Bacopa Hangs At My Front Door

"In a recovering ecosystem, flowers lead the way. Purple-spired lupines and scarlet Indian paintbrush are among the flora fighting their way into the death zone caused by Mt. St Helens’ 1980 eruption..." The Seattle Times, 2011. My heart goes out to those intrepid plants, when I move to Seattle, Washington next year I have no interest in exploring Mount St. Helens volcano. I’m going for the salt-scented ocean, the temperate weather, and a change of scenery and humanity in my last years. For months I have been so involved in irradiating beetles and weeds that I haven’t enjoyed my flowers. This day is still early enough to be cool, so I took a walkabout around the landscape I have created

Order In Our Work

There is beautiful order in the work of human beings. You can hear it if you put your ear to the human herd at work, the powerful hum of humanity. Wherever there is work being done, listen to the hum of human voices over the sounds of our tools of production. Just as bees produce honey and wax in which to store it, we produce fine foods, and metals, concrete, and petroleum products in which to store it. We and bees are industrial and industrious; and we hum. Our work feels like a chaotic situation fraught with striving and straining to complete the task, to achieve the goal, to obtain success, but seen from far enough away by the eye of God, we are all working evenly, steadily in preord

Rabbit hollow is suddenly vacant

This week I noticed that the rabbit-sized hollow scratched in my front lawn shows signs of vacancy, there are just a few wispy tufts of fur left on the lawn. A rabbit used to sleep there under the streetlights, and it kept the edges nibbled as trim as a hedge. A fox must have come up from the woods of Ewing Manor Park II. The spring scurry of squirrels is gone too, probably taken by the fox. As each year goes along there are fewer and fewer squirrels, but each spring there are more so some must survive. Woke up late, had coffee, gave my rose bushes a few sharp raps with a broom handle to knock off the Japanese beetles, and encouraged the old cat to step out into the heat of the day. I h

Clever Crow Plays In The Rain

A clever crow recently played in the rain under my peach tree. Crows usually seem quite serious, but this crow tossed around a bit of peach like a puppy with a toy. Then it took the peach to the birdbath and washed it. The crow did not eat the peach, it just played with it in the water. This was a rare peaceful moment in my experience with crows. Soon the crow gave a raucous call to invite another crow to join it, but the crow who came did not know how to play. Playtime was over. I used to throw pebbles at the crows in my yard to try and protect my old Cat Margaret from their harassment, but the crows just flew squawking into tree branches higher than I could throw. They made such a ra

Eager To Get Outside

I woke up early, eager to get outside to work in my yard. I wish I could go outside right now, but I have to pace myself. I do my tasks in order of increasing effort so that when I am done, when I have worked through all of my tasks for the day and used all of my energy, all I have to do is bathe and go to bed, at 5 PM, or even earlier! Like most other oldsters, I have my main meal at either 11 AM or 4 PM. In the evening I eat after I have rested, heating up something nice that I prepared earlier in the day when I was fresher. It took me a few difficult years to figure out how to be old more easily. Living in my own tidy, pretty home makes me happy. I wonder how senior living will be

Herons Under My Ficus Tree

Nearing ten in the morning and already the thermometer outside my kitchen window reads 90°. I should not go outside when it is over 80° as I tend to keel over in the heat, felled by my scary old heart/lung/vagus nerve problem. Old age is not for cowards. I slipped outside for a moment to knock the beetles off my precious roses with a couple of sharp raps with a broom handle, a quick, new strategy that might or might not work. I also watered a few new plants outside and my ficus tree inside. I will work on the computer for most of the day, and can only look longingly out through the study window. Awww.

Japanese Beetle Watching Me

This sturdy little animal has beautiful, metallic green and bronze iridescent elytra. If you gently wrap your hand around it you can feel how powerful the bug is, pushing against your fingers, seeking a way out. In the top right corner of the image you can see where Popillia japonica has taken nibbles out of my pretty rose. It will devour everything but the thorns and stems of the rose bush, filling its fuzzy belly. This one is clutching a petal in its front and hind tarsi, watching me before diving to safety in leaf litter below. They like to nap close together during the heat of the day, tucked into the soft rose petals. Beatles have the same basic senses as we do: smell, taste, tou

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