Friday, August 31, 2007

August Morning Walk

This week's weather has been almost perfect!
I glanced out the back door last Tuesday on a bright, sunny morning and was excited to see this very large spiderweb in the cosmos....complete with sparkling dew! Just the day before I had been looking at Judith Polokoff's spectacular photo of a spider in a web (you absolutely must click the link and take a look!), and here was a web of my very own to experiment with!

I still have so much to learn about this camera, but I like the combination of the intricate web and the pretty pinks of the Cosmos sparkling with dew in the soft morning light. Mother Nature paints such esquisite pictures. Posted by Picasa

Our sweet young neighbor, Sandy, and I have been walking in the mornings again this summer. She arrived as I was photographing the web, and before we left for our walk we said good morning to the newest member of our barn cat family. It's another dear little calico kitten, born to Tink 17 days ago. Tink can be seen in the previous post......the white calico in the foreground of the picture in which the cats are waiting to be fed.

Sandy noticed the beautiful bloom on the Queen Elizabeth rose.

And I pointed out to her how pretty this grass looks with the dew on it. Posted by Picasa

The fog hadn't quite lifted and still hung over the trees across the road.

I took my camera that morning because we had seen this dead porcupine beside the road on the previous morning. It's a rare occurance to see these creatures and unfortunately they're usually dead when we do happen upon them. Poor thing was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Have you ever tried pulling porcupine quills out of a dog's muzzle....not much fun, let me tell you, for the dog or the "doctor". It happened once, a long time ago, to Daisy, a dear old hunting dog that belonged to my father-in-law. Ouch!!

Sandy has a particular fondness for this lovely old elm of the few remaining around here.

The haying is finished and round bales sit in the meadows, waiting to be picked up and stored for winter feeding. Posted by Picasa

I love the combination of the Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod.

There's an abundance of both in the surrounding fields.

The wild Asters are beginning to bloom too. You can see some blue ones to the left of this photo, and Joe Pye Weed on the right.

The fuzzy brown heads of Cattails are always pretty. Posted by Picasa

Coming back now, we see our field of sweet corn with the barn behind.

The hedgerow across the road from our house provides a beautiful view when we look out each morning. This scrub provides a home for many of the birds that visit our feeders. A small creek runs under the road and through the tangled brush toward the river, not far away.
We've noticed that some of the leaves have already begun to turn on the trees, and there's a definite nip in the crisp morning air. Fall is not far me, not a pleasant thought. I'd like the summer to go on and on.

Jasmine was awaiting our return...........
................and ran out to us welcome us home.
She makes a big fuss of Sandy and Wes because they spoil her when she stays overnight with them when we go to visit the kids :)
Posted by Picasa
We're lucky to be blessed with such great neighbors.

I'm also blessed by this wonderful blogging community.
Mrs. Darling of
Dishpan Dribble has graciously awarded me the Nice Matters Award (I also received it from dear Horizon, as I mentioned previously). I appreciate her thoughtfulness and am grateful for her kind words. Thanks so much Mrs. D.
I know I'm supposed to pass it on to 8 people, but it's getting very late and I must get some sleep, so I'll just pass it to each and every one of my blog friends because in my opinion you all deserve it.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fun & Games with Bailey

Bailey's "folks" are back from their vacation, so he's gone home, and Jasmine seems to be missing him. The morning after he'd gone she wandered around meowing, looking for him. She has all the barn kitties to play with, but she's the only house cat and I guess she enjoyed having company in the house.

The barn cats & Jasmine playing with Bailey's cord. Here we have Madelaine (Jasmine's sister) on the left, then Pete, Finnegan, Bailey (tied), Jasmine and Cleo.

Bailey is an indoor cat because Wes and Sandy lost their last kitty to the road. They live at the bottom of a steep hill and some people don't use much common sense when they come roaring down the hill, so it's a dangerous place for cats to live. When he does go outside Bailey is tied by a long cord to a weight, so he gets a little fresh air, but stays safe.

We did the same while he was with us, and the cats were completely captivated with that cord! It was the funniest thing to watch.

Hey, were'd my people go?

Notice that Bailey has extra toes on all 4 feet. His back feet are huge! He was born in our barn 2 summers ago to Sheba.

Here she is in June with Fiona , one of her spring litter of 3. This is the kitten whose picture I posted back in May with the pictures of the little fawn. Posted by Picasa

The cats played with the cord for hours.........

And Bailey enjoyed their company........... Posted by Picasa

............for the most part :)
Jasmine can be a bit bossy sometimes.

The black kitten on the right is Gus, another one of Sheba's kittens from this year's litter.

Jaz & Bailey played together indoors too. Posted by Picasa

When afternoon feeding time comes..........

the cats get pretty anxious to see me heading toward the barn......

Could you hurry please Mom! Posted by Picasa

Max thought he should stay and keep Bailey company.
Come on Max, or you'll miss out!

Pepper says, "Bailey, are you coming?"

No, he has to stay behind.
Jasmine, you keep Bailey company, OK?Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 20, 2007

Summer in the Gardens

There's a nip in the air tonight and the day has been overcast and rainy. The temperatures didn't climb much above 70º (21ºC) all day. It seems much too soon to feel this much like Fall. Our outdoor wood furnace is running and keeping the chill out of the house. We have plenty of slab wood to burn because Ross and some helpers have been sawing out a log cabin that his brother is going to build for a client. Normally we'd let the furnace go out during the summer months, but not this year. Tonight I'm thankful for that.
Like many of you, I'm feeling rather blue with thoughts of summer's ending. It always makes me sad to know the flowers will soon be finished and the long winter will be upon us once more.

With that in mind, I've been working outside as much as possible because there's still plenty to do in the gardens...always! It's a never-ending job.....but I love every moment of it.

The phlox continue to bloom profusely.....

and the Gloriosa Daisies are still going strong, with some petunias tucked in here and there. Here's Jasmine and Pepper enjoying a game. The kitties love those fences!

The hostas are blooming in front of the porch and that ferny plant is tansy, which spreads like crazy and must be yanked out ruthlessly to keep it in check. It has a pleasant scent and a little yellow flower. That's a potentilla in the foreground.

This sunflower was sown by the birds. It's one of two that I left there. The vast number of other seedlings were pulled and composted. Sunny and bright, isn't it? Posted by Picasa

All the plants in this dish garden are various types of sedum, except the purple flower, which is related to Portulacas. It's called fameflower (Talinum Calycinum), and the tiny flowers are held high on delicate stems. I love this little garden in a dish!

That's one of the new lilies, Strutter's Ball, in the middle of this garden. The lilies have almost finished blooming now, sad to say. There are just 3 or 4 plants putting out a few final blooms.

The coneflowers in the nearest garden always put on a wonderful show and last for ages. They sow themselves with wild abandon. The other pink is phlox, which spreads like crazy, and the yellow is more Gloriosas, which also sow themselves all over the place.

Here are a couple of other phlox. The light pink has a dark eye. The Cerise Queen Yarrow (another pretty reddish pink) is a nice filler, and there's monarda (bee balm) in there too. Posted by Picasa

The coneflowers and phlox again

I just love the color of these beauties. The birds enjoy the seeds when the cold weather comes.

Here's the other side of that garden before the coneflowers were blooming. The blue is Larkspur and there were still a couple of blooms on the asiatics. This was taken in late July.

I've seen a few hummingbird moths around the gardens. They love the Monarda (Bee Balm) and so do the bees and butterflies. Posted by Picasa

Ross planted some of the gladiolus bulbs saved from last year in his vegetable garden. The colors are glorious!

They've been making some beautiful bouquets for church. Posted by Picasa

Aren't those pinks wonderful? Posted by Picasa

This is just a small section of the windowbox outside the bathroom window. There's a lovely ivy geranium in there blooming it's head off. I'll have to show you a picture of the whole windowbox next time. Posted by Picasa

And here's little Max who is a very accident-prone kitten. He's adorable, but he's used up 3 of his 9 lives already. Just the other day my brother-in-law ran over his leg...which was just healing from 2 previous accidents, the cause of which is a mystery to us. Both back legs looked like they'd been caught in something. We can only wonder at what the cause might've been. Miraculously, he escaped relatively unscathed from the car. Perhaps the tire just grazed him. I hope he's learned a lesson, poor little fellow. Posted by Picasa

Max has a twin brother named Riley (he's in the back), who so far, unlike Max, has remained out of harm's way. I think he needs to be his brother's keeper! Posted by Picasa

Jasmine has a house guest! Remember Bailey (click his name to see more pictures of him) who stayed with us about this time last year? Our young neighbors, Wes and Sandy, have gone away for a few days so we're cat-sitting for them. Jasmine stays at their house when we go away to see the kids, so these 2 are good friends. They really enjoy each other's company and play well together. I'll have more photos of them next post, and of Bailey enjoying the company of the outdoor kitties too. They think it's a real novelty when he comes to stay :)

My sweet friend Horizon has passed along the "Nice Matters Award" to me, for which I'm very grateful. Thank you dear friend. I hope you're feeling better today :)

Have a wonderful week everyone! Posted by Picasa

P.S. Mouse Update:
Score: Us - 1/Mouse - 0
Let's hope the game is over!
And no, Jasmine didn't score any more points. The mouse decided to feast on the corn cobs, left in a dish in the laundry, after the evening meal, to be dumped on the compost heap the next morning. We set the trap beside the dish. Apparently even mice love sweet corn, with peanut butter as an appetizer :)