Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

And This Is Why . . .


This is why I almost always have my camera on the car seat beside me, lens cap off and ready to go.


 I was coming home a few days ago and saw a big bird on the ground in the driveway. I thought it might be a hawk and stopped. It at once flew up to the barn roof and posed a bit. 

Not great as I was shooting into the sun . . . but then he flew off to the trees.


Where he or she posed nicely.


I think it's a young one -- the way it was blundering around suggest that this might have been an early solo. Plus for years we've had a family of Red Tails whose young uns show up down at the lower place around this time of year.


Seeing a raptor is always kind magical to me. And these pictures are why I always take my camera with me. 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Man of Steee


Early yesterday, earlier than these pictures, I was awakened by a commotion in the cat room -- the small disused bath next to the bedroom that is home to the litter box and cat food dishes.


I hauled myself out of bed to see what was happening and found both cats crouched and staring under the old claw foot tub. Investigation with a flash light revealed a flying squirrel in a defensive position that the cats couldn't reach. And neither could I.


So I went back to bed to consider what to do. Flying squirrels invariably climb up things so as to be able to glide away. But until the cats went away . . .  


Just about then, my cellphone on the chest beside the bed gave a little burp to let me know I had a text. (It's a dumb phone that once fell in the water. It can receive texts but any attempt to reply always ends badly.) 

I looked at the phone. 4:30 in the am. Who could this be? I punched the ok button and received the following message:

BE THE MAN OF STEEE IN BED!

Hmm. I've heard of the Man of LaMancha and there's a Scotch made by the Men of Tain. But Man of Steee?

I fell asleep, dreaming that I was the Man of Steee -- a taciturn fella in a kilt who got all his best ideas while dreaming.

When I awoke the cats were on the bed and the flying squirrel was hanging on the screen door that leads out to a small deck. It was the work of a minute to open the screen door and watch him glide away in the dawn's early light.

And with the dawn came the realization that other people mess up  texts too. Sometimes even spammers pushing ED solutions.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back to the Garden -- and What a Pleasure!


For the past month the heat has been such that I've avoided the garden except for brief early morning forays to pick tomatoes  etc. The weeds have thrived (thriven?).

But a good rain and a high front have brought cooler weather so yesterday I decided to begin to bring order to the box beds and prepare to sow some fall lettuce. 


John has a plan involving PVC pipe and plastic netting to foil  the bunnies so, like all good gardeners, I'm prepared to forge ahead, eternally optimistic.


This young toad was sheltering in one of the box beds and agreed to pose. He's quite small -- maybe the size of a golf ball
 .

The peppers have done well and made lots of bell, pimento, Anaheim, and jalepeno peppers. They would have made more, had the deer not browsed the tops of the plants.  We'll try netting next year.


It's a lovely feeling to be up close and personal with the garden.


Above is fennel, going to seed. I cut some for drying.


Garlic chives in bloom. I'll have to cut them before they go to seed if I don't want garlic chives everywhere,


A lady bug hurrying along a fennel stalk path.


 An eggplant (aubergine) blossom . . .

And then a sudden cow -- NOT where she should be.  Fortunately, John was nearby and the wandering bovine was returned to her pasture. 

Layla helped.