Small Mercies in a Year of Horror

It’s been raining intermittently, while temps remain mild, and leaves continue their vivid show.  Pollinators are concentrating their efforts before the weather changes.  This time of year is full of photographic contrasts and textures, and new perspectives I hadn’t considered before.

In this particular year of horrors, I’m thankful for all the small things some take for granted, like not contracting the plague, and having a yard full of nature to play around with.  (Also having a stable combined fixed income with which to pay our bills and buy food doesn’t hurt!)  It’s not always easy, but compared to the world meltdown and train wreck, we are very fortunate.  Who knew it would ever come down to this?

Now if we can all have the presence of mind to vote this vile nightmare out of office, we can all start inching back toward undoing some damage and recovering some ground.  Our very survival depends on it.


Taverna in Balmy October Rain

It’s been raining nicely for a couple of days, while still springlike out.  The contrasting flowers and greenery with increasingly colorful autumn leaves is stunning.  Squirrels and birds are racing and hurtling around, preparing for winter, whenever that is.  I’ve heard rumors of snow in far-flung outlier states, but that seems so unreal, strolling around in this almost balmy weather.

Rewinding for a moment, for erev Shabbat I let E in the kitchen for a change, and she outdid herself with this excellent authentic stuffed Greek chicken with potatoes.  Not to be outdone, the next day I came up with this Greek eggplant dish.  Lots of fresh homegrown herbs, peppers, and tomatoes were involved.  Our Greek excursion was a success, as well as very inexpensive to prepare.  Who needs eating out, anyway!  We have our own taverna.

Back to seasonal scenes.  The rainy background really accentuates these colors, but more to the point, inspires anticipation of taller trees and prolific native wildflowers come spring.

Summer with Falling Leaves

It was almost 80º and sunny today.  It’s like summer, with falling leaves.  I’m happy to announce I’ve completed the tree phase of the “prairie” project.  Emphasis on “project”!  Next up: transplanting a row of cedars along the driveway fence, and some redbuds to shadier areas along the property line.

Here we have: E’s latest “spotted dick” i.e. British bread-and-butter pudding with raisins.  And Dr. Meauci [mee-ow-chee] demonstrating how to stay calm and not panic.  Also your daily dose of colorful wildlife.



Warm Gray Day in Fall

I’m almost done with clearing around the “prairie” trees.  There must be hundreds out there.  I also transplanted some buddleia (butterfly bush), which is an “exotic invasive”, out of the prairie, so it doesn’t take over and disrupt the natural balance of native species.

Here are some typical colors and textures of this season, including some perennial succulents.  I’m happy my fall saffron crocuses are starting to come up.  And the poppies are still going crazy, which I love.  I must have fooled them into thinking it’s a California desert in spring.


Autumn Workout

It was another perfect fall day for working outside.  I got some more trees in the “prairie” cleared, then continued repotting plants, this time all the tropicals and succulents.  Soon they will make their annual migration to the warmer climate indoors.  But for now it’s in the 70s and even 80º for this coming week (in mid-October!), so much more work is in my forecast.

Dr. Meauci Says…

Dr. Meauci  [mee-ouch-ee] is my new nickname for Misu, who provides us with free but effective counseling and therapy during the pandemic  She is a Science Cat.  She says Don’t Panic and pet a cat or dog (or tree) for mental health today.  (My bro gave me the idea.)

I potted and repotted representatives of all my herbs in preparation for bringing them in for the winter.  Next up: repotting all my tropicals and succulents for same.  Then it’s back to doing trees.

Here are some seasonal scenes on this beautiful fall day, including Dr. Meauci overseeing the crisis.  She declined to be interviewed for this post.


Porch People at a Distance

Well, we did it!  We joined the ranks of brave souls reuniting in person, masked and socially distanced.  My son has returned from St. L. for a few weeks to catch up on house business and voting.  I didn’t know if I’d ever see him in person again in my lifetime, so hanging out with beers on the porch and touring the garden was a welcome relief.  We had a wonderful visit and beautiful day.  Here are some gardeny scenes.