April - Worst Month of the Year

Spring is a word I used to associate with pretty flowers. Where I grew up, in the south, there is a major spring flower cult of such pretties as coltsfoot (tussilago), snowdrop, and blue anemone. When I moved here, I asked a friend when the coltsfoot starts to bloom, and she said, "I have heard of them, but they don´t grow around here. What do they look like?" This was startling to me, as was finding out that there are no fruit orchards, and if you want to put flowers on your balcony, and be sure the frost does them no harm, put them out no sooner than a week before Midsumer´s Eve!

Usually, we associate autumn with the death and decay of nature, but as the snow melts in spring, it´s like the opening of a Pandora´s box of trash, mud (from the gritting of icy roads), and dog poop. My husband always says that you know it´s spring when you smell excrement as you walk out the door. A few days ago, preschoolers marched to protest against the dog poop, and every year there are letters to the press complaining about it. Everyone says it´s getting worse, and I think it probably is, because keeping dogs in town is becoming more popular. When I first came here, more than twenty years ago, most of the dogs you saw on the streets were sturdy, useful ones that could take the cold: huskies, elkhounds, and sheepdogs. Now there is much more variety, and last week I even met one of those hairless creatures - properly kitted out against the cold, of course. I blame Cesar Millan, and all those other dogwhisperers on television.

Yesterday, I met this unsupervised schnauzer, who was very busy digging up and eating whatever he was finding under those shrubs. I don´t know anything about dogs - perhaps it´s natural for them to eat dog poop? Perhaps it´s even good for their digestive system? Maybe this is why dog owners are so lax about cleaning up after their dogs. I don´t know.

Normally, I wouldn´t even think of going for a walk with my camera this time of year,
but as I have bought me a new one (we are going to Isle of Wight after all!) and need to familiarize myself with it (being a DSLR, quite different to the little Samsung I´m used to), I went out to capture the ugliness of it all.

For the record, I just want to add that this dog owner picked up her dog´s poop.


  1. people who don't pick up after their dogs are a bane upon humankind! we had a neighbor once who would bring her dog into our yard, let it do its thing, then run back over into her yard. evil woman.

    that schnauzer is a cutie. i'd be afraid it'd get hit by a car or stolen if it were my dog :(

    1. You should have seen the little 8 week old french bulldog puppy I met Saturday. OMG! - I was tempted to slip him into my pocket and take him home. A real baby, prepared to love everything. And be loved right back...

    2. sounds sweet. they are cute. but then, i think _all_ puppies are cute lol