The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Talk

Down here in rather hot/humid Virginia (>90°) on vacation, so I’m slow getting today’s post up.

We’ve had one week back with Cherry, as she finds another one of her projects (a pro bono project, as we learn from the May 20th strip) sabotaged by the Sunny Soleil Society, even though it apparently broke no Association rules but simply offended the sensibilities of the Home Association’s chief enforcement thug, Violet Cheshire. In spite of Cherry’s gestures and speech, the only real violence has been Violet, who physically threw Cherry out of her office. Yet Cherry declined to involve the police. And yet, she remains on her own side of the fence, as Violet condescendingly remarks, getting madder and madder. Instead, she turns to a mysterious person or agency (“Dirk Davis”) on her smart phone (or tablet) for assistance. Who that is should be revealed in the strips this week, if Rivera gives Cherry equal time and equal worth.

Moving on to today’s nature strip, one of the ongoing highlights of the Sunday panels is Rivera’s take on the title panel, thematically linked to the topic of the day. Jules is not the only cartoonist who does this, for it is also a tradition with Zits. Hardly a surprise today to see a discussion on native grasses, though it is a change to finally see Cherry take the leading role for once.

The concept of a front yard, or lawn, was originally a status symbol of the powerful and wealthy since the 1500s, until lawn mowers were invented, and a middle class arose that could afford property with a bit of land. A trimmed lawn of green grass is still a status symbol of the middle class, though communities across the country have fought to allow homeowners to establish lawns of grasses and plants native to the area. It is ironic that many people today think our manicured “Kentucky Bluegrass” and other lawn grasses are natural, while the more exotic- and wild-looking natural grasses and plants somehow “look” intrusive, ugly, or detrimental to property values.

One of the things that especially irk me, here in Minnesota, is how the concept of a “lake cabin” has changed from a traditional simple structure built on a patch of land filled with natural growth and surrounded by natural features, to suburban style houses specifically isolated from their natural surroundings, with lawns of carefully manicured grass, as you would find in any urban or suburban neighborhood. It is a bitter irony to the whole concept of “going up to the cabin” to get away from city life and enjoy the simpler things in Nature.

However, I am hopeful that “green lawn” believers will ultimately discover that lawns that look a bit like natural pastures can be beneficial in many ways, such as drastically decreased (if not eliminated) need for watering, fertilizing, and cutting. That means, less time, less money, and no need for chemicals or additives that can harm pets or other animals.