The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

The Don Quixote of The Maple Seed

Posted by Daniel on Tuesday, April 25, 2006

“In a place in La Mancha, whose name I do not care to recall, there dwelt not so long ago a gentleman of the type wont to keep an unused lance, an old shield, a greyhound for racing, and a skinny old horse.”

Here’s the story of my partner, Steve, and his annual battle with the Maple Seed. To better explain this dramatic story, perhaps some background info would first be in order.

Every Spring (you know, that season I do so love…NOT!), there comes the usual events. Plants and trees budding. My battle of wits with a very pesky garden-destroying mole. The constant hot-then-cold-then-hot-again weather. The monsoon-like rains. And, lest we forget, my personal favorite…pollen. But there is also something about Spring that sets Steve’s conquering spirit off…the raining of the maple seeds. For those who aren’t familiar with these locusts of the tree world, I’ve placed a photo of one below (shown more or less actual size).
These seeds – we call them helicopters because of the way they spin as they fall – come from the most prolific trees I’ve ever seen. Our neighbor, both on either side of us, as well as behind and across the street, all seem to have at least one of these maple trees. So when Spring rolls around, everything is literally covered in these seeds. This seed rain from hell lasts about two to three weeks and the mess they make is both astounding and irritating. Enter Steve Quixote…

On Sunday’s, Steve and I like to have our coffee out on our deck. Naturally, since I’m usually up first, I like to sweep the deck while his coffee is perculating (I AM SUCH A GREAT HUSBAND!!!). Overnight, any number of things tend to fall on our deck…and we have a big deck. (tee-hee) It’s nice to sit out there and enjoy the morning while listening to all the birds. Or so Steve would really rather have it. Generally it turns out to be him trying to relax, but instead he has to sit there and listen to me babbling about all of the plantings and the progress of each…really shit he could care less about.

*NOTE: Actually, Steve really loves the plants and pretty flowers we usually have every year…he just could REALLY care less how they got that way. 🙂

Anyway, back to the seeds.

As I mentioned, I usually have everything cleaned and swept off for his arrival outside. However, at this time of year, you turn your back for 30 seconds (I swear) and the deck and everything on it is covered in seeds again. Last Sunday three seeds had fallen into my coffee just as I turned to put the broom down.

Steve comes out for his Sunday morning babbling…I mean relaxation, but if one seed falls, he’s up and grabbing for the broom. He’ll sweep off everything, including what I’ve just swept – whether it needs it or not. Then as he’s coming back to the table (still sweeping seeds that are or are not there), another seed has fallen and he’s right back at it. This is the way our Sunday mornings on the deck tend to go. Me (Sancho Panza) babbling about plant shit and Steve (Don Quixote) jousting at helicopter “windmills”. Never does one of theseseed-sundays go by witout Steve shaking his fist at one of the neighbors’ trees and cursing them. Then, when he actually see the neighbors, he thanks them for those seeds…sweetly, but with a tinge of venom.

So what’s the point of this story? None really. It’s just one of my little observations. You see, there are many reasons I love my Steve. Far too many to list here. This vendetta he seems to have with the seeds is just one of them. He makes me laugh and smile…even when he doesn’t try.

I love you Don,



6 Responses to “The Don Quixote of The Maple Seed”

  1. atari_age said

    So, see if you can get Steve to just wait… wait until a decent layer has formed. I mean, what’s the point (I say being miles from a maple seed) of draining your energy over a few seeds. If you wait for a nice full layer, you can then just sweeeeeeeep the whole lot off in one shot.

    Unless a layer of seeds is as heavy as an inch of snow or something.

    In that case, I’d just have big megafans in a circuit blowing in all directions pointing away from your porch. It’d be noisy and the seeds wound fly everywhere – but not on your porch!

  2. RevelKC2 said

    Atari:trust me, you don’t want these demon seeds to get a foothold anywhere near a full layer. There are literally tens of thousands of them. And you really don’t want your ass sitting on them, they are hard like rocks.

    Actually right now we are having a lot of rain, so we’re hoping it knocks the rest of the m–thf–kers off the damn trees. 🙂

    I used to love the helicopter seeds when I was a kid. (Actually, in Kansas, we called them whirlybirds…but then again, that’s Kansas for ya).

  3. […] There’s so much happening during this season and I’m not just talking about Steve and his never-ending crusade with the leaf-blower. Although, he is about as obsessed with the falling leaves as he is with the maple seeds.  Don’t even get me started on that one again!! […]

  4. […] There’s so much happening during this season and I’m not just talking about Steve and his never-ending crusade with the leaf-blower. Although, he is about as obsessed with the falling leaves as he is with the maple seeds.  Don’t even get me started on that one again!! […]

  5. […] as Steve calls them) begin to rain down, covering everything in sight. For more on that, read here. Let’s just put it this way…Maple Seeds + Steve + Leaf Blower = […]

  6. Albertina said

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