Redneck Environmentalism

Regular readers of my blog will recognize that I have had an encounter with Yard Guy, whose real name is Tom.  I see him only every two to three weeks, and our conversations are brief but wonderful.  He’s the 40-something son of one of my neighbors.  We became acquainted because my neighbor noticed that my 1995 Camaro was sitting in my driveway for months and that I had bought a new car.  (See, that’s the kind of neighborhood I live in.  The kind where the neighbor next door once asked me if I realized how unsightly all those pine cones in the front yard were.  I don’t know whether to be warmed by the fact that my neighbors are looking out for me, or to tell them to mind their own business. )

In any case, Tom wanted the Camaro, and that’s even after I told him “It needs an engine”.  He offered to take care of my yard for the entire season (I think this was in March or April) in exchange for it.  A true example of the barter system, and something about that just touched a (good) nerve in me.  This is the way we used to do stuff, and I wonder if we aren’t all there again.  I heard a story on NPR yesterday about a restaurant called “Forage”.  Home gardeners bring in their produce, and they cook you a meal with it…along with stuff other people brought in. 

So far, I think Tom has gotten the raw end of this deal, but apparently he doesn’t see it that way.  I got the Camaro towed away, and have gotten months of really hard work on his part, plus the pleasure of getting to know him.  Today we talked about lionfish being discovered in the Gulf and the Keys (released from stupid people’s aquariums), Burmese pythons in the Everglades, the lingering effects of the oil spill (underwater plumes), and the decline of tourism in all parts of Florida because people apparently can’t read maps.  Hello:  Gulf of Mexico.  Atlantic Ocean.  We talked about the best places to eat seafood.  Angelo’s in Panacea…he says it isn’t as good as it was before the 2004 hurricanes.  He told me about Angel’s.  “You go out Highway 20 and cross the Ocklockonee River bridge, then there’s this dirt road on your right…” 

The important thing is, that every time I talk to him, I’m reminded that I live in the best place on earth, for me. 

By contrast, I’ve been reading a couple of political blogs lately that are making me ill.  It’s natural that things would heat up, pre-November 2, but…seriously.  I said one of them made me want to take a shower, then go do a blog post about flowers or something. 

So here’s a flower.  It’s Blue Sky vine (Thunbergia grandiflora).  Mine has just started to bloom. 

Non-political flower

I’m throwing in a butterfly for free…the Zebra Longwing…official butterfly of Florida.

Are you serving nectar at your fundraiser?

11 responses to “Redneck Environmentalism

  1. Fakename: I slightly different interpretation is that Yardman’s dad was complaining to Yardman about the unsightly Camaro and the condition of your lawn, and Yardman actually got the much better deal — he cleaned up your yard and got rid of the Camaro and made both his dad and you happy … all for a little bit of labor. He got the much better deal I suspect!

  2. How dare you call my Camaro unsightly 🙂 It was a gem!

  3. If you’re not going to post a picture of the hummingbird moth here you need to do a Fakename’s Animal Planet post just for them! What marvelous creatures!

  4. masteroftheuniverse

    One of your best posts, ever. Politics just isn’t worth getting worked up over and nobody is going to change the other’s mind. As for the Camaro,I admire your trade, which both parties became winners,. I try to do as much business by barter as possible, as the taxman can’t really nail you down on a pure barter exchange. However, when the government starts making you fill out 1099’s everytime you have a transaction of over $600(and that’s coming very soon), I think we’ll be seeing a lot more barter and cashless transactions. Maybe that’s the bright side that will come out of the totalitarian state we’re on a very fast track of becoming.

  5. $600? Dang. I calculated that the value of Tom’s work would be $800, which was the upper limit of what I could get for the Camaro if I sold it. No engine, remember? Your comment reminds me of the fact that I miss you. But you are both a snob and an outlaw 🙂 I’m always amazed that the two can coincide.

  6. > decline of tourism in all parts of Florida because people
    > apparently can’t read maps

    Does that surprise you? It does not surprise me.

  7. masteroftheuniverse

    I’m really curious how I can be both a snob and outlaw? This should be really good, and a coherent, logical explaination would probably make Atistotle proud. By the way, I think it’s time we kissed and made up(in a metaphorical sense) as I have missed you greatly. Don’t like your politics one bit,but think you are one classy lady. Class trumps politics every time. I think I told you that my late lovely wife was a card carrying communist and I was able to put up with that, and I still read your blog and don’t go crazy.:)

  8. Think hard, Jeff 🙂 You will get it. Consider that we have metaphorically kissed and made up. I like both your snob and outlaw sides. That could be because I am completely the same way. It’s just that my snobbish and outlaw sides come out in different ways from yours.

  9. masteroftheuniverse


  10. Jeff…I need to point you in the direction of a blog where I have been trashed like never before by one of its regular readers. This guy started out by calling me a “split-tail” and it got worse from there.

  11. This looks like what we call morning glories?

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