Color Surround

Behold, the bathroom is now a lovely shade of blue (and white).

The garden is still a rainbow palette of colors.

Sometimes I can almost but not quite forget that just beyond our yard is an obstacle course of death, made more so by all the mobs of wishful thinkers and willful deniers.  Science and math don’t lie, no matter how trump distorts the facts.

Creating Habitats

It’s so friggin hot and humid out after all the rain, I could barely work, but I was determined.

I exhumed and repositioned the buried boardwalk (such as it is) in the “Thorny Badlands 2”, which turns out to be a very apt name for it, what with all the blackberry briars.  I almost needed a machete out there.  That’s just step 1 of a “12-step program” of restoring the “prairie” to some semblance of order before winter.  You can just make out the tall purple ironweed (Vernonia) above the towering weeds.  The goldenrod was covered with black pollinator wasps.

Next (because I love punishment) I weeded and cleaned up the sun perennial bed, then mulched it.  Happily, the butterfly weed (a native pollinator-friendly milkweed) had all these seed pods on it.  Success!  After that, I was done in.

Here we have:  California poppies finally coming into their own in the rock garden; an eggplant flower among the marigolds (I never get eggplants, just the occasional flower); a view of trees through the crape myrtle; and new heart shaped leaves on a redbud sapling, which have come up all over the yard.  I’ll eventually transplant all these volunteer native trees into groves.  When it cools down a little, that is.

I’m watching a monarch sampling all the flowers outside my window.  It’s seems like such a small, insignificant thing, but it’s one more success creating native species-friendly habitats.

Hurricane Aftermath

By the time the hurricane aftermath got here, it was just some rain and wind, nothing more.  Once again, location makes the difference between devastation and another summer storm.

Meanwhile, the bathroom is turning a lovely shade of light blue.  Here’s a sneak peak, as close as my cam can get to the right shade.  And here are some scenes outside, including this very busy eastern tiger swallowtail.



Just Keeping On

Fortunately, Hurricane Laura moved fast and downgraded sooner than predicted, though not before unleashing massive destruction as a Cat. 4 hurricane.  The devastation to so many people already struggling through the pandemic is unthinkable.  Meanwhile, our deranged president continues to spew hate and selfish ambition, oblivious to desperate needs of Americans.

Moving on, here are some views of E’s crown moulding before and during painting.  It takes longer to afford to renovate the bathroom herself, but it will be worth the wait.  The same renovations done by what passes for professionals around here would have cost ten times as much and not have been done as well.

The produce is still rolling in, and flowers and friends are still putting on the ritz.




In the Year of the Cat-astrophes

As if a deadly pandemic, racial injustice, a corrupt incompetent WH, economic devastation, climate change disasters, and etc. weren’t enough, we have…a catastrophic hurricane [Laura]!  Just another day in the year 2020.  It’s terrifying just to be alive.  But we carry on, thankful not to be in the direct path–for now.

We each have our coping mechanisms.  Misu has the most enviable position–oblivious!  She just finds yet more ways to get comfortable.  Here she is relaxing with her feet up against a cabinet, and under the step stool in the shower, where E is installing bathroom crown moulding.  Not even loud power tools disturb Misu.  Oh to be a cat.

And of course I garden, when it’s not so g-d-awful hot out, or, as I’m doing now, watch the wind whip up the flowers outside my window, where goldfinches and pollinators are busy at work.  And let us not underestimate the therapeutic properties of a good, cold microbrew.  We get by.


Wring World

It’s so wet out, you could wring it out.  Mowing will have to wait.  [Pretend sad face.]   Mowing Update: We mowed after all.  See PS.

I sloshed around taking these photos of lifeforms soaking it in.

PS–The sun came out briefly, and we did go out a-mowing, after all; probably our last chance before the weather gets worse.  E did most of it on the rider; I could only do a minimal amount with my push mower, before it and I died of heat exhaustion.

Still, not complaining, especially in light of Hurricane Laura, which is predicted to create an “unsurvivable storm surge” down along the LA/TX coast, and become a “catastrophic life-threatening event”.  Those poor people, on top of the pandemic, with nowhere to go.  No doubt trump won’t left a finger to help, as usual.  Too busy campaigning on his idiot hate platform.


Social Butterflies

Today we got our every-few-weeks Kroger shopping over with.  Always a source of anxiety.  At least most people had masks on.  We’re so conditioned now to dread going out or being around people, I’m not sure we’d know how to return to normal, if we even live to see it.  It’s mind-boggling that so many people are heedless of the risks to themselves and others.

It’s so beastly humid out, between the frequent rains, it’s hard to work outside.  It was raining as I wrote this.  Still, we’ll have to get out tomorrow  and mow down the hayfield that is our yard, before it rains some more, and we need a baler.  Meanwhile, her majestic majesty Misu basks on my windowsill, dreaming of critters.

Here are some flowers with a bee and a couple of butterflies.  There were at least half a dozen species on the zinnias while I watched.  They’re so intent on nectar at this point, they just pose for me.  I envy their ability to hang out socially as usual, oblivious to COVID.



Flower Rainbows

This morning we braved Lowes for some supplies.  The good news is, almost all people were wearing masks and distancing.  The bad news is, they changed the garden center opening time to later (?!) so defeating the whole purpose of early oldster hours and outdoor checkout as COVID precautions.  Stupid.

Here are some shots, including sunflowers and morning glories in assorted colors, yesterday between rains.  Naturally, now it’s too humid for comfort out there, but again, not complaining.  Of more concern are some tropical storms/ possible hurricanes heading for the southeast, threatening severe conditions (think Katrina).  Just what the US needs, more disasters.  Hopefully it will blow over.



Between the Soaks

What do you know, it’s pouring some more.  It’s like August is the new April, only warmer.  I have to time my gardening between buckets.  Not that I’m complaining.  Nature is drinking it up, and so am I.

During a rare sunny break yesterday, I took these moths on zinnias, caterpillars on dill and parsley, a California native poppy in the rock garden, sunflowers cleverly avoiding decapitation by squirrel, and a brilliant sunset between rains.  As I wrote this, the large hawk swooped in past my window and into “E’s tree”, but I couldn’t catch it–yet.


Light and Flight

After another night of t-storms and rainfall, the sun finally came out–and so did winged creatures!

A large hawk has been soaring and perching right in our yard–I looked out and there it was on the fence!  I couldn’t capture it very well through the window screen, but you can get a hint of its awesomeness.

Smaller but no less impressive is this monarch, as you can tell by the many redundant photos!  This one thoughtfully sat and posed for me, distracted by all the yummy zinnias.  It makes orange look good.

There’s a lot of darkness in trump world, but sometimes I can find glimmers of light and hope right outside my window.  He can’t destroy everything.  He certainly can’t compete with this monarch!