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The Observer March 17

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SIGNS BLOOM: Against Deltic.
  • SIGNS BLOOM: Against Deltic.
A daffodil-seeker en route to the sea of yellow and green at Wye Mountain last weekend got an eyeful of naked hillsides along the way — and a picture of what folks out Highway 113 past Maumelle think of Deltic Timber. Signs posted at clearcuts along the way (The Observer can’t say for certain who did the clear-cutting) read: “Raped by Deltic Timber.” “Scenic Drive by Deltic Timber.” “Squirrel Free Zone by Deltic Timber.” And finally, “Call Your State Rep” about Deltic’s bill before the legislature that would clear the way for it to build hundreds of homes on the brink of the city’s water supply. Flower power, 21st century style. Those buttercups — they’re fighters, too. The Observer’s been in our “new” old house for about seven months now, and we thought we were done with surprises. You know, like just how much cold air will blow in around the edges of a warped front door, or that the workshop out back floods when it rains so we really need to keep our in-progress projects off the floor, or that someone had done all the work to wire electrical outlets in the bathroom — except install the actual outlets. We’d almost come to terms with the worst surprise of all — that our house apparently sits on a solid mountain of rock covered with a mere four inches or so of dirt. The Observer, heretofore a yardless renter, had hoped the trade-off for having to mow our own lawn would be getting to plant as many beds of flowers as our lower back could stand, but we couldn’t even set up a bird-feeder pole without striking stone. Getting our political signs to stay upright last fall required some kind of occult intervention on Mr. Observer’s part. Then about a month ago, a mysterious patch of green stalks sprang up at one edge of our front yard. We didn’t think much of it, because the entire yard is pretty much a solid carpet of random non-grass greenery. But this patch spread, and quickly, until a week or so later we had a meandering but solid line of the stuff from one side of the yard to the other. A few days later, we figured it out. Somehow, someone or some process of Mother Nature had sown a big fat crop of daffodils all around our yard. They even tried to come up through the woodpile. Though on the scraggly and neglected side now, they’re still a little unexpected gift of grace and beauty -— and hope, as well. We’ll help them get bigger and better next year. We’ll be gardeners after all.

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