Dereliction of Duties

My garden will have to get along without me for a while longer, ’til I kick this discomfort.  The rabbits are pruning it and the cicadas are mulching it, without my help.

Misu seems to be feeling under the weather, too.  She’ll be happy to see “her boy” tomorrow, as will I.  Here she is relaxing on her windowsill.  It doesn’t get much more chill than this.


The Mummy’s Back

In case anyone missed me (I know right?) I’ve been physically out of commission with back/etc. pain, but I’m almost back, pun intended.  I haven’t been able to do anything outside, hence no photos until now.  Everything out there is covered in cicada carcasses, like a creepy mulch.  Even for this wildlife fan, this is a little much.

I did eventually get some more filing done, so that’s progress.  The recycle/shred mountain is mounting up.  It almost (not quite) reminds me of my parents’ filing nightmare, which is disturbing.  That’s how analog and old school I’ve been up ’til now.  I would never want to pass this job on to anyone.  Fortunately much of my current stuff is digital now.

Here are some photos to make up for lost time.  Hopefully minus cicada corpses.  All that’s missing is my son, who plans to visit this weekend!  It’s been a long time.  So much to catch up on.





I finished planting the veg annex with tomato and pepper plants.  I just need to find space in the main veg bed for the few eggplants that made it.  Then hope the [email protected]#$ rabbits don’t eat it all.

The other morning I looked out and saw Skunkbunny and all his wild cousins hiphopping around like they own the place.  They just lounge around and look at me.

I’m also apparently the local feral cat lady–they all know where the food is!  Only they don’t seem to eat large rabbits, or even deter them.  What good are they?

The price I pay for attracting wildlife!  I just hope somebody will eat all these piles of cicada corpses.  They’re basically harmless, but it’s like a mass grave out there.  At least they contribute lots of nitrogen to the soil!

Here are some of the latest colorful bloomers, representing natives, tropicals, flowering shrubs and trees, perennials, and whatever else came back.  Since we’re leaving the state this year, I’m no longer on my mission to replace everything with natives, but I can still enjoy what’s here.  I’d say I accomplished a lot, considering the “before” picture.  I turned a boring barren lot into a variety of gardens surrounded by native trees, and a semi-native meadow of wildflowers, grasses, and trees, where wildlife could find food, water, and shelter.  What happens after us is not my problem, but I hope the new owners will appreciate the potential.

Flowering Up

Here’s Misu being adorable as usual.  All the loud power tools don’t bother her a bit.

E is busy working on final carpentry and painting touches to the bathroom, and other jobs.  In between, she found time to bake the weekly challot, and mow the whole property.

I planted some of my many tomato seedlings in the veg annex, and hope to complete that soon.  Then I have to find room for the peppers and eggplants in the main veg bed.  (Photos later, when it’s done.)

Lots more flowers keep appearing after all the rain.  I’m constantly amazed at some of the plants that survived and thrived.  I might as well enjoy them now, before I’m out of here.


Floods and Plagues

Once again it seemed to rain for 40 days and nights, so there was nothing for it but to get more files sorted.  I think I managed to reduce the mountains of old papers by half.  I still have to finish refiling/disposing of, but the end is in sight(?).  What was I thinking, all these decades of saving crap?!  Still, better downsizing now, while I still can.  I learned that the hard way from my parents, sorting through their lifetime of papers alone.

When the deluge paused long enough to go outside, this is what I found: a plague of cicadas literally covering almost everything.  They just sit there, completing their 17-year cycle of dormancy, reproduction, and death.  It’s the creepiest thing.  I’m not sure even the other critters want to eat them.  But the plants appear to be none the worse for wear.

Of course, the raging rivulets washed rows of newly sown seeds downstream, but that was to be expected.  It’s an uphill battle (not to mix metaphors) growing anything in this concrete clay, but I’ve given it my best shot.  You’d think this land was cursed or something!  But it won’t be my problem soon.

Still, we managed to avoid the latest unprecedented wave of tornadoes in the south.  And the inches of rain didn’t hurt all the weeds and flowers.  Here are some, amazingly not covered in cicadas.

After Effects

Two days after our second shots, E is feeling the effects more than I am, but all in all, not too bad.  I decided to just ignore mine and work in the garden.  Skunkbunny was back, just mowing clover a few feet away from me, without a care in the world.  I got the next section of fence bed sown with miscellaneous leftover veg and flower seeds and seedlings.  I’m getting closer to finishing off the main garden jobs, so I can turn my attention to sorting files and belongings.


Fully Vaxed!

As of yesterday evening, we are now fully vaccinated!  Yay!!  Such a relief.

The bad news is that TN is ranked one of the worst states as far as people getting vaccinated, whether through refusal or lack of access, while vaccines are actually being sent back unused.  I know how challenging it was to even find available vaccines and appointments, and I’m fairly savvy and mobile.  Those who missed out will be screwed.  There’s no excuse for a state enabling such negligence or intentional disinformation.

Today we feel a little under the weather, but nothing major.  It didn’t stop me from my usual nature photography, including lots of bees lined up for a drink at the birdbath.


Year of the Iris (and Poppy and Columbine and…)

One more day until we get our second Moderna doses!  Then two weeks until we’re safe (with precautions) to “come out”.  And then I’ll finally get to see my son (with his two Pfizer shots behind him) when he visits.

Speaking of which, he gave me a lovely in-depth virtual tour of his new garden, which the previous owners lovingly planted with natives and other excellent plants.  They obviously succeeded.  Garden envy!

Today, I sowed most of my herb seeds in the herb beds.  I just have a few more to go.  Then the back porch will be completely surrounded by herbs.

This is definitely the year of the bearded iris.  There are masses of them around the house, in at least a half-dozen colors.  I guess conditions were finally right (now that we’re moving).

The brilliant orange poppies continue to fill the CA rock garden and overflow.  They’re mesmerizing.  At least I got to see them in all their glory.  Likewise with the native red columbines.  I must have done something right!

Other perennials (and even veggies) are starting to bloom in rainbow colors.

Hindsight 2021

The work goes on.  The goal is to bring this place up to speed for selling, without killing ourselves (or our budget).

Sadly, I’m starting to view my landscaping in hindsight, as a buyer might see it.  Hey, I’d buy it!  (Oh wait we did.)  So more of my shots will look like real estate photos, emphasizing selling points.

Today I created my flower cutting garden, including perennials, annuals, and even flowering herbs and veggies.  It should look spectacular if it comes up.  I hope I’ll get to see it bloom.

E has been making progress on the porch project.  It looks really improved.  She’s also been packing up and storing large items in the cleaned-up shed.

As always, here are more flowers.  My peas finally started blooming–the ones the rabbits didn’t snip with their evil rabbit scissors.  My poppies continue to amaze me.