Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quick Update

The cardinal continues to peck at various windows starting as early as 6:00 A.M. I also thought about putting in a stuffed cat as Sky suggested...just don't have one around. ALTHOUGH, just yesterday I was sitting reading on my sofa and got up to get something to drink and staring at me was a black cat with a white patch on his throat. He was on the deck looking in through the French doors! Once he say my movement his eyes opened wide and he took off racing down the deck and in to the woods. He is not wild as I saw a collar.

I also was thinking of taping down some fly tape to the ledge of the window to see if very sticky feet would discourage him. My husband thinks he has an addiction to the behavior, a pattern he cannot break since the mating season has passed.

I did see Mrs. Red perched on the deck table looking very frustrated as her mate went from window to window tapping. Maybe he is a polygamist? My hubby has nickhamed the bird Don Quixote.

I have "googled" this behavior and am going to try first spinners and next bird netting, if I can figure out how to attach it to the second story window.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

News from the Homefront

(Warning: Pictures at the end of this blog may make you a little squeamish.)

The owl pictures did not work to discourage the bird. Red, the cardinal lunatic, was unintimidated and still comes tapping at my bedroom window around 6:00 A.M. most mornings. We have had loud argumentative discussions about this behavior...actually I have discussed and Red just flies away! I even tried spraying deer repellent on the outside windowsill and that did not keep him away. I was going to put those spikes that they have on the roofs and gutters of monuments to discourage pigeons, but my husband said that was going to far.

The other visitor, Mr. or Mrs. Raccoon, has not reappeared or been heard from for several days. The pest control people could find no sign of a large mammal in the part of the attic they could reach. But they also said the eve access above my bedroom was too hard for them to attempt any animal removal. It is tremendously hot up there for anything to live, so I am thinking the move-in was temporary due to a downed tree from a storm or he/she was actually pacing on the outside on the roof.

Mud wasps are making homes under the soffits as I see them coming in an out. It is right by the front door, so they will have to be removed.

Finally this friendly fellow swam all the way across the river to my dock just to say hello. This country life is quite exciting and I am such a popular girl these days!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Pick Me Up

This Gerbera daisy, related to the sunflower, was a parting gift on my retirement at the end of April. It had one small flower in the center. When that died I thought that was the end of the show. I have never bought these daisies because they are annuals and have a reputation for being tempermental. This gem has rewarded me with three more blossoms--two are tucked behind, and if it survives the summer, I will see if I can keep it going inside this winter. Daisies are such happy faces and I have been feeling a little down for some reason.

I was also gifted with the first two blossoms of one of the John Paul Clematis that I planted recently. The other does not have blooms but is more prolific in vining and leafing. Another pick-me upper.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ms. Manners vs. Pachamama

Pachamama, the passionate one, has been very restless this past week. For two nights, she threw her hair around in grand sweeps and tore the leaves and branches from her shoulders scattering debris across the lawn making it look as though a love-war had happened during the night. A small dead tree was tossed across the driveway and another large branch across the path to the dock. It was almost as if she had sent a message that she did not want me to leave the house. I was able to move the small tree to the side, but the branch across the path to the dock is too precarious for me to try on my own as two other smaller branches cross it high above.

On the third night of this dance, the full moon emerged to bring Pachamama some peace but to test my patience. The moon light cast its pearl beam directly across my bed at 3:30 and has done so each night since then waking me up each time. It is too bright to sleep and since I have not yet sewn draperies for the bedroom, I must allow the moon her mischief and be patient.

Two nights ago just before the moon passed beneath the branch of a tree to beam gaily through the window once again, I was awakened by some rhythmic sound above my head. I could not make it out in my sleepy fog but it sounded like large drops of water hitting the ceiling above my bed. But it was not rain. There was no rain falling. The pattern was soft and rhythmic. One, two, three, four across the tray ceiling above my head and then it repeated but in the opposite direction. I realized that it was the padded pacing of some animal. Something was in the attic. It sounded too large and slow for a squirrel and although I pictured a bobcat due to the padded footfall, I knew it was not that. I am guessing it is a raccoon. I heard it for two nights, but last night it was quieter. Maybe it is some mystical beast that was thrown out of sphere by Pachamama!

Today I had to call the rodent removal people. I am too practical and too scared to let it set up housekeeping in the attic.

What is
Pachamama trying to tell me? Is my footprint too large? I guess I will try to be more polite.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mushroom Abundance

Like a witches cauldron in the heat and steamy air, the lawn is bringing forth mushrooms aplenty and with variety. If someone knows why blogger refuses to upload an image in a correct rotation, let me know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reach for the Sky

Having both well water and a septic system requires some balance in how we use water. After several months bacteria build up in the well and our pipes, and when we turn on the water, it smells strongly of hydrogen sulfide. Therefore, we must carefully treat it with a shock of bleach. Then we must carefully drain the water from the well over a rock river for a while to empty the well of all bleach residue so that we can use the water and so that it doesn't ruin the important bacteria in the septic system. This recycling of bleach water takes several hours. The well pump is capped in the back yard. Because of my aesthetic sense, I ordered one of those artificial rocks to cover the well cap. I intend to eventually plant some small grasses or other plants around the' rock.' We put the 'rock' in place a week ago and upon lifting it to treat the well this morning an interesting mushroom was found underneath reaching for who knows what. Ilove the beauty of various fungus and so had to capture this one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Neighborhood Modernization

He spotted the new supermarket going up about two months ago. There seemed to be much unnecessary construction and sporadic cleaning of the area before all was finished. Yet, it was so close to where he lived, he felt very fortunate. Finally, the rows of produce were stocked and he could see the fresh greens just seductively sitting there. The price for the pleasure was small...just a 5 inch hole needed to be made in the black plastic netting. He was in the middle of a "fresh green bean sprout delight" which reminded him of his mother's recipes when a crazy woman came running and whooping at him raising her arms in the steamy air.

Her frightening and speedy approach made him a little disoriented and not sure of the way out and he almost didn't make it through the 5 inch hole in the net. But soon he was safe, lumbering through the wild raspberry patch and heading down the ravine with a tummy full of new bean plants.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Simmering Senseless

If, like Haglet, anyone was interested in the owl did not work. This same red devil has four favorite windows which he proceeds to tap and fly at each day. Usually in the morning. I must regroup.

It is now 91 degrees and climbing and Mr. Red is probably panting at full tilt in one of the tulip trees tyring to get his breath.

Early this morning while I was fixing coffee in my birthday suit (perhaps in dread of how hot the day was going to become) I looked out in the front lawn and very near the bay window Mr. Longears was busy eating away at the clover. We have lots of clover in the lawn and I think he is doing a great service. I just wonder what he will eat when all the clover is gone...yes, exactly what I was thinking. Maybe I shouldn't let him get too comfortable.

I took my coffee in hand and wandered out all beige with tan lines into the front yard. Being able to wander out in one's birthday suit is a cool advantage of living in the country--- all puns intended. Mr. Longears looked up briefly, made a determination about his situation and then continued his clover breakfast undeterred. A 61-year-old body with all its warts and scars is not going to frighten this fellow.

I have fond memories of this morning because now only a house fire could get me back outside before the sun wanes.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Hear You Knockin

I hear you knockin, but you can't come in!

When one reaches the age that I have attained after no small success in avoiding various dietary-induced illnesses and diseases of the 20th Century, I do not have any patience for little scares when I brush my teeth in the quiet of my bathroom in the early morning. Little scares such as a cardinal abruptly flying at the window behind me and then tapping incessantly in the early dawn causing my heart to stop and me to drop my toothbrush into the sink.

I also am allowed that occasional nap in the afternoon and do not appreciate the incessant tapping of the same motley cardinal at my bedroom window just as I drift off to sleep---fifteen times!! I have taped the following images of startled owls to the windows of my house and we will see if this discourages this determined and tedious bird from his addled behavior.