Saturday, April 22, 2006

Happy Earth Day: My Garden, My Kitties

As I predicted, I spent the better part of the afternoon today on my knees pulling bucket after bucket of weeds. And that was just the front yard. I piled them all up in a little corner formed by a clump of bamboo and the ratty arbor vitae hedge between our house and the neighbor's, since there were way too many even for the compost bin. They'll decay slowly (compost happens), and one day will return to the soil.

Once done, since it was such a lovely day, I decided it was high time that the kitties, normally indoor cats (too many speeding cars, loose dogs, psychotic cats, raccoons, and skunks in our neighborhood), got to enjoy the outdoors. Our big boy, Licorice, used to go out on his leash and harness, but the winter has been so sloppy, and I've been either busy or sick, so it's been months since he's been out. Belle, our teeny gray tabby who came to us in December, hadn't been outside at all. I bought her a shiny new red harness yesterday, and today was a good day to try it out.

Licorice loves exploring new smells, though speeding cars make him scuttle for the bushes. He had a lovely time taking in all the sights and smells, stopping to chew on grass, and otherwise having a fine time.

Belle was another story. She's been curious about the outdoors, and sticks her nose out the front door in the morning when I get the paper (Licorice likes to be carried out to "help"), but when I picked her up and opened the door, she dug in her little claws. Once outside, she crept around and jumped at every noise, not straying beyond the porch. And as soon as I reached for the door again, she was right there, eager to get back inside.

After I came back in and fed the zoo (cats, birds, guinea pigs... oh my), I started a loaf of nice earthy multi-grain bread. It might have been even more earthy if I made it entirely by hand, but by the time I was done with all that weeding, my arms were tired, and after all, what's a bread machine for if not to make bread?

Now here's a gallery of kitty and garden pictures:

Licorice explores the front walk.

Ooh! A crow!

Belle was NOT happy about the whole thing. After she came back in, I found her sitting by the front door, meowing her distress meow. Poor baby.

I spotted a white-breasted nuthatch passing food to a mate inside the birdhouse. Hooray! They're nesting!

Our poor crabapple, dubbed the "Hobbit tree" since it looks like something out of Lord of the Rings, is in dire need of thinning and pruning. The handyman who lived here before us, and whose repairs almost function, must have done the pruning himself. The result is a rat's nest. We have a tree specialist coming out next week. That nasty concrete pad behind it can go anytime, too.

Tulips, ferns, lady's mantle, and a mass of other green stuff in the front yard.

Flame-colored tulips in the front yard.

A blue heron fringed tulip set off by a backdrop of our native wild bleeding heart.


countess_shell said...

Weird! I had never heard of bleeding heart before last weekend when I saw it at the garden center. Instantly fell in love with it. And here you've got it just growing naturally! Yay!

Reading Dirt said...

The kind I have is a native species that grows like gangbusters. The old-fashioned ones in the garden center come, I think, from Asia. They're larger, and gorgeous. Don't miss out on them!