Friday, June 25, 2021

The Cat in the Window

[ Bruno Liljefors - 1885 ]


I'm Ms. Charlotte Featherbender
I'm a recovering killerholic.

After six years clean, I ate a fat juicy delectable busy body fly today.
It was so addictively delicious.
Mommy yelled at me to let her squash it with  her flyswatter,
but what fun is that for me?
I ignored her.
My bad!

These selfies are a bummer with my short legs.

Mommy's outside today, 
the whole day I think, 
drinking her tea in a calm rage on the deck,
after daddy decapitated one of the Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' plants.

Since mommy's a bit under the weather,
I'll charm you with my knowledge of garden delights
other stuff more interesting.

I'm an indoor cat.
My world of gardening pleasures 
weed pulling misery
consists of what my imagination can conjure up
from my window with a view.


I escape my little chamber of tranquility and race down the hall to outrun the wrath of that psycho calico coming at me like the jaws of an alligator buzz sawing towards dinner.

The calls of feathered friends beckons me to hurry to the screened sliding door, and as I softly let out a little frantic mew, mommy lovingly slides it open so I may join her, slamming it shut in Lacey's face.

The cooler summer weather has been a surprise today, and I join her for a lovely cup of cod liver oil.

She caresses me under my chin leaving my ears alone, because she so gets me.  She would do anything for me, as I would do anything for her...almost.

The gardens are lovely delicate shades of grey today.  I know, I know...mommy says they are green, but what is green?  Silly mommy!  Grey is good.  Fifty shades of grey are even better.

Tiptoeing down the deck steps ever so lightly, I mosey on over to that planter that has given birth to a monstrosity that looks like a medusa head with branches snaking towards the sun.

Accidently dug up when planting last autumn, mommy put the tuber into an empty planter to see what it would morph into.  She's a little hesitant to do it in just yet, but I think she should put it out of its misery.


Reality check!

Hummmmm... as I look through mommy's garden photos, it's going to take all the creativity my genius of a brain can fantasize to save this tale of a sad garden that took mommy to the cleaners, then hung her out to dry into a wrinkly old prune.

Mom's been upset lately, saying all her photos look her age.  I guess she deleted them.  Luckily I found a painting that does her justice.

[ Max Liebermann - 1878 ]

Love you, mommy!

Here Today - Gone Tomorrow Lilies
or whatever mommy calls them.
Such lovely shades of many layers of grey...


Rainbow lilies for all you humans...

and a second or third cousin to the above.

Cheeky yellow with a touch of rouge, me thinks.

More of the same, maybe a Because I Like It plant.
Do you like it?


"Kissy Lips"
I'm a cat!  What do I know.  Looks like kissy lips to me.

"Me and My Shadow" Clematis
I don't know what all the fuss is about when mommy identifies a plant.
She spends hours, but my method's much faster.

The wind blows from the east.

The wind blows from the west.

Mommy says my poetry's a little under the weather.
What does that even mean?

Golden Girl
~ A flirty bit of sunshine
and yes, I see yellow a little bit, kind of, maybe, who knows.

Wait a minute...
I remember this one -
Maggie Noya

Buttonbush, Pinheadbush, Staticelectricitybush...take your pick!
I'm heading for the potty pan.

potty break


potty break


potty break


potty break


potty break


potty break


potty break


and so on.

Carwash for bugs

Torture chamber for bugs

Psycho weed or something like that for butterflies.

And so on, and so on, and so on...
where are the edibles?


No bugs :(

I'm out of here!

Mommy says I'm 
the essence of pure loveliness.

I headbutt, claw knead, and drool on her head
to show my appreciation.
She ducks her head all over the place, 
but I can keep up with her playfulness.
Kisses, mommy!


Friday, June 4, 2021

I wish I may, I wish I might, come up with a title before daylight.

Wild Geranium

My right foot forgot how to follow my left foot causing a gentle tumble to the ground.  Laying on my back feeling fine, I was reminded my knees are shot, and husband is cozy in house with headphones on.

Yelling aroused no one.  Noting it would be some hours before husband noticed I was no longer enjoying the comforts of our home, and to upright myself from the ground is an option born in hell for my knees, I whimpered.

My feet began to propel my butt excruciatingly slow across pebbled pavers to a low brick wall.  Gritting my teeth and pulling myself up, it’s invariable that I would crunch my right knee a bit in the process.

Of course, when I burst through the front door with mud smeared on the backside of my dress, shoes, and arms… well, let’s just say I was slightly annoyed.  A visit to the chiropractor to fix my knee, and four icy gel packs across my butt area every few hours is a routine still going on to relieve the pain from the pavers.

Today a large cockroach was found floating in the dog’s water bowl in the bedroom :(

The ladybug's a beetle.
 It's shaped like a pea.
 Its color is a bright red,
 With lots of spots to see.
 Although the name is ladybug, 
Some ladybugs are men.
 So why don't we say "gentleman bug"
Every now and then?

 ~Author unknown

Ladybug larva becoming food for Florida Predatory Stink Bug nymph,
as it suck the juices from its body.  Everyone has to eat, although
we sometimes turn a blind eye to the real nature of nature.

Ladybug Pupa on Winter Savory plant

Ladybug hatching from pupa shell.
It moves up and down pushing itself free of the shell.

Freshly hatched ladybug with its soft yellow forewing.

Wings extend to dry out, and spots slowly appear as forewing dries out.

As forewing dries, it darkens and spots become more prominent.

Forewings turning orange as they further dry out.
When dry, the orange will have aged to red.
Wings dry from a light color to a dark color.  

No photos of red ladybugs.
Apparently they complete drying out during the evening
and fly off into the night or first sign of the new dawn.

The art of knowing, I suppose, is knowing what to ignore and what not to ignore.  Not ignoring has its benefits; after all, you are reading about the nature I choose not to ignore when you sit down to one of my posts.

Fragrance of warm delights eludes me this day as I sit with a dripping cold glass of Eden tart cherry juice poured over a handful of ice cubes, while I breathe in the breezes of essences of mustiness.   Looking up into the towering viburnum bush, I noticing the Apple Blossom clematis blooming.

I’m reminded I planted it in a large container on the patio to enjoy the aroma of marzipan embracing me in the warmth of a beautiful day, but I smell nothing.  It has grown twenty feet tall and is blooming in what might as well be the stratosphere.  From my viewpoint the blossoms are tiny and the fragrance tinier, if it indeed has a fragrance at all.

House wrens… I have a pair.  They confiscated the chickadee nest box adding their pile of twiggy stems to the top of the velvety moss.  It’s a bit of little hell keeping up with the weather, spraying the base of the nest box pole after each round of storms passes through, to assassinate ant intruders.  My welcomed thanks is the eruption of little mouths chirping as a parent flies in with the eats.

A slow walk through my gardens reveals the bottlebrush rye grass is in its prime, adding to the carpet of many greens that dominate the day.  A few pops of color are all that is left of our early spring rush.  Baby robin chirps are silent, and if not for the lively house wrens, all would be so commonly blasé.

May Beetle/June Bug
According to Texas A&M Dept. of Entomology
the genus Phyllophaga has about 150 species.
While this one has a fuzzy covering and the one in my last post has a smooth covering, 
they are still of the same genus.

This way and...

that way...

Will I ever see the end?

Mystery Spider ~ Upon research, lots of spider have red on their underside. 

Male Persimmon flowers fallen to the ground

Carpenter Bee nest hole

Hagley Hybrid Clematis backlit by sun ~ Late bloomer blooming early
It will rebloom with much less flowers during the summer.

 About 95% of a crane fly's life is spent in the larval stage, and that can last as long as three years or more. Crane fly larvae are important for recycling and decomposition – they eat leaves, plants and small bits of organic material in the soil or water bodies where they live.
More rain - more crane fly larvae activity.
The larvae can even stay dormant through drought years,
until moisture appears again.

Since all my fallen leaves stay in place in the gardens, 
crane fly larvae have much to eat and stay fat and happy.

My mystery daisy plant that adopted my garden, 
and light green wild raspberry plants trying to take over my garden. 

Goats Beard (Aruncus dioicus) 
I planted three bare root plants four years ago with no instructions.
Most of my bare root plants die, so I thought these had too,
until the second and third year when 6 inch tall plants appeared.
This year they are 12 inches tall and two have flowers.
I think the third one died :(

White-Marked Tussock Moth
Resting on the patio sliding glass door.
I thought this a rather uninteresting moth until I looked at the closeups.
I think it goes with the hairy caterpillars seen last year on the oak tree and mallow plants.

American Goldfinch, Northern Mockingbird, Common Grackle, European Starling... 
Who knows.
I have them all in my gardens,
although I try to discourage the messy starlings as much as possible..

Clematis Venosa

~ Austin ~
Isn't this guy such a cuddlebug?
We've been trying to figure out if he is really a calico,
after all,
he does have grey, tan with a greyish top and white.
Male calicos have lots of medical problems :(

What do you think?

Bee Balm (Monarda bradburiana)

Winterthur Viburnum with friend

Bottlebrush Grass Elymus hystrix) ~ A cool season grass

Husker Red Pensteman

Fuzzy Lesser Carpenter Bee
This little guy flew around too fast, buzzing from flower to flower. 

Clematis Viorna (Leatherflower)

Heavy Metal Ash Tree

Common Green Bottle Flies feasting on bird droppings

"All Told" Day Lily
Moved into the sun to bloom once again.

Years ago I wrote this as the effect my garden has over me.
It still remains true today.

She has enslaved
my weary heart in chains,
so demanding
and much unforgiving...
only on me will I lay any blame,
such vanity so intoxicating.

The sun sets below the rooftops of the houses behind us, and one might as well call the day an end, as darkness creeps over the gardens to silently summon the creatures of the night.  I mingle not with the nightlife of nature, for to do so is the stuff nightmares are made of in my knowledgeable logical practical head.  Let’s just leave it at that!

Prairie Garden

Butterfly Weed blooming early.

Star shaped buds of New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
with visitors.

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus)
being unfaithful to Miss Goldenrod.

Type of Hoverfly

Caterpillar hanging from thread after being disturbed in azalea plant.
Very tiny tyke that turns into a rather drab moth.
I read they can destroy a plant, but they are scarce on the "My Mary" azalea. 

Such beauty and ugliness together.
One has to admire how well they adapt to our trashy habits.

White Clover ~ I hate hate hate it!
Oh, by the way, did I say I hate this cutie that chokes out all my native wildflowers..

Tokudama Hosta in the Allegany Spurge bed with Woodland Goldenrod.
Doing extremely well this year with all the rain.

Car Patrol

Top, bottom, top, bottom, top, bottom, top...
Whew!  I see I'm lazy and inconsistent with my labeling :(
I'll sleep on it.

I'm attaching two videos, and if anyone can identify the bird calls, please enlighten me.

Only got the last call before it dived from the ash tree top straight for the neighbors yard.

I've heard this call for years.  If the bird is close by, the calls get fairly loud.

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