Scenes from a Winter Garden

Part One: Violet and the Ghost of the Great Pepper Tree

Violet doesn’t belong here. She wasn’t invited. And neither was her brother, Squats for that matter. These were random chickens that were squeezing their tiny fluffy butts into my garden through a gap in the fence.

Just big enough to fit little peeping babies that would peck and scratch the shit out of all my garden beds and make a hell of a mess on my manicured pathways. My precious, precious pathways.

This I could not abide for long. An action plan began forming in my head and I decided to set up some chicken traps and capture these usurpers of my calm. I set up a net at the end of my long cement makeshift patio. A tunnel of many confusing obstacles leading to a hidden circular lobster net. I then went inside and waited. Maniacally so.

After a few hours, I went out to find them in my veggie garden picking, scratching and eating all my vittles. Our eyes locked and all three of us were frozen in the timeless dance of predator v. prey. I pounced, barefoot and snarling. As planned, they leaped out of the raised bed and began sprinting down the long cement pad with me slapping bare toes behind them.

They hit the hidden net like so many drunkenly applied darts into pub dartboards. *thunk, thunk*. With wings flapping uselessly, they could do no more than submit to my gentle yet firm grasp.

After some moments of gentle cooing, I placed them in my little elevated chicken coop for newbies. And there they remained. The day was won!

Continue reading “Scenes from a Winter Garden”

The Task of Sisyphus: Battling Yellow Nutsedge in my Lawn

Prologue (get the tissue ready):

Oh sweet and gentle reader. Forgive my long absence please. I’ve had a rough road this last month. I won’t go too far into the details as I wouldn’t want your tender heart to shatter as mine has, but…

Poor Stumps was hit by a car a few weeks ago and killed. My sweet and precious tail-challenged squishy pancake kitty is no longer with us.

A pill made more so hard to swallow based on how she came into my life and how close she came to dying out in the wilds. If you’ll recall…

Help Save the Life of Stumps the No-tailed Kitten!

It’s too hard a tale to tell for me right now. Perhaps after some time has passed I can share more details. As of now, she is quietly nestled on the hill under her favorite willow tree. Complete with a homemade headstone which served as a cathartic healing for yours truly. Here she rests…

That hit me so hard it reminded me of when my father passed in 2010 and I found myself weeping at the drop of a hat and still do. What made matters worse was that it also made poor Sasha sad and confused. You see, they had just began to bond strongly. Here’s the two of them just two days before her terrible accident.

So hard to watch this for me, but please do watch it. A perfect example of how dogs and cats can be trained to break the old adage and form a strong bond. A perfect illustration of love and nurturing. Fuck. I’m weeping again…

Anyways. After the tragedy I was cleaning up around the house and I accidentally dropped the same set of bells that Stumps wore. The original set was crushed and coated in blood. Awful scene. awful. Regardless, once the bells dropped, Sasha came running over all excited with her tail going a million miles an hour as she looked around wildly for her little sister. I showed her the bells in my hand and her tail dropped and she looked over at the grave. She then dropped down to the ground and let out a huge sigh. Heartbreaking.

I decided at that moment that I needed to at least ease her sorrow. Although I am not ready, I decided for her sake that I needed to get another kitten immediately to bring the light back into her eyes. Even though my heart is still raw and shattered.

Remember a few minutes ago when I said I wasn’t going to get into this just yet? As you can see, I am a hot mess and apparently a liar to boot. Let’s change direction here before we all begin crying and rubbing snot all over our faces. Ever forward yes? In that vein, allow me to introduce you to Kevin. A lady kitten with a boys name. Don’t judge me, I’m weird and grieving.

That’s better right? Less morbid. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss with you anyways and the remainder of my paltry excuses are boring as shit so I’ll skip them and get to meat of this tale.

Continue reading “The Task of Sisyphus: Battling Yellow Nutsedge in my Lawn”

My Big Ass Lady: Update on the Coastal Coral Tree

I know what you’re thinking, “how many times can this fool write about the coastal coral tree?” or “Does he make out with that tree?” well the answers are; infinitely and just a little. Not necessarily in that order. I can’t help it. When I first pilfered a branch cutting from an undisclosed location (definitely NOT in Robb Field in OB), I intended it to be a bonsai tree. I was living in a small but lovely beach apartment at the time, so it was all bonsai for me due to space constraints.

Now that I have a wee bit of land, I can spread some roots. My erythrina caffra (coastal coral) couldn’t be happier that I did either considering the insane growth that this tree has undergone in the last few years. To force this beast into a tiny bonsai pot would seem cruel.

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And this year is no exception. She is just now beginning to wake up from her short winter slumber. All winter long she has been busy sending out miles of hungry roots and storing vast amounts of sugars for what is promising to be a vigorous growing season. Now she is putting out a lovely display of flowers right before she comes into full leaf.

Erythrina caffra will typically bloom before leafing to attract pollinators.

She starts off after winter with her flowers before the leaves really set in. This allows all the pollinators to see the blooms without any bland and flavorless leaves getting in the way. Hummingbirds adore these beautiful blooms. Here’s another tree that is rocking a very impressive bloom with some rando walking a cute dog. Continue reading “My Big Ass Lady: Update on the Coastal Coral Tree”