Friday, September 30, 2011

This and That - Gina Update

I have had a lot of deer visiting the feeder lately.  These two young bucks are fairly regular customers.
Handsome fellows, but, this little cutie takes the eye, every time.  I'm a little worried because it still looks so young.  Fingers crossed it makes it through the Winter.
Leon and Rachael are pals.  They play together, and, sometimes, they sleep together.  Gina and Becky hang out together, play together, and, once in a while, groom each other.  But, they are solitary sleepers.  Pity, because Leon and Rachael always look so cozy together.
And, here's a picture of Gina, back from the vet.  Aside from the shaved head and leg, I think she looks pretty good.  She's being her usually sweet self, so far, about taking her meds.  Becky, on the other hand, watched the first time, and now runs and hides, as soon as she sees the stuff come out. 
Laundry day today.  How exciting.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pretty, Sweet Gina

is not at home today.  She is at the vet's getting a tumor removed, and her teeth cleaned.  She's 14, pretty old in the world of cats, and I worry myself sick any time one of my cats has to go under anesthesia, especially the older ones.  Fingers crossed that the tumor isn't cancerous.
Talk about timing -- just as I was getting ready to add this picture, I got a call from the vet.  Only one tooth pulled, she's awake and will be ready to come home in a few hours.  That's a huge stone removed from the pit of my stomach.

Becky has been very clingy today.  I think she misses Gina.  She'll be glad to see her come home.

Added at 5:15:  She's back, looks good.  I won't find out for about 10 days if the tumor was cancerous or not, but the vet says that she thinks she got it all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Almost the Last Hurrah

Fall is here, in spite of the warm temperatures of the last few days.  My little mailbox garden is still going strong, though looking a little the worse for wear these days.  I don't know how many minutes I spent pulling grass from between the plants this summer, but it seems that for every one I pulled, two more sprouted up.
But, the dahlias are still as beautiful as ever.  I've never pulled the plants in the fall and replanted the bulbs the next year, but the flowers this year are so beautiful, that I just might try it.

The two little Bidens plants I bought grew to enormous size.  It's a good, sturdy plant, with tons of bright, cheerful flowers.  A repeat purchase, for sure.
Another plant that I really like, at least for the Northern climates, where it doesn't run wild, is Lantana.  This was the first plant that flowered in my garden this year, and it is still going strong.
And, then, there is the old, standby, salvia.  It's a perennial, but, unlike many, it has a protracted blooming season.  Once the first bloom is over, you cut it back to the ground and it grows up again, producing blooms that last the rest of the summer, and into Fall.
I left a couple of hydrangea blooms on the bush, after they started to turn green.  Now, they are beautiful in an entirely different way, with their green and rose colors.
Except, that is, for this one late starter, now in full Summer glory, well into fall.

But, the stars of the garden are the Fall flowers.  My gardens are kind of sparse, when it comes to these.  I'll have to try and fix that next year.  But, the Mums are going strong, and will be in full bloom in a few days.  In an earlier post, I mentioned that I lacked the intestinal fortitude to cut mine back as much as I should, and, as a result, they are kind of scraggly.
The individual blooms are still perfection, however.

The Tatarian Asters have just started to bloom.  This is one of my favorite Fall flowers.  I cut it back in July, and, still, it gets majestically tall.  It will bloom until the first hard frost.  I'll post another picture of it, when it is in full bloom.
For such a sturdy plant, its flowers are dainty and delicate -- a glorious lavender color, with a golden center.
And, at the edges of my lawn, two wild beauties grow.  Goldenrod, beautiful and plentiful.  There are so many different varieties that I haven't even attempted to figure out which one this is.

And, last, that poisonous beauty, White Snakeroot.  This is the plant that used to cause Milk Fever.  The cows would eat it, it would poison their milk and people who drank the milk would sicken and even die.  Abraham Lincoln lost his Mother to Milk Fever.

Apparently, it doesn't bother that little bug in the first picture.

Soon, the leaves will turn, and the flowers will fade, hiding until Spring, when the whole cycle begins again.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 9-18-11

It's a quiet day at the feeder.  Just after I put the morning brunch out, only Mr. Tom and one lone squirrel were enjoying a meal.

Mr. Tom looks hale and healthy.
It didn't take long for a few other squirrels to show up for the feast.
But, there was trouble in paradise.  When I put down the seed, I also saw Tucker, the feral cat, lurking around.  I put down some food for him, too, out of sight, on the landing to the back garage door.  It didn't take long for one of the squirrels to spot him, sitting there.  From his scouting position, on the rock, he kept an eye on things.
Suddenly, everyone broke and ran, the squirrels climbing high into the tree.  I can only assume that Tucker was on the move, because I never saw him.  This guy decided, once he was safe, to sound the alarm.  Look closely, and you will see that his mouth is open.  You can hear that sound for quite a distance.
Even Mr. Tom decided that it would be better if he left.  Silly turkey, I doubt that Tucker would even attempt to bring down a bird at least three times his size.
It's going to be a lovely day, here.  The temperature is supposed to go into the mid-70's and the sun will shine.  I hope that your day turns out just as lovely.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Back from Virginia

I went to Virginia for a few days, to see my Aunt.  That's why there have been not new entries from me, and why I have not been visiting your blogs.  It was a good, and productive visit, but, painful at the same time.  My brilliant Aunt now cannot speak in coherent sentences, using words that are obviously not in context to what she is trying to say.  But, she still knew me, and broke into a beautiful smile each time I entered the Nursing Center to visit her.

It's an eight and a half hour drive, straight through, only stopping for gas and nature.  I'm getting too old for this, and feel, today, very much like Becky looks in this picture.  Just let me at the couch.  But, no, it's volunteer day and I will spend the afternoon cleaning out the goat shed, and doing whatever else needs to be done around the place.

I have a feeling that, by tonight, I'll really, really feel like Becky looks.

I'll try very hard to catch up on all of your blogs over the next couple of days.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 9-18-11

Somehow, it looks like the beginning of Fall, even if everything is still green.  The mums, by the corner of the house are beginning to unfurl their yellow flowers.  Sigh, I am such a wuss about pruning.  The rule with mums is cut back three times by the Fourth of July, and I did that.  But, I obviously didn't cut back far enough, because they're still too tall and scraggly.  Next year, I have to be brutal, I guess.

Just because, here are a couple of pictures of The Big Guy that I took the other day.  All the little guys are really scrambling right now, to get every bit of food safely stowed away for the Winter.

Have a happy Sunday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Falling Leaves

 I think a lot about my blogging friends in the South in this year of extreme drought and fire.  It was brought to mind even more clearly yesterday, when I looked at my yard, and saw all of the leaves down.  These aren't Fall leaves, they are green, but dry, crumpled and deformed.  The leaves on the trees look the same.  These leave are a product of the moderate drought we experienced this Summer.

That drought was over by August, when the rains finally started.  But, the damage had been done, and the results are still manifesting themselves.  I think to myself, if the comparatively mild drought we had here can do this, what damage is being done to all of the living things in the severe drought areas, damage that may take months, or years to show itself. 

I can't do anything to help, to make this horrible drought go away, or to stop the fires.  All I can do is say how sorry I am that all of you good people are going through this, and how much I wish that the rains would come -- nice gentle rains that fall at a steady, but not overwhelming, rate for days.  Rains that would sink deep down into the Earth, renewing the soil and refreshing all that it touches.  Rains that would fill your lakes and ponds, and put out the fires that have taken so many homes and taken away so much of your way of life.

So much hurt, to so many good people and, all I can say is "I'm sorry."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shorty's Tale

So, I sat out again yesterday, bowl full of sunflower seeds in hand.  Within minutes of sprinkling some on the ground, Shorty showed up.  He didn't bother with the seeds on the ground, he went right for the bowl.  Look at those cheeks fill up with seeds.

He always goes in the same direction when he leaves, so, over the course of several trips home, I finally confirmed that he is the one whose system of tunnels is in the front of the house, under my porch.  Now that the foliage is dieing down a bit, you can really see the amount of work these little buggers do to create their homes.  This is why a lot of people really don't like chipmunks.

Of course, the real trick is that these are just the excavation tunnels.  The tunnels he uses have no dirt around them, they're just little holes in the ground.  Look closely and you can see him whizzing right by these tunnels in the first picture, and zoning in on his real home tunnels in the second.  By the third, he has vanished down the hole.

Something tells me that he's going to be safe, warm, and full of good food, this coming Winter.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Fifth Cat -- Sort of.

I have a feral cat that comes around.  This is the third cat who has come to dine at my house.  The first was Sweetie.  She was around for several years, before she disappeared.  Next came Mr. Sunshine.  This big, yellow Tom actually got quite friendly, but, unfortunately, he ingested some of the crap that people put on their lawns and, by the time my next door neighbor and I found him, and got him to the vet, it was too late.

For a couple of years, there was no furry face waiting for me to put some food out, though I continued to put a little out each night, just in case.  Finally, in the Summer of 2009, a half-grown black and white tuxedo cat found the food and started coming, almost every day.  I can't tell whether it's a he or a she, but, for some reason, I think of it as a him.  He scares me in the Winter, because he doesn't come around for long periods of time, but, then, I'll see his tracks in the snow, or catch a fleeting glimpse of him.  I think he can't make it, through the deep snow, and I worry that he will starve, before he can get back to the food.

He's a handsome fellow, but, for some reason, I have never named him.  Maybe it's because he's so shy, that I can't get an idea of his personality.  I've never been able to get a good picture of him, but, yesterday, I took some time, and went out to the patio, just to sit and watch.  I had my camera with me, and I was very glad that I did, because, suddenly, I saw him crossing the lawn.  I was hidden by some tall mums, and I don't think he saw me.  He sat in the lawn, watching for a while, and I was able to get some good shots of him.  Quite the handsome fellow, I think.

Edited to add that Miss Madi, whose adventures can be found at  thinks that his name should be Tucker.  Seems like a fine name to me, so, from now on, Tucker it is.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 9-10-11

From the outside, looking at the infamous "rear window."
My blog will be silent tomorrow, along with many other blogs, in remembrance of 9/11 .  So, I thought I'd do my rear window post today.  And, since it's a different day, I thought I'd give you a different view -- of what it looks like from the other side of the window.

And, yes, this is a new picture, which means, of course, that I have my desk top back, working fine.