Spring fever

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Boy, this weather makes me feel brand new. The everlasting winter hung over me like an accidental profanity in church. But today I wore shorts to work for the first time this year, and I know that means that soon the scent of scotch broom will fill the air.

We hosted our first hummingbird last Thursday. He’s declared the feeder in front of our picture window his territory, and I’ve seen him defend it twice against thirsty interlopers. I wonder what goes on in their little hummingbird minds when they dip their beaks into the pool of fresh sugar water. They must feel like I feel when I bite into a caramel-filled chocolate, and it bursts in my mouth like a ripe grape, but with technologically refined sugars.

There’s something about this weather that makes me feel really engaged with the world; emotional in extraordinary ways. The touch of the breeze near dusk makes me want to drive the McCarran loop for no better reason than to listen to the stereo loud enough to drown out my own singing.

This morning I actually took it personally when I was jogging up the street, and there were homes incorrectly watering their lawns with automatic sprinklers. I’ve got no problem with lawns. I grew up in the Midwest, and I have an abiding love for grass the way some people love a freshly striped black top parking lot. But lawns, which by their nature are an extravagance, shouldn’t be any more wasteful than necessary. When I see water rivering down the gutter, I’m tempted to take matters into my own hands, change the sprinkler nozzle, tighten down the spray and adjust the pattern.

I wonder what would happen if I did. I wonder what would happen if I did, and I got caught. Would I be in more trouble than the person who waters the street?