A Year in the Life of a Czech Plush Monkey.
Week 8:  7 - 13 March 2004
Monkey cuts lemontree trimmings

          Sunday, 7th

Our lemon tree grows like a weed and needs a lot pruning. Monkey chose the variety we planted: Extra Thorny Lemon. That is one dangerous tree to deal with. Still, thorny or not, citrus are cool because they bear ripe fruit at the same time they flower. That’s when Opice’s town smells like orange blossoms.

Monkey does a good job saving the lemons before cutting up the branches for disposal—for about 5 minutes. Now he wants to go up the ladder and use David’s tree-trimmer. I don’t know why, but something tells me we shouldn’t let him.

atop the ladder pruning, not much

          Monday, 8th
Apes love treetop vistas. Well, most apes I’d guess. Monkey certainly does. He enjoys being atop the ladder, which doesn’t mean he’s getting much pruning done.

Oh-oh. He’s spied the north neighbor’s large navel orange tree. We have plenty of oranges, 4 varieties in fact; and Monkey’s welcome to eat his weight in them. But he can always eat twice his weight in stolen fruit.

There he goes! Down the ladder and over the fence into Lorretta’s yard. Why does every project turn chaotic if Opice’s involved?

Caught stealing Lorretta's oranges

          Tuesday, 9th

Get him Lorretta!  Get him!

She may be a hundred years older than Monkey (102 to be precise), but she’s feisty, quick witted, sharp of mind. She never misses “The Price is Right,” nor fails to sweep her walk, rake leaves (or thieving monkeys) from her trees.

Monkey charms Lorretta into forgiving him

          Wednesday, 10th

I hate when he does that: charms his way out of any predicament.

It’s not fair. Monkey gets away with everything!

Opice admires a neighbor's red camellias

          Thursday, 11th
For those of you following Monkey’s great year-long adventure who don’t know, his hometown has three seasons: spring, summer, & fall. What passes for winter where he lives equals spring in most of the rest of the nation. The (winter) rainy season greens the grass, blooms the flowers, and blasts pollen counts into orbit.

Among Monkey-town’s flowering plants this time of year are Camellias. Monkey loves ‘em. You might enjoy learning that tea is made from camellia sinensis leaves.

Opice strikes a fetching pose in another camellia bush
The sad state of bananas in winter
Banana plants get ugly.

          Friday, 12th

Ok, it’s not all bird-of-paradise and nasturtiums from December to March. There’s usually a few frosty mornings which nip bananas to the trunk. As you might imagine, that’s a sad sight for a monkey.

Opice has three banana varieties in his back yard. One type could produce fruit were the growing season longer. The tall ones top 30’ (10m). And despite how sad they look to Monkey now, they will grow back as soon as overnight temperatures remain above 50°F (10C°).

Did you know bananas are the world’s largest herb?

Do you know how your tax dollars are being spent? Yes, We Have No Bananas

Saturday, 13th

Banana houseplants
provide tension relief
(much to my chagrin).

banana houseplants

But I understand. Monkey can’t think very far ahead. There’s no reassuring him that his outdoor ’nanners will be fine in another month or two. He needs herbaceous plants now! Thus, losing an occasional potted plant is a fair tradeoff if it keeps our bipolar hominoid in control (and Opice happy, too).

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