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MARTHA SEZ: Polar bears could be karma

March 20, 2014
Lake Placid News

By the time you read this, it will be spring. I remind you in case you were thrown off track by all of the snow, ice and mixed precip.

On the East Coast, the vernal equinox occurred Thursday, March, 20, at 12:57 p.m.

That was the exact moment to stand raw eggs on a flat surface and watch them miraculously balance while singing the Weebles wobble but they don't fall down song.

If you missed it, don't feel disappointed; it isn't true that eggs will balance when stood on end at the time of the vernal equinox. If you did try it, and the eggs just rolled around, refusing to cooperate, you can take comfort in the knowledge that it wasn't your fault.

On the other hand, I have been challenged, by a family member, "Oh yeah? Then explain why, when I tried it, the eggs did balance!" Yes, some people really have been successful in standing up eggs at the vernal equinox, and, quite reasonably, they bitterly resent someone telling them that they fell for a hoax.

I have seen others cheat, by hard-boiling the eggs first, or placing a bit of what my grandmother Allen called stickum inconspicuously on the bottom of an egg during an otherwise pleasant family get-together. Oh, all right, I was the one who did that.

In other news: This winter, the Great Lakes are breaking records for freezing over. Ordinarily, about 50 percent of the lakes' surface freezes; this winter, because of the impact of several polar vortices, the frozen surface area tops 90 percent.

As you know, I am from Metropolitan Detroit. My sister and younger brother still live in Metro Detro. What will be the result of climate change on my home state?

Luckily, it is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Apples and cherries are two of Michigan's most important crops. When the Great Lakes are frozen solid, fruit trees blossom later, and are thus less likely to be ravaged by killing frosts. It looks like a good year for apples and cherries in the mitten state!

A bad thing is that, along with polar vortices come polar bears. It stands to reason. As the ice melts in their native habitat, these huge ursine predators will inevitably make their way to realms more hospitable to their lifestyle. If the trend continues-arctic thawing, Great Lakes freezing-don't be surprised to see polar bears in the Upper Peninsula, eventually ambling across Lake St. Clair and down the Detroit River. That's all Detroit needs! Enjoy your cherries while you can, Grosse Pointe. You made your money on the petroleum-fueled auto industry. Polar bears could be karma.

In recent news, the mummified body of a woman was discovered inside her car in her garage in Pontiac, Michigan, where she had apparently died more than seven years earlier. A neighbor continued to mow her lawn, and no one seemed to notice or care that she had gone missing.

It's a sad story that makes me glad I live in a small town. Yes, people talk about you, but they don't let seven years go by without noticing you haven't left your garage.

I think it is strangely fitting for Detroit that this poor woman was mummified inside her car, and I look forward to a new burial trend in the Motor City. The ancient Egyptians would have been envious.

This winter, my sister, who lives in Birmingham, Michigan, has been troubled by doves.

Mourning doves are very pleasant to have around, in my book, but in Sissy's book, not so much. She has never liked things that fly up in a sudden way, so as to startle a person. These birds roost in the ivy that covers her garage, where they remain hidden and still right up the time she is upon them, and then flap away in a great, shocking clatter of wings.

She read somewhere that throwing water in their general direction will discourage them. Not to get them wet, she explains, but just to chase them off. She filled a gallon jug with water and set it out near the garage in preparation. Next time she went out, she grabbed the jug, tried to throw water at the ivy, and realized that it had frozen hard as a rock.

I told her that in India people boil neem leaves in water for use as a cheap and effective bird repellent.

Soon-any day now-the red-winged blackbirds will return.

Have a good week.



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