A crew armed with a bucket truck and a shredder was pruning mistletoe out of a row of trees on a traffic median in our neighborhood Tuesday, and the pruned-over trees looked mighty naked. Over the years, the mistletoe had taken them over and the trees’ leaves hadn’t been able to make much headway. The parasite was not ugly, but would have been fatal to the trees.
Even though we celebrate the Christmas season with mistletoe, when it becomes a part of the greenery decor, for the rest of the year, it’s a persistent pest.
The same is true of holly. I had a holly tree once, and it was impossible to keep it from looking like a gigantic weed. The now-dry Fresno Riverbed caught on fire Tuesday, reminding us that the lush plant growth in the river channel fostered by rains and water releases from Hensley Lake may prove to be a big problem as the summer wears on.
Who would have thought that mistletoe could be a murderer of trees, that holly could be heinous in a garden and that a river could be a fire hazard?
Things that seem desirable at one point can turn out to be not so desirable at another point.
Anybody who has lived through a flood knows rain can turn from being a blessing to being a curse in nothing flat.
We all know that smart phones and electronic tablets, so desirable at first, can turn into fatal attractions. People who let themselves become distracted by these devices sometimes find themselves causing car wrecks, or running into someone while walking and talking or texting, or trying to read and drive at the same time.
I know people who can’t put their smart phones down without getting the trembles, so addicted are they to playing with them. These phones may turn out to be social mistletoe — taking over their users’ lives and sucking them dry.