experience that’s hard to describe.
Needless to say, the lush, green landscape around me goes a long way toward  putting my spirit at ease.
If you read my earlier column on carpenter bees, you’ll appreciate the advice I received from reader Bill Matheson’s on trying to control them with a badminton racquet.
“Carpenter bees watch you as they fly around you,” he wrote. “You have to use two hands to hit them with the badminton racket.”
He suggest getting as close as possible with the racquet raised, then waving your other hand or wiggling your fingers.
“You will actually see the bee turn toward your hand movement. While the bee is distracted by your hand, swing the racket as hard as you can and send that little sucker into the next county!”
Thanks, Bill. I’ll try it!