Flower and Garden

Hey, you lookin' at me?

Hey, you lookin’ at me?

June 25 – As I was walking across the lawn from the garden this morning to get some ice cold water from the fridge, I reached the big elm tree by the driveway, just in time to see something fall to the ground right in front of me. Had it been a branch or leaves, I would have thought nothing more about it. However, it was a piece of bread! Immediately I knew what had happened. Somewhere up there on a branch one of “our” squirrels was eating some of the bread he had managed to snatch from that meant for the birds. Now if he were human, I would say that maybe he was “rubbing it in!” After all, he was eating some of “our food” even though we had decided not to put out food for the rest of the summer because he and his six friends or family members always cleaned out the expensive sunflower seed meant for the birds! We felt that the birds could easily last through the summer on their own, although we have fed them both summer and winter for years.

Sure, squirrels really are cute and funny and cheeky, but we wanted them to hunt up their own food as well. At first, they scooted around all over the feeders and nearby area, but then decided to eat the maple keys that were lying all around the area. They did look cute, standing upright as they ate, but all of their behaviour and good looks didn’t change my mind. We didn’t plan on putting out the buns and bread, but just had too much of it. Sure did disappear in a hurry.

Albesia blooms

Albesia blooms

Lots of beauty around our yard right now. The albesia tree is loaded with blossoms, the yucca on the hillside are blooming, forty-one of them! The magnolia has flowers for the second time and will probably produce more blooms later on in the year. The beautiful orange day lilies will soon be glorious after the new flowers open, standing tall. We can’t figure out why the trumpet vines have so very few flowers this year. We always appreciate the shape and bright orange color.

Blackberries ripening in the sun

Blackberries ripening in the sun

We have decided to give our asparagus plants to our grandsons Rob and Kevin to add to the patch they have. Dale says he’s ready to give up that particular vegetable, and I can take it or leave it. That patch was here when we bought the house and land almost seventeen years ago. Dale took away the heavy blocks of wood that surrounded the patch and will use it for something else as he finds a need. The blackberries over by the garden are full of ripening red berries. I hope I beat the birds to the feast they always find in that patch! Makes really good cobblers.

As Dale and I were raking up the dry grass on the lawn a couple days ago (we should have mowed much earlier, but the grass was so wet we couldn’t), I heard a bird way above me in the walnut tree, scolding and screaming, so I figured it must be angry with something. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t see the bird or what she was scolding. Back to the raking, but that sound came again, and again! Finally, as I searched through the limbs on the tree, I saw the culprit. Our own Cat was gingerly making her way across a high limb, stepping bit by bit as she went out towards the end of the branch. Quickly I called her to come, but she was too scared.

The bird continued his harassment. I continued calling. And the cat stayed put.

Cat stuck in the tree

Cat stuck in the tree

Finally, she managed to turn a bit and get onto another branch, a little lower than the first, and the whole story over again! The bird continued to scold, I called softly to Cat to come on down, and she stayed put on the second limb. This time she was out in the open, and the bird decided it was time to dive bomb such a cat who would venture into the tree where there was probably a mocking bird nest. So while Cat was a bit shaky and didn’t know how to get down, Mr. Mockingbird flew right over her, almost touching her head! He zoomed in on her several times before she finally decided it was time to get out of the tree, even if she WERE scared. But did she come to me when I held out my hands to give her something to hang on to? No, of course not. She jumped down from the big limb opposite me and flopped down onto the lawn on her stomach. Off she rushed to get away from the bird, while he continued to let the world know that he could take on anybody!

Looks as if Dale has planted the last of the items in the garden–cucumbers and lima beans. Today we hoed out lots of weeds that grew up in the part of the garden he had tilled but didn’t plant. Yesterday I hoed and weeded all of the cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes. Since the weeds in the strawberry rows were so tall and healthy, crowding out the strawberries, we decided to mow off the entire patch. Don’t know how many times we had to stop the mowers and clean out the wet, mucky grass from under the mower. I had to restart my mower a couple times because the grass was stuck together like glue.

Funny tomato face

Funny tomato face

We found a couple tiny tomatoes yesterday, including one that some animal had tried to chew up. To me, that little green thing looked like a little kid with a top notch and big eyes, so I had to add a nice red mouth to make it look more real. Yesterday we weeded all along one fence and were more than glad to stand upright again and get a big drink of ice water. Today I weeded the big indigo bushes and sunflowers while Dale used the weed eater to take care of the big weeds that were growing in the compost heap.

Sometimes gardening is very hard work, but I always appreciate the good feeling I get when the job is done, and everything looks so neat. Now why don’t our friendly squirrels take a liking to weeds?! – CHRIS

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