Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Golden Season

Summer is officially over, and the last of the wildflowers have started to bloom. They’re all yellow. It’s as though Nature is giving us a bright, cheerful last hurrah with these clumps goldenrod and asters before the arrival of Winter.

Monday, September 19, 2005

You’re alive only because you’re so stinkin’ cute.

Well, she’s a stinker all right— a stinker with a charming personality. Cats have a way of getting under a person’s skin, which I guess is a good thing, because they can be the most exasperating animals. Meet Skeeter, aka Squeaker (because of her squeaky little meow), aka Twinkletoes (because when N dumped her on us, we already HAD a cat named Skeeter). He eventually took our Skeeter to live with him (she later died). It seems to be our fate to end up with tortoiseshell cats. This is our second. The first, Big Kitty, was a lighter version (about the color of tree bark) and even, well uglier, than this one. Squeaker seems to always want to be where she isn’t. If she is outside, she wants in; if she is inside, she wants out. She was a city cat--and not trained well by her city cat mother--that was transplanted to the country, and she is stupid. She has the cat instinct to hunt and kill anything that moves all right, and she’s great at catching insects, but she has no discrimination about what is appropriate for her to be stalking. We’ve watched her slinking across the yard after a rabbit bigger than she is, down the driveway after full-grown deer (wonder what they were thinking as they watched this tiny cat inching toward them), and one morning at about 5 a.m., I caught her chasing a fox down the driveway. The fox was running only because I turned the outside light on. I hate to think what could have happened to her had I not gotten curious about the strange noise I was hearing outside. We hate her, we love her, she makes us laugh. A lot.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Road kill

I would hazard a guess that the outraged folk who attempt to disrupt the November deer-hunting season in some parts of the country don’t think too much about the carnage inflicted on wildlife by the automobile. Not just deer, which are killed by the hundreds of thousands every year on American highways, but smaller creatures too, including turtles, opossum, raccoon, skunk, armadillos, coyotes, fox, bobcat, snakes, birds, and insects. Insects? Yep. Of course, most insects that end up smeared on windshields or mashed into the grill of the radiator aren’t that important in the whole scheme of things, I guess, but occasionally.... well. A few days ago, I found a treasure—a luna moth in perfect condition in the middle of the frontage road on the way to work I did have a picture of the moth, but I posted it without permission so here is the link instead: As I passed it, it took a minute or to for my brain to register what I had seen, and then I turned around and went back for it. It was still alive, but barely. I presume it crashed into the side of car. After it died, I had R place a dollop of hot glue on its back and I attached a thread and now it hangs by my computer, flying in the breeze drawn in through the window by the whole-house attic fan.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fall colors

Summer is ebbing, the days are getting shorter, and the first fall colors have appeared in the thicket (or what’s left of it) that buffers us from the highway. And it’s not the sugar maple, or the sweet gum, or the sassafras, the leaves of which all turn beautiful colors. Nope. Its the leaves of poison ivy that have turned a beautiful orange-peachy-red. Poison ivy. Doesn’t that beat all? Poison ivy, which brings much discomfort to my husband when the cat, who has walked through some happens to rub up against his legs, has a beautiful side as well. Hummm. I suppose there is a life lesson here.