Archive for October 21st, 2011

Lately life around The Havens has felt a little like this picture:

In case you can’t tell what that is a photo of, our resident Cooper’s hawk was perched on the fence outside the bathroom window, being harrassed by no fewer than five blue jays.   At the point I took this shot, she was hunkered down in the gap which someday will have a gate, with three jays on the fence near her and another couple in the red bud tree on the other side of the fence, all squawking what amounts to “We don’t like your kind around here,” or words to that effect.

Too bad all you can see is the window screen and blur.

I’m not feeling quite so beleaguered and confined today, however.   For one thing, a therapist has entered our lives, and even though the work has only just begun, just the fact that there is someone who can direct our efforts towards the big pile of stuff on our plates and help us be more effective in dealing with it makes a huge difference in the atmosphere.  To those who have supported us and sent cyberhugs and love during this rather difficult period, we send deep thanks and love right back.

I especially want to thank Syncopated Eyeball, who took a risk, and actively encouraged us to seek professional assistance.  I think that her message was the last grain of energy and sense that finally started the ball rolling in that direction for BOTH of us, and for that I am deeply grateful.  I just wanted her to know that she did a small thing that made a huge difference for us.

Fall has finally made its appearance, and things are cooling off around here.   We finally had the first fire of the season, and Mallory proved that she is a true feline.

It took literally no time at all for her to discover the proper place for a cat is toasting her belly in front of a fire.

I moved the plants back inside, and she also has discovered that she really is a jungle animal, and there are beasts lurking in the jungle that must be attacked and dispatched.   Too bad most of those beasts are imaginary, the hunt and kill is fairly detrimental to the jungle and we have been trying to discourage that behavior.   Unfortunately, the disciplinary device (kitchen spray bottle) only seems to add verisimilitude to the rainforest experience.

She has also discovered the flush toilet, a modern convenience which most of us may not realize is actually a cat mind-boggling entertainment device.  If anyone tries to actually USE the toilet without her in attendance, there are vociferous complaints outside the door, because she wants to Be There for the Flush!   The water goes down and THEN!! it comes Back UP!!    WOW!   As you can see in the above photograph, the cat is not lacking for play items, but there is always room for more entertainment in Mallory’s life.

We had our first frost, in preparation for which we pulled up all the basil and made the last batch of pesto.

It was late enough in the season that we didn’t find any spiders in this batch.   We wound up harvesting basil three times this summer, and have quite an excellent supply of it on hand for the winter.   Some of it wound up on the pizza Jim made the other night.

The Stroll Garden is winding down.  In this shot, you can tell that it had been dry.

I got my water bill yesterday too, and that proved it as well.

From a distance, it all looks a little sere and not very interesting, but close inspection reveals that there is actually quite a lot going on.

The clematis are doing their fall review.

On the rue plants, the caterpillars of the Missouri Woodland Swallowtail butterfly are grabbing a last meal before chrysalis.

The agastache (hummingbird mint) is going great guns.   I hope it proves to be winter hardy, I really like the way it performs.   It is a drought tolerant perennial in addition to being not palatable to rabbits.  I didn’t notice the hummingbirds cared much for it, they were way too enthralled with the canna lilies and the purple hyacinth beans.

The bittersweet vine has berries.

The native aster in the rain garden is bee heaven right now.  The frost has not tamed it.

I’m sure I have shared my fossilized spirals with you before, but I still love them, and the light is always different.

Still have a few colchicums around the place.

I’m awaiting the arrival of the fall crocuses, which have their noses up but haven’t bloomed yet.   Now that there has been a frost, perhaps they will emerge.  Not everything likes it hot.   Some thrive in the cooler times.

We survive too, to thrive again.

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