The title of this post sounds sort of dirty if you don’t know the exact meanings of the words, or take them just as sound. Go swab a ficus, mate! In fact, the post title refers to the fact that I spent an hour this evening with cotton swabs & insecticidal soap swabbing the leaves of a favorite little fig tree. It’s about seven inches tall & probably has a hundred & fifty leaves, each about three quarters of an inch long. Looks like some spider mites have moved in, though the tree seems healthy & is putting out new spring foliage. This is the sort of process in which I can happily lose myself, which may seem strange, I admit. I’m not going to claim it’s a form of meditation or anything spacey like that. But I do enjoy focusing on small things. Even if I’m not working on one, I sometimes find myself staring at one of my trees, just focusing on the shape & structure of the branches, for minutes on end. The closest analogy I can think of is listening to music that I know well, following its shapes & textures. Swabbing is just a closer form of looking.