I say “gems” but I really mean (dare I say it) ...dog poop. Let's stick with "gems" shall we?
Usually I pick up after the dog soon after she goes out in the garden. But when the temperature drops, the idea of venturing out into sub-zero Canadian winter in my pajamas is less than appealing. So as the dog lays her eggs, I let the snow fall and cover it.
I warn the kids of the dangers of building a snowman. I wait patiently until spring. I look out the window and admire the pure, white, freshly fallen blanket of snow masking the evil that lurks beneath.
The spring thaw yields layer upon layer of treasure. It resembles an archaeological dig: the snow melts enough to expose a few sparkling jewels at a time and I remove each layer over a period of weeks.
It’s normally hard going because the gems are cold and soggy; some even need to be dug out of the ice with a trowel.
An emphatically unglamorous activity.
This year however, I decided to refrain until all the snow melted. I waited for a dry day (today). Armed with my usual protective gear...
...and a zillion plastic bags... I went out to face what would surely be a bumper crop.
To my surprize, there were only half as many and the ones I found were half-sized hard little nuggets. Also, being dry, they didn’t smell.
Why, in twenty years of living with dogs, am I only just now discovering this?