Giving Nature a Chance

I’ve been cutting down and clearing brush and brambles out in the “prairie”, liberating and mulching the trees, working my way up the hill.  It’s hard work, but will set the stage for germinating new native wildflowers.

Here’s the kind of silly thing that gets me excited: when I find another little pine I thought I had lost, buried under the weeds.  Plus I found several more volunteer cedars nearby, a couple of which I transplanted to the driveway tree line, thus completing it.  Nature is resilient if you give it a chance.

Here is the expanded CA rock garden, and poppies still blooming.

Here are some colorful blackberry and maple leaves in the “prairie”.

Stay Home and Live Another Day

By now I’m sure everyone has made their holiday plans, COVID or no, but if anyone out there is reading this and is hesitating, please stay home with the people you’re quarantining with, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe and alive another year.

There are now thousands of new deaths per day.  It’s tricky to know for sure if someone is currently negative, or a pre-/asymptomatic carrier, or at risk, or whom they’ve been around.  Masks and distancing can only go so far, especially indoors, even if everyone complies.  Hospitals and morgues are overwhelmed and turning people away.

Skipping a year is worth it if you all get to live to see each other again when this is over.  Do not take this dangerous virus lightly.  I know it’s hard; I’m a mother and grandmother myself.  Anyway, think about it.

Here we have: a couple of “cravens” on a birdbath, a view of the “prairie” work-in-progress, and some colorful maple saplings and grasses out there.

Watching Trees Grow

It’s officially my challenging time of year to find unique themes to photograph, especially being limited to the same old scenery every day.  Almost time to transition to my indoor “greenhouse”.  Yet for some reason the California poppies are still blooming profusely and multiplying, to the point that I’ve had to expand the rock garden to accommodate them.  Next year I’ll add more desert-like flowers to the mix.

It just makes me more determined to keep surrounding this place with more trees and wildflowers, to create at least an illusion of a wild green space.  Many of the tiny cedars, pines, and deciduous trees I transplanted a year or two ago are now towering over me (which doesn’t take much!) and filling out.

Eventually the little tree babies in the “prairie” will catch up.  As soon as I finish clearing and mulching around them, I’ll broadcast more native wildflower seeds out there, to “stratify” over winter.  (They require a cold period in order to germinate in spring.)

 

Final Mow 2020

Today we mowed for the final time this year.  Plus I did some yard maintenance.  I’m exhausted (more than the usual) but I refuse to give in to it.  Misu slept through it all in her window daybed.

It’s typical of this climate zone that the few flowers blooming outside right now are some roses, poppies, and coneflowers, though the stalwart marigolds have finally given up the ghost.  My indoor Thanksgiving cactus is blooming.  The monster holly out back is covered from top to bottom with bunches of large red berries.  Most but not all trees have lost their leaves.  It’s been freezing overnight, but still reaching the 60s during the day.  Perfect for working outdoors.

 

 

Mobile Morgues in Medieval 2020

As coronavirus cases and deaths keep multiplying exponentially, and hospitals and morgues are overrun beyond capacity, naturally TN is one of the remaining states to refuse to issue a mandate or curfews.  It’s even riskier to just go shopping for essentials.

But shop we must.  Inexplicably, there’s another TP shortage, despite the fact that average Tennesseans don’t seem to take this crisis seriously.  Maybe they decorate their xmas trees with toilet paper?  Anyway, we won’t be going anywhere or seeing any loved ones for a long time.

Fortunately, I have plenty of garden projects to keep me off the streets.  It’s getting chilly, but still perfect for working.  My future “forest” is coming along.  I keep trying to look up and forward.

 

Leaf Storm

Today it looks a lot more like November, with rain, strong winds, and swirling leaves, though it’s still in the 60s for now.  Today I began the project of manually weed-whipping the “prairie” and mulching around each tree.  It will take a while, but the end result will look a lot more like a meadow and grove of trees.  Judging by these seedlings, next fall will be very colorful.

Million Moron Mob

Seriously?  A million MAGA mob of morons packed together without masks in DC, in absolute brainwashed denial of reality.  It looks eerily like a nazi rally, only with dumb rednecks.  And trump is shamelessly fueling this mob scene of death-wishers.  I can’t believe I live in the same country with these idiots.  But enough on that; hopefully sanity will start to prevail soon.

Here are some brilliant colors on this sunny day in the 60s.  I even managed to sneak up on this skittish cloudless sulphur (I think) butterfly.  Note the excellent camouflage.

 

A Year of Fridays the 13th

What else could possibly go wrong, after the year that should win the Guinness World Record for most/worst catastrophes!  Famous last words.  Hopefully under saner leadership, our losing streak will soon be over.  But for now, we need to remain in more of a lockdown than ever, as the pandemic escalates.

In healthier news, it’s a gorgeous sunny day in the 60s.  As there are fewer ground level flower opps, I’ve been practicing my “keep looking up” skills with trees.

I can’t get over how huge these sycamore leaves get.  The tree started out a tiny sapling from my son’s property, and now it towers over me.

 

 

 

Confetti Whirlwinds

This latest surge of US COVID cases and deaths is shattering all previous records, yet people are still going about their business in total denial.  That’s one serious death wish.  Meanwhile, our delusional pretender-in-chief cowers and sulks in his bunker, telling himself he will rule forever, or else.  Our country is an insane asylum run by babies.  The Biden/Harris WH can’t come soon enough.

In more natural news, it’s starting to look and feel more fall-like after the long, steady rain we had.  Whirlwinds of leaves swirled and covered the grass with bright confetti.  My newly-planted trees are happy.  My drifts of dill that germinated from scattered dill plant seeds are covered with raindrop jewels.