The Gardens - In the Beginning

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Come along with me, out my back yard door...

Let us sit for tea, and ignore our chores.






The pain tension causes is overwhelming, and I'm having a difficult time getting my well-being back on track.  The grief from Zoe's passing is more than I had imagined it would be.  Much care was spent on her; her last few months, and the void left won't close.

Lacey's grief has consumed my life since Zoe's absence, as she refused food for almost three days before we discovered she would eat small portions of fried chicken breast from Popeye's fast foods.

Desperate to get her back onto her normal food and full meals, we started applying an appetite stimulant gel to the inside of her ear flap, then force fed her before she started eating some of her regular food.  She's still not back to her old self, and I'm beginning to wear out mentally.





It's early morning, and I'm doing something I haven't made an effort to do at all this year...eat my breakfast on the back deck.  A sandwich plate sits in front of me with three pathetic little round circles of flour and whole grains called crackers, hastily covered in almond butter with a messy splotch of peach jam in the center.  A hot cup of Assam tea and a tall glass of ice water, and breakfast is beginning.  Eat your hearts out, my friends.

My thoughts are being buried under the songs of cicadas.  I'd like to dig them out, but I'm beginning to become a little bit bonkers listening to those little beasties accelerating in two seconds from quiet to chainsaw decibels, then eventually they are abruptly back to quiet.  A second type is revving up, going full steam, and then slowing down to quiet.  It's like a hundred families of cicadas out here, firing up at different intervals, over and over and over and over and over...help!

With those head splitting melodious songs resonating back and forth between my ears, I catch a glimpse of a squirrel running along the top portion of my wood fence, his left feet on top of the fence panels and his right feet on the 2 x 4 board six inches down.  A weirdly different approach I haven't noticed before with any of my squirrels.

Maybe he's trying to be incognito from the neighbor's dog, but it doesn't work.  The dog is barking, so the squirrel sits up and peeks over the fence for a minute.  The barking stops and the little guy scampers headfirst down my side of the fence, racing across the patio like the dog's hot on his rear,  jumps for the ash tree and disappears into the canopy.

A cardinal begins to sing above the cicada songs, and soon a pair of Carolina wrens appear, inspecting branches for insects.  A robin chimes in, then the harsh cries of blue jays echo back and forth across the street in front.  A hummingbird flits in and out of the clematis, and up into the persimmon tree.  A honeybee flies in loops across the patio into the garden beyond, while the Joe Pye Weed flowers have halos of tiny insects flying above them.

The temperature and humidity are rising, but a cooling breeze brushes my legs ever so lightly once in a while.  I thought I would wait out the cicadas to discover what time they close up shop in the heat of the day, but I'm calling it quits, as sweat is trickling down my back like rain drops running down the windshield of my car.  Phooey!



Moth rescued from birdbath,
 drying out on chaise lounge away from ants.


Garden squatters - Miss Ivy and her clan


Mushrooms growing on mossy lava rock_
crown is 1/8th inch across.




Spicebush Swallowtail resting
 after what appears to have been a rough journey.






Leafcutter Bee (I think) on Joe Pye Weed_
bee also rests inside the mallow flowers



Postscript:

Since I'm apparently not the smartest cookie on the block, I had to water the patio planters in early afternoon, and almost washed out to the street and down the block in a river of sweat.



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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Day in the Life of a Piece of Thread

It never happens...you know...a rewind in life.  We only have memories to replay when life throws a curve ball our way.      

I'm still hurting over losing my little Persian, Zoe, from heart disease.  She loved to lie on the carpeted shelf of her cat tree and gaze beyond her room into the prairie gardens beneath and the neighbor's yard next door.

Other times she would tuck herself into the tunnel of the bedroom cat tree and watch the birds bathe and squirrels frolic in the woodland wildflower gardens out back, but the day would always begin with her perched on her cushioned stool by the front window with its excellent view of all those tasty birds flying in to grab a meal at the hanging feeder.

So here's to my Zoe.  She never passed up a first-class view of the gardens and the world beyond in all of her fifteen years.


Love you, my sweet one...love you forever.

Zoe's introduction to the family ~










Mmmmmm...how do I catch one of these tasty buggers?

















What do you mean they're only photos on a page,
and all I can do is look?!?




Welcome to the middle of summer in little fourth acre gardens, where only those who want to feel like burnt bread popping out of a toaster stand in the sun very long.  The cicadas revved up for a while early morning and are silent now as the sun rises higher to torment my yard below.   Licorice scent of the summersweet shrubs is drifting through the air brushing away all cares of my world at this moment.












Toesies








Go ahead, big guy...pet my head!







Yesterday's time marched to the flow of the watering hose.  A large green ash tree takes up most of the air space in back.  It's a handful to take care of.  The ash stresses out if rain falls too much in the spring; rain always falls too much in the spring.  It stresses out if not enough rain falls through the summer; rain never falls enough through the summer.  An arborist treats it every other year to protect it from the emerald ash borer.  It's close to being worth a fortune by now.




Pots of herbs along the south facing fence





Spinning a web between leaves














There's monsters in the backyard at night.
Daddy takes me to the mailbox out front after dark.
It's his safe place.  Forget the mailbox_
My safe place is under mommy's bed!




The make-up of plant life in my backyard seems conducive to attracting a plague of mosquitoes for dinnertime; therefore one enjoys the deck and patio in the mornings, and retreats to the front porch for the afternoons.  As I sit enjoying conversation in the waning light of a day ending, it is noticeable that the lightning bugs and cicadas are fewer this year than the year before.

It is a mind-altering observation to realize that each living creature's existence is but a piece of thread in the fabric of the entire cosmos, and quite invisible when viewed as a whole.  We could lose the entire earth and not see even a pin hole develop in the fabric.  Makes one feel a bit inconsequential in the entirety of existence.           




Incoming carpenter bee...



















(sigh...) flowers...who cares...


Was that the cat food can being opened?




BYE!!!



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