Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First Weekend of Autumn

It was drizzling rain Saturday morning and the puddles in the dooryard indicated it had rained most of the night. I put on my new [!] boots and trudged up the back pasture on litter box duty.
Pebbles the Horse spotted me and commenced 'hollering' in her most piteous starving equine voice, so I went back out and up the lane to the barn. 
I fed the tortie barn cats, dished out Pebbles' grain and smashed her pill into it.
[The daily battle of the pill seems to be over--she is liking a new type of grain so well that the crumbled tablet is being consumed along with the yummy grain.]
I noted the garden spider clinging to the rough barn siding with her precious egg sacs dangling above her, near a partially dismantled electrical box.
These spiders [argiope aurantia] fascinate me--and they never enter the house!

So--back up through the wet, trailing cats, to record the spider and her efforts of propagation.

Here she is--locals refer to these as 'garden spiders.'

The dismal morning cleared into a brilliant afternoon.
One [final?] blossom shimmered on the magnolia tree.

A work bee at our church this weekend and those in charge decided to pull out seven Knock-Out roses which were crowding their space along the walk.
They were laid in a heap along the driveway when I arrived to help clean inside the church.
'What are you doing with the roses?' I inquired.
'Taking them to the landfill,' was the reply.
I was horrified!
'Will you let me take them home?'
Our friend, LW, grinned.'
'Jim told me you'd want to rescue these!'
When I had finished my cleaning stint inside I returned to the rosebushes.
LW produced  a pair of leather gloves for me, another friend loaned me his strong sharp 'loppers.'
I trimmed the bushes severely, dragged them across the parking lot to our van, and heaved them in.
J. was part of the crew cutting down a tree or two and loading sections of log onto his truck.
I was taking no chances that the rose bushes might mysteriously 'fall off' the load if I put them on the truck!
I stopped at the Subway shop for 'grinders' on the way home, and after a pleasant half hour on the front porch devouring the long roll stuffed with smoked turkey, provolone, and sliced veggies, I found a shovel and decided to plant the roses behind the clothesline.
I had moved only a shovelful or three of dirt and sod before J. appeared and dug the 7 holes for me.
[If he hadn't I might have fallen into one of my excavations in exhaustion!]

I know--we've seen endless photos of the pink phlox, but look how lovely with the revived midnight blue salvia and whatever the fuzzy pale blue flowers may be.

The Sunrise Coneflower has decided to make an effort before frost.

Small pots of Michaelmas daisies were languishing in the Wal Mart garden center.
I rescued three of them although I was hoping for other colors. These are an un-named variety, appearing to be slightly double, possible of shorter stature than the ones I have.
I forget what I had planted in this spot--whatever it was disappeared, so hopefully the 'asters' will fill in.

J. took this photo of the hummingbird with his camera.
They are such busy birds--almost impossible to get a shot of them without the blur of wings.

I love the play of sunshine and shadow in autumn.
A view from the front porch in late afternoon.

More shadows, around the big rock.
I am pleased with the cleome there--quite 'architectural'--don't you think?
As well as being decorative, it offers a lovely hiding place for the cats
[or so they believe.]


  1. I get so caught up in your lovely writing and beautiful descriptions that sometimes I forget to comment. Please don't ever stop.

    1. Chris; This will sound odd, but since childhood I've had a 'running commentary' going on in my head--a constant 'putting into words' of everything around me.
      I'm glad you enjoy the bits which make it onto the screen!

  2. As soon as I started reading about the roses, I thought, bet S rescues them!

    1. Kath; I hope at least several of these 'take'--there are very thick roots but the finer ones were pulled off in the uprooting process.

  3. I love your gardening style: "whatever the fuzzy blue flowers are". My gardening is like that too - I know what most things are unless you ask me suddenly. My garden, however, is not like yours at all, being a small Scottish city patch with no view. Sigh. I love it all the same.

    1. Isabelle; It troubles me not knowing the names of plants--or birds--especially if I once did and have forgotten.
      I do believe that even the smallest garden is essential to proper enjoyment of life!

  4. Once again I love seeing your lovely place and reading about all the goings on there.


    1. I think that reading about our shared passions for gardening helps to keep us going--particularly as most of us are no longer youthful gardeners!

    2. Everything looks so pretty. Glad to hear that Pebbles is taking her pill well.

    3. Lillian; I show selected spots of prettiness--ignoring those areas of the yard that are discouraging, but autumn has a way of making most everything look mellow and appealing.
      The battle of the horse pill went on most of the summer--with HORSE winning most rounds. Glad that's sorted --for now!

  5. It always surprises me when people throw away plants. One of our neighbors decided she was allergic to azaleas and they pulled out (with a truck no less because they were so big) some huge azaleas. She let us take them home with us. Now everyone, and his brother, has azaleas where we live, so how could pulling out her azaleas help her allergies.

    1. Janet; That does sound rather useless--if a plant flourishes in the neighborhood surely the pollen will be floating on the breeze!
      I hate to see plants yanked up and thrown away--obviously! I told our friend [who is also our vet] that I rescue throw away plants just as I take in throw away cats!

  6. Love the garden spider and I'm so glad about the horse pill. I recently bought what I thought was a bargain wormer for Trigger involving pills that allegedly taste of apple and will be delicately taken from an outstretched hand. Not a chance. I ended up grinding three of them up and mixing them into his food.

    1. Em; Jim has in the past attempted to worm Pebbles with an 'apple flavored' paste wormer in a tube. He ended up wearing most of it while Pebs stood with her lip rolled up to her eyeballs.
      These are interesting spiders to observe--though I don't want spiders in the house or walking on me.

  7. Just want to add this to the comments: J took a fantastic picture of the dear hummingbird!

  8. Tam and I went foraging this afternoon - I reached out my hand to gather a blackberry and there was a whopping spider lurking beside it, so I decided I'd let that one be!! It looked . . . FAST!

    Your garden looks lovely - the Phlox flowers always remind me of the ones mum used to grow in her garden when I was growing up. I have one or two in my plot, but they aren't thriving as well as yours.

    I'm glad Pebbles is taking her medication now and hope it helps her. Animals soon twig that sweetie we are giving them has Something in it and should be spat out!

    Glad that J dug your rose holes for you. Keith would probably do the same if he saw me struggling. I am resting from gardening today after fighting with pulling out hanks of grass yesterday. My shoulder is complaining and I have to concur I am not as young or as strong as I used to be . . .

    1. Jennie; Oh to be as young and strong as in former years! I've quite a few bare spots in my garden--plants that gave up and disappeared during the long wet and humid spell of summer. My flower gardening is becoming more about what will flourish without being overly fussy. So--more phlox next year!