While my rolled oats were cooling off in the bowl, I went out with yesterday’s organic scraps and dumped it on the edge of the garden.

Do you have any idea of what kitchen scraps do to the soil? Even after the crow friends have carried off the bones and gristle? Last summer, when I didn’t have time to plant or take care of a garden, there were dark green weeds over 2 feet tall in my garbage dumping area.

When I walked back into the house and picked up my bowl of rolled oats, seagulls were already circling in the air, half a dozen were sitting on my henhouse roof and a nervous crow was looking down at half a dozen shrimp shells from his limb in the apple tree.

I ran out, threw a rubber car floor mat over the shells and came back in to absorb Facebook wisdom, keep an eye on our great spring weather and eat my oats.

Thirty minutes later, there was still one seagull hovering on the henhouse roof, ever hopeful.

Years ago Jack Ambjörnsson, who lives on the west coast of Sweden, told me that he threw one small herring into his backyard and within minutes, it was full of gulls. How gulls can see a herring or six shrimp shells from 100 feet up in the sky is one of Mother Nature’s marvels.


Unless you are very young, you know why I do not want 15 seagulls sitting on the roof of my house and why I do not want them flying over my truck and solar panels.

Until the crows bring in more muscle or find some better company, they will find me to be an uncaring, unseen neighbor until the first spring day when it is finally warm enough to step outside and put in the early plants that grow in cold weather. However, on that day I’m often driving my Model T in the Fourth of July parade.

The word “spring” conjures up a plethora of images. When the first spring day comes to Miami, schoolchildren know that it is too hot to go to the beach. In Fort Kent, “spring” is when it might be safe to take the tire chains off your pickup.

Port Clyde artist Wilder Oakes mentioned that since the advent of Facebook, the word “friend” is now also bandied about rather loosely. But haven’t “spring” and “friend” always been difficult words to define?

How do you define a “best friend”? And what distinguishes a close friend from a best friend or a Facebook friend – who might be a Russian bot?

Rockland’s witty Richard Warner wistfully confessed to me that he couldn’t join Facebook because to do so you had to prove that you had at least one friend.


Is a friend the first person to rush in and help you in your time of need? Suppose your best friend lacks empathy and can cheerfully stand back and watch you sink?

And what do you call your best friend who moved away or got married or joined a cult?

I’ve known Wllder for years. I admire his work, his humor and his ability to think. We’ve never had dinner together. Nor do we eagerly embrace each time we meet. Is he a friend or an acquaintance?

You might recall seeing a clever article in Portland Magazine about the difference between being “tight,” “close,” “stingy,” “mean,” “greedy” and so on. Each word has a different shade of meaning. The relationship of one word to another was diagrammed with Euler’s Circles, which illustrated the world of difference between a neighbor who is “pretty careful” and one who is “wicked tight.”

Could you use the same process to clarify your personal relationships with people you communicate with every day?

Should you do it, would you risk being “unfriended” by many on your indispensable Facebook page?


Where but on Facebook could you learn that the mayor of one Maine city has ordered local bands to play their original songs in public to keep people from gathering?

Facebook and the present coronavirus have added words to our vocabulary and expanded the meanings of familiar ones. Without even thinking about it, many of us use these new words. Others find it easier to express their thoughts by posting pictures they call “memes.” If you’re addicted to Facebook, you know exactly what we’re talking about here.

Gone are the days of telling your friends and neighbors who you are by the number of snowmobiles in your front yard.

Social media now rules, and a Maine man is presently known by the pictures of toilet paper he proudly posts on Facebook.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:


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