Shaggy Old ‘Possum Sighting

Sorry I didn’t get a photo of the ginormous shaggy old possum who shuffled across the yard early one morning recently; I was too busy gaping in surprise.  It was one of the first actual wild animals I’ve seen here.  One of the dozen or so ‘hood cats was sitting there lounging under a tree, and it jumped! but then just settled back down unconcerned.  The possum was larger than the cat, and merely ignored it.

Since I neglected to do my photographic job, instead here is The Countess Misu basking on the settee.

I did get some nice domestic pictures of flowers, both native and not, around the house.  The native chokeberry bush is just starting to bloom white.

It being “post-frost-danger”, naturally it’s been freezing the last couple of nights, so I’m holding back on planting,  keeping my latest acquisitions protected until it’s safe, whenever that is.



Sea of Native Ephemerals

It was in the 80s (!!) yesterday, and we packed in a lot.  First we visited E’s son in the cemetery on his birthday.

Then we tried out a new-to-us garden center, Robin’s, which had an amazing quantity of nice perennials.  We got Dicentra (bleeding heart) and a hollyhock (“Zebrina”).

Next we hiked around Indian Mound Reserve (home of my favorite mossy stone “fortress”), and were overwhelmed with the incredible sheer masses of all the early spring ephemeral natives!  I’ve never seen so many of them en masse like that.  Just when we thought we’d seen it all, more appeared, blanketing the ground and rocks.  Something about the crazy winter/spring weather roller coaster must have supercharged them.  The following is a list of just the highlights (by common name for simplicity):

Spring beauty, phlox, mayapple, bellwort, dutchman’s breeches, twin leaf, white trillium, trout lily, foamflower, jack-in-the-pulpit, violets, solomon’s seal, hepatica, bloodroot, ferns, and many more I’m not sure of!  (Not all are pictured.)  This totally made my day.

Naturally after all that excitement, we adjourned to HQ, where I had a very refreshing Flying Dog Hop Electric.  Then we pre-bought tickets to the new Downton Abbey movie coming soon to the Little Art Theatre, which we are looking forward to.

Last but definitely not least, we went to the Midwest Native Plant Society’s spring plant sale in YS, which turned out to be the highlight of my day, because I was finally able to find my elusive favorite native flower, VA bluebells (Mertensia), plus serviceberry and elderberry (tree/bush) plants, and bellwort and jack-in-the pulpit seedlings.  Oh, and a bonus cedar sapling.  All in all, a very productive day.




The First Mowing in Suburbia

Here in Average Suburbia, the first spring lawn mowing is paramount.  Yesterday I did my hay cutting part.  You could have bailed some of it, it was so thick from rain.  Happily, native violets (my birth flower) are taking over the lawn along with all the dandelions.  No chance of those essential-to-wildlife plants being decimated by me.

Then I planted most of my rooted potted flowers, herbs, and small shrubs around the yard.  Next up are the younger seedlings in trays.  It’s challenging in a small rented suburban yard to find ways to restore eco-friendly natural habitats.  If nothing else, I’ll leave this place a little more flowery and less non-native than I found it.

Here are some misc. plantings, both previously here and introduced.


The Return Trip

My son and grandson stayed overnight again on their way back from PA.  It was a snowy, messy drive, as it was in much of the NE.  Yet, today it’s ~60º here,  and headed for the 80s this week!  We don’t even try to predict anymore.  We had a quiet, pleasant visit, especially talking garden shop.  Now they’re back in St. L.  I’m thankful I got to see them twice in one week.

Today I took a chance and moved all my porch plants outside to acclimate the rest of the way, now that danger of frost appears to finally be over…I think.  Soon I’ll dig them into the ground.

White Easter

It’s the day after Easter, and it snowed!?!  So much for frost-free dates.  And it’s not just up here in SW Ohio, it’s happening in the south and other places unaccustomed to snow in April.  The flowers are covered with it, and just a short trip to the store and back looked like we drove through a blizzard.  One more hint we’re past the point of no return with climate change.


Olympian Charoset Wins Again

I’m thankful for getting to see my son and grandson during their brief overnight visit.  I got to take a walk around the block with my son at sundown and catch up, much overdue and worth the wait.  I always appreciate his nonconventional but wise observations.  And we talk gardening shop now, a bonus!

Later, I spent some quality time talking with my 13-year-old grandson, which I enjoy more each time.  He’s extremely intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful.  We seem to understand each other (except for the high-tech stuff), despite the vast age gap.  I believe it’s partly because he’s the grandchild I bonded with before, during, and after his birthing.  We have some weird quirks in common.

My son and grandson obligingly proclaimed my charoset to be divinely supremely superb, or some such superlatives.  I did not put words in their mouths, just charoset!  Eat that, you know who you are, Robert!  Game on.  (This is how I can tell if you read this.)

Today I prepared for my very abridged version of a seder.  Here are a homegrown bouquet including the first tulips, my traditional matzah ball soup from scratch, and the seder plate and table.

Flowers for Pesach 2022

Well, I survived my latest “procedure”, although the preps for it practically killed me!  But it’s over, and my prognosis looks pretty good.  Now I get to enjoy what appears to be actual spring, and witness all the surprises coming up in the garden, after all the rain and wind.  The porch nursery is also thriving in the warming sun.  The Misu Majesty is especially in her element of lazy languor, as if she’s in sympathy recovery.  Best of all, my son and grandson are passing through here on their way to PA.  Happy almost erev Pesach, for those who celebrate.  My charoset is still the best and so on.  Better get on with drinking up the chametz!


Dilapidated But Still Standing

I suppose I should post something.  I’m a bit behind.  Here are a few highlights from the last week or so.

We finally got much-needed (much-discounted) new footgear.  Here we are showing off our new boots and Converse at HQ, and other scenes of YS.  I finally got me some Converse sneaks!

Here is cake by E.  But is it…cake?  (I confess that dumb show is what inspired cake-baking for no occasion.)

We walked the Fen, where we saw turtles!  And maybe a beaver-like critter?  The very first signs of spring growth were starting to show.  The old iconic tree from many seasons and photos past was looking pretty dilapidated but still standing.  It’s how I feel!

I’ve been planting things around the house.  Here are some tulips etc.

Last but not least, here is one of Misu’s favorite perches from which to spy.