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Archive for May, 2010

 Sweat ran down my back and I felt light headed from the heat and humidity.  The sky above me was a hazy, darkening blue-grey with soft, puffy white clouds. The tops edged with a hallo of white sun. I watched a Blue Heron fly towards me from the west. He nearly disappeared inside the glaring setting sun. This is his usually way of approaching the pond.  His large wings barely moved as he glided in.  His long legs held out behind him and his thin neck stretched straight ahead in elegant splendor. Slowly, his heavy wings caressed the air as he slipped between the trees into the pond. His goal was to  feed on frogs and catfish.

I was standing next to a giant Blue Spruce.  It towered overhead as I pushed into its soft prickly branches.  Uriah was half hidden underneath the thick needles.  His choppy movements shook the upper branches and a pinecone hit me on the head. I tried to drag him out by his chubby body.

He had something in his mouth and he wasn’t giving it up! In the expanding darkness I couldn’t make out what it was.  All I could hear was a loud, “Crunch! Crunch!”

 I pushed Uriah to the side and yelled at him to drop whatever was in his mouth. He rolled his eyes up at me and refused to open his mouth. Like a spoiled kid caught eating a candy bar he swallowed his prize.

Using my walking stick I scrapped at the pile of grass that accumulated along the bottom of the tree. Uriah had his nose to the ground, digging at a specific pile of grass; he pulled out what looked like the remains of a nest and a decomposing rabbit. I saw the back feet and a sort of body, but no head or fur, except for a fuzzy tail. The entire rabbit was covered with the grass clippings and dirt.

Uriah and I started a little dance of power.

He tried to pick up the remains.  

I yelled!

He dropped it!

I skipped backwards away from it!

He jumped forward and grabbed it!

 I yelled! 

He dropped it!

This could go on all night…

Finally I stepped between Uriah and rabbit, and pushed him towards the house.  I could see his little mind whirling.  He was storing this information, so in the morning he could reclaim his prize.

Mental note to self: Tomorrow get rabbit before Uriah does…

In the morning, I walked out with Uriah. The heat hadn’t abated, rather someone turned up the thermostat!  I hurried around the house and grabbed a shovel and a plastic bag.

Luckily, Uriah spotted a bird near the garden and decided to chase him away.

I dragged the shovel over to the Blue Spruce and carefully scooped up the carcass holding it as far away as possible.  I was surprised it didn’t smell.  When I reached the drive way I opened the plastic bag and tired to figure out the easiest way to get it into the bag.

I looked up and saw Uriah trotting over to the Spruce, nose to the ground hunting out the dead rabbit. After minute he looked up at me and ran over. I knew then that this plastic bag wouldn’t keep Uriah away from the rabbit, and I certainly wasn’t going to bring it into the garage. 

My next thought was: The burn pile! I could bury it there, under the ash.

It was relatively easy, the ground bowed to the power of the shovel and I dug a shallow grave. In the meantime Uriah had run off into the trees so I thought I was getting away with something..

When Uriah finally came back we took a walk to the pond where he happily swam in circle, then promptly ran out and shook all over me. He probably figured he was doing me a favor. It was very hot, and I was melting.

I stood in the heavy humid air, with the hot sun already burning my skin. It was only eight-thirty in the morning.  Birds yelled at me! We scared all the toads into the water, I couldn’t see them, but I heard their heavy bodies making contact with the water the same way I do a belly flop. Ouch! With Uriah stirring up the mucky bottom I couldn’t see where they went to, even when I pushed through the grass and searched the waters edge. I had taken a picture a week ago of one floating lazily in the water.   

I could hear my neighbor cutting his grass and a truck passing by on the road.

I shielded my eyes from the sun and motioned to Uriah to follow. We headed back to the house. I washed off the shovel with the hose before I went inside.

While I did that Uriah was nosing around the burn pile…

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With one of my cats, PJ sitting to my right I finally began typing out this Blog. The past week has been full of gardening fun, rain, high humidity, cold weather and todays temperatures pushed me into air-conditioning.  The range has been maddeningly painful.

Last Saturday a family of magical beings came by and helped turn over the garden and plant some vegetables. They stayed only about three hours, but during that time I was able to talk to, and walk around with three little boys, while their parents grunted and groaned, as they dug, straightened and chopped up large chunks of dirt and moved around rocks.

When the boys spotted the rocks, the middle one was enthralled by the odd shapes and sizes. He wanted to take some home so they could make their own, Stonehenge under a tree in their back yard.  I was in agreement, so a pile was formed and a box appeared from the barn, a sturdy box that would hold all the rocks. Their father didn’t’ realize those rocks, when placed in a box, would weigh a ton and a hernia, until he tried to pick them up.

 Being a magical family, the boys had hoped to float the box of rocks above the ground. But alas, they forgot their fairy dust and had to settle on using a simple dolly.

 In the meantime, Uriah was being ridden like a horse.  A horse that was too tired to stand. He laid on the ground while the youngest boy sat upon his back and held tight to his ears.  I was worried Uriah wouldn’t like this, but when I saw his furry face he had a happy doggy grin. Finally, Uriah got tired of the game and stood up. Luckily the littlest guy was expecting this to happen, so he jumped off Uriah and gave him a big hug.

Uriah heard something in the trees and did his slow walk towards them. He kept looking back at me. When I finally turned my back, he slipped in-between the trees. Totally vanishing between the green leaves and heavy branches

Uriah’s normal disappearing act caused great distress to the youngest boy. He called Uriah’s name over and over, it must have seemed like hours to him instead of minutes, until Uriah reappeared to hugs and kisses. Uriah looked up at me, I shrugged and he happily trotted off with the little guy running along behind him.

Because of that extra help, I was able to plant a large amount in a short time.

This morning the rain was still pouring down, watering the seeds and plants, allowing the garden to take root, now, that also means the weeds will have a fighting chance too. I haven’t used weed killers or inhibitors in many a year. I prefer the old fashion wrestling techniques… I pull and the weeds pull back:-)

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What am I?

This tree is growing in my neighbor’s yard and a couple further out back on my property. They are in bloom. Multiple bright orange flowers, with a center that is an odd misshapen ball.   Flower pedals that are tube shaped, bright orange and soft sticking  out all over it.   The pedals are closing and melting in on itself. Odd..

We have had a large amount of water and the North side of the property is under water and the front pond is over flowing.  We aren’t in the tropics and this to me, looks similar to a less spiky, Sea Urchin. I wouldn’t mind living in Hawaii, but even there I don’t believe Sea Urchins live in trees. I could be wrong..

Sorry, can't find the link to this picture. I thought it was from Wikipedia. It is a Sea Urchin.

I did a Google search and couldn’t find a flowering evergreen  that even came close to this description.

Years ago my neighbor may have told me those were Cedar trees. Hoping I remembered that correctly,  I Google ‘orange flowers on cedar trees.’  What came up was, that this tree maybe infected with Cedar-apple rust gall, which is described as an orange gelatinous with telial horns protruding.

Strange days indeed…

This is rather odd, but a pretty fungus, at least from my prospective, as I snapped these pictures.

 I did see some galls (abnormal outgrowths) from the previous year connected to some of the branches.  In this picture you can see one directly under the orange flower.

Even after finding the information on, Cedar-apple rust gall, I am still wondering “is this real?”

 Over the years, I have seen those odd galls growing on the branches and never saw any damage to the Cedars themselves. On the other hand, I have had some fungus issues with my apple trees. I just thought it was old age, too much water, Uriah and the deer nibbling on the branches…

Strange..

*

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/focus/cedarapplerust.cfm

http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/cedar-applerust/cedar-applerust.htm

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As the Earth bleeds

                              and

Oil seeps from its core, smothering life

Our needs come before everything

Our needs move in circles where money rules

Our needs place us up above all else

Our needs cause the Earth to bleed

Our needs smothers and drowns

Every living thing in oil and blood

Our needs are not what we think

For

     If

       We

           Took

                  A

                   Moment

                                To

                                   Think

                                           Outside

                                                       Of…

Our needs, would we notice

Our needs are killing the planet

Stop!

And ask yourself

                          What do you really want?

As the Earth bleeds

*

~ Question: What’s wrong with using wind and solar energy? When will life take a front seat to profit?
I found the picture I used here:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=news+on+oils+spill+in+gulf+of+mexico++2010&go=&form=QBIR&qs=n&sk=#focal=d0016a8f167db3282e26c160de37391c&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fi.dailymail.co.uk%2Fi%2Fpix%2F2010%2F05%2F10%2Farticle-0-096DF4F9000005DC-336_634x577.jpg

**

Visit: Jingles Thursdays Poets Rally-

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/thursday-poets-rally-week-18-may-13-19-2010/

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A migraine followed me around all day.  It lifted slightly around dinnertime. That’s when I started hunting out something to eat. In the freezer I found one steak.  We have plenty of ice cubes and some chicken, but only one steak left. To defrost it quickly I set it on a plate and slipped it into the microwave. 

 I walked out of the kitchen and came back two minutes later; Sanosuke was climbing over the microwave. He wanted that steak. I gave him a hug and set him on the floor and removed the steak from the microwave and set the plate on the counter.

I started fussing around the kitchen; I pulled out the frying pan and grabbed an onion. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sanosuke silently jump on the counter. As I turned towards him, he grabbed the steak and jumped from the counter. When I yelled, he held his head up high, so the steak wasn’t dragging on the floor and ran faster down the hall.  Michael spotted him and instead of stopping Sanosuke he started laughing. Without hesitating, Sanosuke raced into our bedroom.  I was right behind him and grabbed him just before he dragged my dinner under the bed.

Michael was still laughing when I came out of the bedroom. I held the steak out of reach of Sanosuke who followed behind me complaining loudly.

Sanosuke sat on the counter and watched me cook the steak and potatoes with onions. I sliced a tomato and added some corn to the plate. I carefully sliced the steak into strips.

By this time I had three cats watching me.  One sat on the kitchen chair the other on the floor. Sanosuke stayed on the counter and glared at me.

I announced to the frowning cats.  “Alright guys! You can all have one piece, no more.”

They all stood up, tails flipping and watched as I slowly sliced up a small piece for each of them into tiny cat bites. I gave them each their own plates. Then I took my food and went into the living room.

Ooops!  I forgot my napkin. I got up and went into the kitchen for two seconds. I wasn’t looking for Sanosuke; I assumed he was still in the kitchen eating his piece of meat.

What I didn’t see was Sanosuke hiding under the table waiting for his chance. When I got up, he quickly jumped on the table and started eating, fast! 

“Bad Kitty!”  I yelled when I saw him with his face in my food.

 Within those few seconds he ate a lot!  I was left with two small pieces of steak. Sanosuke had raced out of the room when I yelled.  He knew he did something wrong, but he was just having such a good time he didn’t care.

PJ in the meantime, slipped up from under the table and quickly grabbed one piece of steak and slipped back under the table. When I bent down to check on him, Sanosuke reappeared and grabbed the last piece and raced off down the hall again.

I ate the rest of my dinner in peace.

They even stole the piece of fat I left in the pan for Uriah..

Michael wouldn’t stop laughing. I yelled at him. “If you thought it was so funny, then while Sano was running around the house with my dinner, why didn’t you grab the camera?   

He answered, “It was just as funny yesterday when he grabbed your salmon.” Michael picked up Sanosuke, and rubbed his tummy.” Hey little guy!  What’s for dinner tomorrow?”

I think its time to become a vegetarian:-)

*

 Cat picture is from Microsoft’s Word clip art

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Today, Mothers Day started out beautifully, baby blue sky with a slight cool breeze.  Beautiful sweater weather!

I pulled out a bag of seed potatoes, my camera, Uriah and a shovel, while humming the theme song to, Green Acres. The dirt was soft enough to play in and the winds mild enough so I wouldn’t get dirt in my eyes:-)  Today, with Uriah’s help I intended to turn over a section of the garden that I designated, The Potato Plot.

Uriah watched as I carefully I peeled back the tarp.  Last fall I had covered a section of grass, which would allow everything under the tarp to turn brown making it a lot easier when I dug up area for planting.   The section was perfect!  After turning over the dirt I sprinkled fertilizer on the top.  Miracle Grow is my favorite.   Then I added handfuls of leaves, which I had collected this past fall and saved in a large garbage bag.   

 I brought out a tape measure and a knife, then set out the potatoes and read the instructions. That’s when I realized I should have cut the potatoes up a day, or so ago allowing the ends to dry…  Heavy sigh!

Instead of kicking myself, I took a picture of the zombie potatoes. Or maybe they are Vikings. Great Horns!

I will back track here: A week ago, I found out that if I wanted to plant potatoes, they should have been already been in the ground.  When the weather had warmed up in April, and the ground took a deep breath, that was when the potatoes should have been planted.  

 I figured the middle of May was close enough to April and still not too late to plant. Fingers crossed, I bought seed potatoes, potatoes that have eyes that will root and have little baby potatoes. Or at least that is the plan..

Uriah is in the kennel. Poor Uriah, I won't let him dig!

With Uriah’s help I started this day’s project. Then Uriah had a change of plans!  He dragged away the shovel and the bag of seed potatoes. Then he tried to lie on the very large bag of leaves. When his help turned to digging holes, I got a bit upset..   Dirt started flying everywhere. Uriah was banished to the outside kennel and I finished up by placing the cut potatoes on top of the dirt. Later on I will dig them in, unless Uriah beats me to it and buries them somewhere else…

Cut seed potatoes are sitting on top of the dirt waiting to be planted.

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Michael disappeared with my camera yesterday. When I downloaded the pictures to the computer I found these. Pictures of PJ,  Tomoe and Kenshin sleeping, while the young brother and sister, Sanosuke and Kaoru,  wrestle and keep an eye on Uriah.

 

Sleeping cats

                    can sleep

                                 like no other

Safe and warm,

                        happy and

                                        well fed

Smiles and grins

                         after wrestling and

                                                        a frantic chase

Surrendering to  

                       hunger and

                                      natures call

Sleeping  kittens

                        wrapped in a catnap

                                                        lovingly as one…Purr to me

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