Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Last Day of Indian Summer

During my lunchtime walk, I saw more squirrels than cars.

The bushy-tailed critters scampered from yard to yard, tree to tree, a flurry of motion.

Did they know it was the last 70 degree day of the year? The last Monday before the end of Daylight Savings Time?

The farmers knew. Soothing hums of diesel and the rhythmic chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk came from the fields around our farm.

In several fields combines munched through soybeans, and in our front field, two farmers baled hay -- green, loose bales that'll smell like summer all winter long.

The husband hurried to the woods to cut wood for winters to come.

I, tired of cleaning out the garden, turned to cleaning out horse stalls and paddock, clearing manure so that doors will open easily when the ground freezes and heaves.

 When sunlight faded, my husband and I came indoors.

But the combines didn't take our cue. Their headlights came on and they rumbled through the fields into the night, gobbling up beans before the rains came.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dear Cat

While I'm quite happy that you're catching mice and the occasional sparrow, could you please refrain from leaving them on the back porch?

We have a pup now, and unlike the adult dogs, she can not swoop up and swallow those finger-sized mice before I notice.

The pup picks up her prize and wants to bring it indoors.

So I am left on the back porch playing the trading game with a pup. And, let me tell you, she wants more than a few dry treats for a bloody, squishy mouse. Or, I must do the finger sweep to extract the mouse.

And, I am more squeamish than you.

Your cooperation would be appreciated (and surprising),

The Home Owner

Photo of 13-week-old Niki chewing on a corn cob. Photo by Patti Sumner.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finally, Some Respect

We hope that Niki grows from a hoarder to a herder.

For Niki, a cat is not a cat.

The 12-week-old Border collie pup knows that Trick the Cat will play, but he has claws and teeth, and she'd better approach him butt-end first.

Leslie the Cat has claws and doesn't want to play. Niki may give her a chase, but she keeps her distance.

Louie the Indoor Cat and Niki have come to an understanding: they'll ignore each other.

Dewey Kitty made the mistake of running when he first met Niki, and now Niki wants to give chase.

Until last night.

I heard a yip and Niki came running from the entrance hallway.

Apparently she'd cornered Dewey Kitty and he fought back.

The telltale sign was the claw stuck in her forehead.

This morning, she was keeping her distance and approaching Dewey Kitty butt-end first.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October Sweetness

The older man with the elderly poodle said, "Get those strawberries. They're the best."

It was May and I was perusing the garden store during my lunch break.

I hadn't heard of the Gasana strawberry, but bought the plants anyway. I'm a  haphazard gardener and when I get plants at a huge discount, I'm likely to stick them in the ground and see what happens.

The plant gave me pretty purple blooms, which I plucked. I wanted the plants' energy to go into the plant, not making berries.

But they just kept blooming and blooming, and I got lazy or busy or both and just stopped plucking blooms sometime in July.

When the berries appeared, I started picking and eating them on my morning stroll around the yard.

As the daylight hours shrunk, the strolls around the yard stopped on weekdays.

But yesterday was sunny and bright, and I stopped to look at the strawberry bed, and found four ripe berries.

I didn't stop to take a photo. I just picked them, ate them and enjoyed a rare October treat.