Monday, May 30, 2016

A Summery Day



Though it’s still technically spring, Saturday felt like high summer. The air was sultry, the cicadas were roaring, and the yard was jungle-y green. Rob and I spent the day weeding and mowing and planting, but it was so hot we had to keep taking breaks. We’d sit on the breezeway and eat fresh pineapple and popsicles under the ceiling fan.

In the morning I planted 15 Southern lady ferns in the big bed under the giant water oak in the backyard. Lady ferns are my favorite fern because they’re just so . . . “ladylike"—delicate and graceful and pretty. As I worked, I kept thinking about all the other ferns I'd like to add to the bed—Christmas and royal and netted chain. There's nothing like the softness and lushness of ferns (in my opinion), and they provide good shelter for toads, lizards, turtles, and other small animals.

Saturday was an especially fun day because I worked in the yard, but I also got to enjoy it. I had time to observe little things. In our Ambersweet orange tree, a pair of cardinals has built a nest. Well, we checked the nest on Saturday and the babies have hatched! There are three of them, so fuzzy and sleepy. When we peeked in, they were sprawled about the little pine-needle nest, their eyes closed. We could see them breathing. Their beaks were bright yellow and their down was gray.

In the late afternoon we weeded the vegetable garden and picked some cilantro and catnip. During one of our breaks on the breezeway, we decided to see how the cats would like the fresh "nip" (they've only had the dried stuff before). At first only Carl had a leaf. But then something happened. I was writing in my journal when Rob reported: “Maggie stole Carl’s leaf! She came up and bit him on the foot and he got scared and ran away, and she took over his leaf! I thought she wanted to play, but she just wanted his leaf! I thought she was being nice, but she was being a jerk!”

This was surprising because Maggie is usually very kind and polite to the other cats and is well known for her purring and peacemaking.

“Maggie,” Rob laughed, “I didn’t know you had it in you!”

It was evening by then, and we could hear a concert on the courthouse square, which is about a mile away. The music was drifting through the trees.

Rob passed out more catnip, and soon each cat had a leaf.

The cats reacted to the fresh catnip in a funny, restrained sort of way. They seemed not to know quite what to do with it. Each was possessive of his or her leaf. "But they seem to just want to be near it," Rob said, "or they just want to lie down on top of it."

Carl on top of the jelly cupboard


June sitting on the rocker in her special June style


A frog by our little goldfish pond


Our potato harvest. We got 27 pounds, with very little insect damage. We were proud!


The north side of the yard. This view is the result of the big re-sodding project we did in April.

15 comments:

  1. Oh my, where to start. Your coneflowers are just gorgeous, as is the whole area you sodded. And wow, that beautiful potato harvest, it just makes me want to kick my rear for not planting potatoes this year. Are those 'Red Pontiac'? Your cats, as always, cute as buttons. _Janice

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    1. Hi Janice, thank you! Yes, they are Red Pontiac potatoes. We were so happy they didn't end up with a bunch of bug holes. Our whole fall garden was basically wiped out by insects, so this was our first success in quite a while!

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  2. Hi Leslie - your garden is stunning. Love all the coneflowers (and I bet the bees and butterflies do, too). It looks like such a wonderful garden to stroll through. Your kitty stories are adorable. I've had some cats that were affected by catnip and others that were not. Love how June just hangs there. Love her name, too. I wanted to name one of my kitties Ruby June (we got her in June), but the other family members didn't. Good job on the potato harvest. You'll be enjoying them for a while. Sounds like the perfect Memorial Day weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I love the name Ruby June. How pretty! June's middle name is, weirdly, Baxter. We used to call her by both names all the time, but then we got kind of lazy.

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  3. OK, basically Janice and Susan beat me to it. Love the coneflowers all over! Just gorgeous. Congrats on your potatoes! Jealous!
    Sounds like summer is here to stay!

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    1. Thanks, Daisy! I don't mind the heat, but I just wish it would rain!

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  4. I also love your coneflowers. Love your path and your potato harvest is great.

    Cat stories and photos are cute.

    Have a great week in your bit of paradise on earth.

    FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you, Lorraine! I meant to mention in this post (but I ran out of time), I also did some healthy cooking this weekend inspired by your last post.

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  5. I'm new to commenting, but not to your blog....love the pathway. The stepping stones look wonderful. I can't wait to see your new fern bed. It's always a beautiful time of year to live in "Old," Florida. I always think of what Marjorie Rawlings neighbor Tom said..."I'd not live anywhere else...not if I had gold buried in Georgia." Cindy

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! Do you have a blog? I would love to visit!

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  6. These are really beautiful photos, Leslie. And June? LOL - what a hoot!

    I'm wondering if you have any secrets to growing coneflowers . . . it's the one plant I've never had any success with.

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  7. These are really beautiful photos, Leslie. And June? LOL - what a hoot!

    I'm wondering if you have any secrets to growing coneflowers . . . it's the one plant I've never had any success with.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I wish I had some conelower-growing secrets, but I don't do anything at all! I just plant them and they thrive year after year, spreading themselves all around. I wonder if they don't do as well farther south?

      By the way, can you send me a link to your blog? I keep looking for it, but I can't find it!

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    2. To save face, I'm going to just assume those coneflowers don't do well here in Polk County. ;-)

      I no longer blog for fear of causing readers a sure demise from boredom. It's hard to make such an average life worthy of an interesting post. So, I continue to journal ~ where I'm not as concerned with the audience . . . although I do bore myself from time to time.

      Love your blog ~ it’s anything but average.

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    3. Oh, gosh, come back to blogging! I loved your blog. I thought it was wonderful--and always interesting.

      I also struggle with feelings of being boring. I work all the time in an office and really never get to go anywhere and every weekend I just do chores and upkeep on my house and garden. That's why I only post about once a month. Maybe you could start up your blog again and just not post as often? That has helped me not feel under so much pressure.

      I really feel that your blog was special and beautiful ... and I would love to keep reading.

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