Saturday, June 30, 2007


We have discovered that when you move into a wilderness (OK somewhat wilderness) area, you are the interloper or guest. You are the new one and old patterns and habits of former residents will change only to take advantage of you. In addition, we try to keep a small footprint, but we also want to stay healthy, so our lives involve some compromise.

My husband has two smaller boats---an Old Towne canoe and a bright red kayak. We store these on the shadiest side of the house upside down so that rain does not collect inside.

Yesterday hubby was on his own and had to go get his motorboat from the marina where it was undergoing repair. He decided that the best method was to take the kayak and paddle the two and half miles to the marina and then load the kayak on the motor boat and take both back to the house.

It was a lovely if somewhat warm day. Perfect for a leisurely kayak trip. He hoisted the kayak onto his shoulders and walked down to the dock. Easing the kayak into the water and checking to make sure he had his cell phone he was soon on his way in the cool morning. Kayaks are such nice ways to travel because they are so quiet. All you can usually hear is the sound of the water.

But, this time, he kept hearing some odd rustling sound. He was wondering if he was dragging a small stick or section of sea grass beneath and so he rocked the kayak, but nothing was there. The rustling continued and then he saw the cause of the noise. A small brown mouse proceeded to rush out from under the Styrofoam in the bow. It walked to his feet and then down his legs and sat in his lap for several minutes. I guess it was wondering how it ended up in the middle of the river. It walked behind him and then back to his lap and then back to the bow looking for escape. They shared this passage for the length of the trip.

When husband pulled the kayak onto the shore at the marina he lost sight of the mouse and he assumes it took off once he hit land. He was calm and enjoyed the whole adventure.

I don't know if I would have been so calm. It could have been something more threatening than a small mouse. What would you have done?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Return of an old friend and loss of a new friend

While out shopping for potting soil and a masonry screw I walked by a pot of gaura--above. This delicate plant requires very little care and they seem to have hybridized this one so that the colors are bold and varied. It seems to be able to grow in both dry and medium wet soils. My last gaura was just on the side of my koi pond in my old house and its delicate fairy dance in the wind and its curtsies to the fat bumblebees was always something I enjoyed watching. Now I have one for my new yard. It produces many seeds and I think most of them set.

Since the weather is getting warmer we decided to bring out the big umbrella for the deck. It was stored last fall in the basement. I managed to be able to carry it up the stairs to the deck, but its size and weight were too much for me to manage getting into the heavy iron base. I waited the following weekend when hubby helped me to set it in the base pipe.

As I pulled the green cord to open the umbrella a shower of leaves and grass fell on my head and onto the deck. I pulled a little harder and the lovely little bird's nest below tumbled to my feet.

I took a picture of the three perfect eggs inside, but couldn't tell the lens was focusing on the nest and not the contents until I loaded the photo today. What story does this tell? Did we close the umbrella last fall and then a late nester moved into the protected shelter and we picked up their house when they were out and put it in the basement? Makes me a little sad that I was the cause of some loss. This year we will be more careful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A miracle... but then again, perhaps not...

Ever since my little guy has been born he has refused to eat anything green, sweet or sour, textured or not; if it is green, he squinches up his nose and then at this age of 2.5 can now say "No." very clearly and adamantly.

We have all tried to get him to expand his diet from milk and taco chips with some success...but never into the green world. Yesterday, after putting in a load of laundry I decided to visit grandpa (Doc) and Xman out in the garden.

They were both deep in exploration of all the wonder that small seeds and earth and rain transform. Doc said to Xman, "Show Nona what you have."

In his small hands Xman lifted that most delicious of green containers, the edible podded pea.

Then he proceeded to let Doc open the pods and take out those green jewels in the middle which he immediately put in his mouth. It didn't take long before he wanted to master the engineering feat of opening them himself and take charge of eating those emerald gems. He is not yet up to eating the pods...but who cares, we had so much fun watching him put away dozens of the peas.

Monday, June 04, 2007

This Weekend's Inventory

1. One rather terrified bunny caught in the fenced garden area when I turned on the sprinkler early in the morning. Serves him right for trying eat all that new lettuce and edibile podded peas.
2. One box turtle who I at first thought was yellow leaves from the poison ivy I had sprayed last week with some dangerously toxic compound.
3. One retarded cardinal that tried to get in at the kitchen window at 5:00 on a Saturday morning and thus woke me up putting me in a 'fowl' mood. He then proceeded to bang at every window on the South East side as well as both French door windows. It was raining by P.M. and he began to look like a drowned red pathetic feathered whatever.
4. One very small brown tick that I found on my lower abdoman and after pulling off, proceeded to flush down the sink.

But no black snake as photographed in the post below...maybe he became camera shy.