Seasonal Themes

January 4, 2023

Two things jump out at me in this photo and both sort of define our experience of Winter 2022-2023 so far:

First thing: Jim’s wearing his brand new Northface McMurdo parka. He’d pined after Peter’s when we visited Ann Arbor last Fall. Peter, of course, living in Michigan, is dealing with weather that totally justifies a super heavy duty winter coat and when Jim saw it (and tried it on) he determined then and there that he needed one just like it. He concluded that a McMurdo parka would be just the thing to get him through the bone-chilling Davis winters. He marked his calendar for the day REI would drop its prices on winter gear and, on that day, he placed his order. It was a huge celebration when his McMurdo parka arrived! Davis has been particularly cold this year, and Jim’s fancy-pants McMurdo parka has been a reliable and bullet-proof go-to. He’s happy (he’ll never be cold again), I’m happy (because he’s not complaining about the cold) and — bonus — it’s a fabulous looking thing.

Second thing: See that green thing that looks like a chessboard pawn? It’s part of a system that the Integrated Pest Management folks at UC Davis recommended to address our raging ant invasion. We’ve been dealing (unsuccessfully) with ants now for about five weeks. They started marching two-by-two, then three-by-three, then four-by-four… (hurrah, hurrah) when the first rain hit at the end of November (beginning of December, maybe) and have been showing up in unlikely places ever since. We take care of them in one place, only to have them show up in another. It’s been ant whack-a-mole for five annoying weeks (they did disappear on Christmas day, inexplicably and thankfully). Never seemed food related; they’d appear in the hall, or the living room, a few times in Peter’s bathroom. At the first ant sighting, we brought out our dishsoap-filled spray bottle, which has always worked in the past. Still kills them on contact, but instead of eradicating them, it seems only to relocate them. I was ready for a more serious abatement strategy — even poison! — so Jim researched, consulted UCD, and came up with these. Not cheap but hopefully effective. He placed four such green pods around the exterior perimeter of our house, filled them with something chemically but not bad for the environment and now we’re waiting to see if they’ll do the trick. So far, so ok. The ants seem gone from most of their usual places (or greatly reduced, anyway) but came back yesterday with a vengeance in our pantry (what a flippin mess that was). I’ve long lost patience for this. I imagine the cold and rain is to blame — mostly — and I’m not unhappy about that because we need the rain so badly after three bone-dry drought years. But definitely bummed about the ants and hoping the green pods are the ultimate solution.

2 Responses to “Seasonal Themes”

  1. Wes Says:

    The year I was at Michigan a parka was one of the first purchases I made…along with new Timberland boots. I remember it started to snow in October…wish I had a McMurdo too…it’s a great look!

  2. Kari Says:

    It IS a great look! Warm, waterproof, windproof. Happy guy. And it’s not a Canada Goose! 🙂

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