Tree Garden Time, illustrated…

When I built my house in the middle of the cabbage patch about sixteen years ago (with my little hammer and nails)  I decided to preserve a patch of former farm land to create a garden area.   Envisioning trails and paths through tall stately trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, I set out to physically dig out certain areas to accommodate raised beds of Boxwood and Myrtle, Winterberry and Rhododendron.

The size of the Tree Garden is approximately 80 feet by maybe 40 feet.  The patch was really an area behind my house and in front of the barn, where my late husband and his family had farmed for half a century before my time.   The land had been part of about 12 acres on which all kinds of crops: cabbage, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, apples, rhubarb, onions, garlic…and various other foods like herbs and lettuce.

The land was split up, with four acres or more going to the state of Ohio for a highway, selling of 13 acres to neighbors in the land-locked parcel on the other side, leaving 8 1/2 acres including our original house.   When my husband died in 2000, my daughter and son-in-law bought much of the remainder … and I built a new house to the East.   There is still about two acres in a vacant lot, and about an acre and a half where my house is.

So…to get back to the Tree Garden parcel.   The piece was pretty much over-growing with saplings and assorted volunteer plants and shrubs.   Over the years it was shaped through arbitrary pruning and removal of young trees to form sections which would be cleared and shaped into paths.     I intend to include some photos with this post that more or less illustrate what I am trying to do.

For years only the youngest grandkids understood what I was trying to do back there.   But as it took shape eventually my vision was better understood.

Now the basic shaping is pretty much workable, as the Maple, Oak, and various trees I am not sure of, became so tall and so big that they needed to be Pruned with a chain-saw.  The paths have become clear and discernible, and garden aspects are clearer.

The tall Pampas Grass I planted back there took over, but has now died back, or rather probably the deer trampled it during winter.   Originally when I set up the garden I planted some big shrubs like Hawthorne and Black Pussy Willow which flourished then died off probably because of too much shade as the trees grew.

This year (again) I plan (hope) to build an arch from maple-tree-culls cut from the paths.    Also I’d like to plant some more perennials, shade ones this time, and paint some signs and plaques and stuff, paint the old bird cage hanging from a tree, resurrect the huge plaster Sun with its ray tips broken off.     Hang up some of the wonderful treasures from garage sale junk boxes acquired.   Use up some of the numerous plastic/silk flowers in the basement, line the paths with rocks (ha! that ain’t going to happen), and create a couple of seating places back there….which will involve mosquito control.

Big plans….more than likely I’ll spend more time on the blog talking about what I’d like to do.   🙂

Here are some photos taken in the last year or two, with examples of the assortment of critters that live in the Tree Garden and nearby, and some of the “decorations” natural and ornamental.    I had to look closely to see the one cat in these photos, a white cat named “coon tail” because he has a striped tail.   Peggy is one of my most photogenic outdoor cats, odd she isn’t in any of these pics, but I was choosing from thumbnails so some of the details didn’t show up.

The amazing escape of Inky the Octopus

Here is the link to a wonderful story from the WashingtonPost,  about an Octopus who made a miraculous and complicated escape from the aquarium in which he was being held in New Zealand.   The headline reads: “Octopus slips out of aquarium tank, crawls across the floor, escapes down pipe to ocean.”      This story may rival Rocky…either that or I need to get out more.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/04/13/octopus-slips-out-of-aquarium-tank-crawls-across-floor-escapes-down-pipe-to-ocean/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_1_na&utm_term=.b0151585bafb

 

 

 

 

swan song, Wordle # 124, MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie

Here’s a scrap of rhyme from one of my notebooks, Wordle #124, from last October’s prompt in MindLoveMisery’s post.    I would apologize for the delay, but here it is anyway….better late than never.

https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/wordle-124-october-10th-2016

week-124

A grey Cygnet has lost its Mum
adrift on a branch of fennel.
A tad of soft nectar escaped from a bloom
inexplicably left by a passing Sparrow…
serves well as emergency forage
against hunger pangs, until Mama’s return
to bandage the Cygnet’s distress.
The sunlight reflects beams of light
which belie the clarity of vitrified matter
embodied in clear bubbles of resin.

© Sometimes, 2017

 

Who Knows Cats?

I am compelled to re-post this photo of MAWKIN and a cat poem from last year. In this shot he was observing our efforts to clean the garage.

SOMETIMES

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 Kitty…
Where do you go
When you vanish like that?
How do you reappear so soon?
Why are you napping now?
What is your game?
Who knows?

© Sometimes, 2016

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Deer Tales now and then

http://mashable.com/2016/10/21/deer-hunter-head-scratch/#3zqYFpdnIOqo

 

Wow!  This incident should serve to tell that hunter something… it sure would give ME pause…

On the next road over there were some people who had a small farm where they raised a few cattle, and once a pregnant deer leaped over a fence and into the protected yard, which was in a triangle formed by two highways overhead.    The deer had a baby deer, a fawn.   The local newspapers featured stories about these people for years.   The little deer stayed on and grew up with the cows.    Then a buck showed up one time and whisked the Fawn off of her feet, so to speak, and eloped into Nature.   The farmer’s wife cried and cried.    Then after a year or so the Deer returned just as she had disappeared.    It was a happy happy day!

This is my version of a sort of a legnd in our area of Ohio…I am not sure what became of the Deer after that .  We used to drive past the property whenever coming from “uptown” to see if the Fawn/Deer was there…and were delighted when indeed there she was, usually close in among the cattle.    I personally saw the Deer numerous times.

The hunter in the story admits that he was quite taken with the Buck, which came up to him to have his ears scratched.  He said he couldn’t shoot this deer.

 

 

 

the space race remembered

Once I watched a rocket launch from under a blanket…our TV set was ancient and the light was very dim, so unless the room was almost dark the image on the set was barely visible.   I’m not sure of the year, or which of the early missions it was.   My whole life back in those days, between 1957 and about 1965 , are catalogued according to babies that joined our little family.

Our oldest was just a few months old, and we were living in a trailer park outside of the base of Fort Hood, Texas.  Our tiny television set was on a high shelf, and we had to stand right next to it in order to see anything in much detail.     In the interest of accuracy, by the time the Soviets launched Sputnick in October 1957, my daughter was five months old, and we were stationed at the Oklahoma Military Academy, where facilities had been set up to accommodate army insturctors.  We lived there for a year and a half.

Our connection to the United States Army accounted for much of my interest in space travel and life on other planets, and all kinds of innovative gadgets and scenarios that actually would become History within my lifetime.    I have  always been an avid fan of Science Fiction, and was working my way through the library shelves reading everything I could dealing with outer space.  The only other book that occupied as much or more of my time during that era was Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care, having literally worn out my original copy of the Baby Manual.

So with that setting, the events leading up to the great space race between the United States and the Soviet Union were high on my “interests lists.”    The Cold War was alive and well, and a source of vast panic and hysteria for young military wives, who feared the bell ringing in the night would be a call for hubby to go somewhere and do something to fight The Russians.

So it was with great interest and intrepidation that I pretty much stayed glued to the TV after the hoopla of the Russians having beaten us to the draw in launching a rocket, and then a month later…a dog named Laika,  thus becoming the first Earth Creature ever to attempt space travel.

In January of 1958 we were absolutely ecstatic when th United States Army Ballastic Missile Agency sent up the first U.S. satellite into orbit.

Here’s a Timeline borrowed from the NASA site.    For the entire timeline, please go to  https://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/space-timeline.html

1957

  • October 4 – The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space.
  • November 3 – The Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 was launched with a dog named Laika on board. Laika did not survive the voyage.

1958

  • January 31 – Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United States when it was sent into orbit on January 31, 1958. It was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology. The satellite was sent aloft from Cape Canaveral in Florida by the Jupiter C rocket that was designed, built, and launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) under the direction of Dr. Wernher Von Braun.

1960

  • August 19 – The Soviet craft Sputnik 5 was launched, carrying the dogs Strelka and Belka. They became the first living beings to survive a trip into space.

1961

  • April 12 – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.
  • May 5 – Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
  • May 25 – President Kennedy challenged the country to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

[The space saga continues… .]

Thinking about Gerunds

Sitting on the swing, and swinging, with Peggy
half asleep and full of bliss
and thinking about something I may have never
thought about before —except maybe in English class
back in the distant days of schooling.

In a daydreaming state, defying description,
except for some beautiful words:
lingering
meandering
singing
dreaming
swinging
remembering
enjoying
words with lovely meanings of warmth and comfort
and a glorious state of well-being.

Getting to an upright position, from such a lap of luxury,
after napping on a swing on the last day of Summer
is a fete of accomplishment in itself!
aching
smarting
limbs sleeping and creaking
glad to be alive!

©Sometimes, 2016

(Here’s a Wikipedia post that is a must for people who like Gerunds and the like.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund

AMAZING ODD-BALLS

MOBY

A Maine-Coon.   He is huge but his Vet says he is “not obese.”    She predicted his size when she first met him when he was a scrawny little thing I rescued from the barn.  Referring to my other cats, the Vet said “they might want to be nice to him, because he’s going to be a big boy!”     He is now in his fifteenth year.

UPDATED POST: who doubts that cats are smarter than a lot of politicians?

Physics

test suggests cats understand gravity, Japanese researchers say

“Our study is the first demonstration that cats seem to grasp the laws of physics,” said Kyoto University’s Saho Takagi. But an expert on domestic pets and author of a book about cats called the study “seriously flawed.”

[…for the rest of this article, please follow the direct link…]  washingtonpost.com/…/physics-test-suggests-cafe-cats-understand-gravity-japanese-researchers-say

[[Please Note, regular Sometimes readers— I have eliminated the original link to the entire Morning Mix column because I want to link ONLY this one article about the test about Cats.      Although other items in the column are interesting and noteworthy, some of the material is not compatible with my general view of world carryings-on….namely politics.    I do like cats, however, and believe that they should be given more cognizance, as they are clearly much further advanced that many of the rest of us. ]]

Now friends—This Washington Post article by Ben Guarino, in the paper’s Morning Mix column is fascinating.    Not that it will really surprise anyone who knows at least one cat personally, but it is some great Gee-Whiz-Science.      I wonder if it applies to ALL cats, or if it is a skill found primarily in Japanese cats.

It reminds me of Schròedingers Cat, except that his conjecture depended more on other scientists’ gullibility, and less on the Cat (if there even was one.)   Or perhaps more akin to Dr. Pavlov’s dog, who famously recognized the rattle of his food dish even when it wasn’t dinner time.

Has anyone heard whether or not Donald Trump has a cat?   Would the cat be more attractive as a candidate to run the U.S.?     Hmmm… a lot of voters have cats, that’s a given.  Remember Socks?  George W Bush’s cat?    Was it not Margaret Thatcher who had special dog-walkers on her official staff?   Did they really have little pockets of doggy treats inside their gun holsters?

 

 

 

 

The Deer in my backyard

The first two photos were taken through a glass door, a screen door, from a distance of about 100 feet.  In the third the deer has entered the “tree garden” and is munching between there and the barn on the other side of the trees.   The round silvery thing is a CD decoration.

deer
deer
deer 2
deer 2
deer shadow good
deer shadow

more photos

 

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the green area to the left of the blooming trees is where landscaping trees have been removed.   The spruce trees are where the pond is.  A few apple trees in the background, and the remaining bones of what was once an enormous American Elm tree.
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Top view of a tulip.
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Pearl wants me to do something.
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more tulips
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closer-in shot
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Fluffy is not inside the cage.

 

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Fluffy
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Lily-of-the-Valley foliage.

 

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Peony bud with Bee
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pink flowers

 

 

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Mickey from next door.  he enjoys yellow accessories.