JD Allinder

Alive and Kicking II

In Posts on March 24, 2015 at 1:03 am



March is the New May

In Posts on March 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I don’t care if I’m a party pooper and spent the entire winter complaining about how warm it was (and it was warm – the Earth never froze, leaving Jane and me covered in mud when we should be keeping nice and clean and walking on water), I have to continue because the end of the season has been downright frightening, bizarre, surreal. People have been in shorts and t-shirts for over a week now, and yesterday the mercury reached 86 degrees. Last week we had extended, summer-like thunderstorms with tornadoes touching down in nearby Dexter and nearly wiping out an entire neighborhood. Temperatures have been 20-30 degrees above normal, and it hasn’t just been warm – it’s been startlingly and uncomfortably hot. In Michigan. In winter. Mosquitoes and ants are coming to life, daffodils and crocuses are in bloom, the grass even needs mowing. (I’ve never, ever, ever mowed in Michigan before the last week of April.) For one who’s grown to loathe warmth, I’m not just complaining because I’m inconvenienced. There is something strangely and weirdly wrong with the planet. When this latest change first occurred – ten or so days ago – I was astounded by the sounds of frogs, toads, and crickets.  And it keeps getting warmer. Today Annika and I walked the beasts in Montibeller Park in Pittsfield Township. We were all dragging because of the intense heat, which was exacerbated by the fact that trees are completely bare – they’ve only just begun to bud – and provided no shade. Later at Lillie Park, Annika found a tick on my shirt. A tick! In March!

If this is the new normal, people seem to be okay with it. Everyone appears happy to be bike riding in their bathing suits. News reports even use positive adjectives to describe this apocalyptic climate change like “nice,” “pleasant,” and “summer-like.” The fact that so few seem to care or mind just adds to the overall dreamlike quality of watching our climate changing so rapidly and so drastically. I’m genuinely disturbed. If Michigan is the new Alabama, I’m going to be extremely bummed (and so will Jane).

UPDATE: Ticks have been discovered tonight on both Annika and Jane. That’s three so far today, and, for the most part, we avoided deep woods and walked only on wide, heavily-traversed trails.


In Posts on January 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Jane turned five last week. Of course there’s guesswork involved with a rescue dog, but her chosen birthday is based on her original, post-rescue evaluation conducted in September 2008 by Dr. Laura Chamberlain of Mid-Michigan Equine Services at Broken Road Rescue, where Jane was nursed to wellness before coming to live with me. Jane’s got a lot more confidence than she did when we first met, and I hope that her memories of life before me are distant and vague, like something she read in a book. She’s still wary of strangers, particularly men, and doesn’t like being handled, but she trusts me entirely and even comes to me when I call her for a scolding (invariably for foraging). Like Georgia before her, Jane enjoyed a McDonald’s Happy Meal on her birthday, only now they come with apple slices (treated with something toxic, I’m sure, to retard browning). She was thrilled, and I got a Diet Coke and only felt slightly guilty for patronizing the vile provider of disease and status quo maintenance.

Jane’s doing quite well physically. She still enjoys 8-10 miles of walking/hiking daily, and I’ve reduced her daily calorie intake over the past year and a half, so she’s fit and trim. She’s a real beauty. She’s off-leash whenever appropriate (all woods walks and some city walks, i.e. parks, vacant land plots, etc.), and I think generally she’s satisfied with her lot. She’s still not much for affection, but she keeps an eye on me and demonstrates her love and devotion in other ways. I think we’re bonded for life.

This winter has been a complete dud. It’s my favorite season, and I feel totally robbed this year – the warmest in recent memory. There are many things I love about winter, and one of them is there’s no mud. With the Earth frozen, I get to enjoy three months of a clean dog, car, house, etc. We’ve had only a couple of frozen days this year – literally – so Jane and I have been up to our ears in spring-like mud. It’s very depressing. Few things make me more forlorn than a warm winter. The sun is already acting spring-like, and the normally still-hibernating raccoons have begun poking their heads out of their trees (providing great entertainment for Jane). While we’ve had a few cold days, I can count them all two hands, and we’ve haven’t had enough snow for  sledding or building snow people. I haven’t even shoveled the walk, just swept away the dustings with a broom. Such a disappointment!