Sunday, August 31, 2014


 I'm afraid the last day of August was filled with cats. Cats lounging. Cats watching. Looking. Staring. All the neighbours cats. Waiting for something. Cordelia watches from her lookout.

  Last day of August, and already it's started. The take down of old flowers that have bit the dust. Thornless blackberries, having never produced berries before, have decided to  show their stuff. Not a lot of berries, but enough for the birds to steal.
             And it rained. Wonderful rain. At last. The drought has gone. For now. The Hibiscus, huge this year, bigger than it's ever been, was pounded with rain. And survived.

                Spencer, visiting as he does every day,  slept through it all..............
                       On my porch. In his chair. No one sits in his chair. Not even his brother Smokey. And  he's welcome to that chair. I even turned the cushion over so it would be more cushy for him. He doesn't seem to notice the fading begonias and fuschias. I  can see them slowly turning rusty. But I just can't make myself  yank them out of the dirt.

    Smokey has taken to the gate. To stare. When Spencer is fully awake, he has taken to hanging off the bench. To stare. To purr in the still muggy sun. To just hang out.
              I left his yellow cup for him. He likes his yellow cup. I'm saving the two ivy geraniums beside him to over-winter. Did that last year, and they came back with a vengeance.  I'll have to save Spencer's yellow cup as well.
  Then in the morning and the evening it is a staring match . A battle of wills between outdoors and indoors.  Weather's changing. They sense it.
  The stellar jays sense it. They steal apples. They taunt  cats. And the cats respond by flopping down in the grass and staring at the fence. But I think they're watching the flowers droop ever so slightly, or possibly more than slightly. I also think they are still hunting snakes up there. It's been snake heaven for Smokey this year. I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. I don't think he is either.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


 In One Day, not much can happen. An earthquake can rock the world, wars can shatter the silence, and somewhere a new discovery will be born. In one day, skies will start pink, glow to gold and fade into dark. And not much will happen. In one day.

            Cats will rule their world.  Well, at least, Spencer thinks so. Bo will wonder about Smokey.

 Smokey will not wonder about much.                      Hair will be cut.

 Heat of the day will cause cats to seek shade.       
                                                                          All that will be heard in the heavy heat of the day is the snip, snip, snip of scisssors. Hair falling to the ground.
  Spencer will attempt to prove he is king of his adopted domain. 
( Remember these are the neighbours cats. They come to visit. To hang. To have a spa day...)

        But on a hot August day like this, it's too hot to even move. Cordelia stays on the compost. Safe from Spencer. He chases her when he can. Today it is too hot to chase.
                Cordelia turns herself into a puff ball and bides her time.
                                                              Snip, snip, snip, is all you hear in the garden.

 Smokey is a gate crasher. He flops in the shade of the gate. Spencer surveys the world from above.
                   nip. Snip. Snip. Slink, slink, slink. Smokey thinks he is a panther.
                          Cement is cool.
                       Porch is cooler. This is the chair that is always saved for Spencer.

  Cordelia sits on a Moai. Watches the others. Smokey watches her. His ears perk up. Snip, snip, snip.
             The sky changes.

                  Activity in the garden has ceased.               The clouds start to turn gold.
                  Inone day not much can happen. An earthquake can rock the world,

            Wars can shatter the silence, and somewhere a new discovery will be born."The soul of God will be poured into the world" (Emerson)
                                 In one day, skies will start pink, glow to gold and fade into dark. And not much will have happened. In one day....

Sunday, August 24, 2014


                     "The world is not yet exhausted;
                                         let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before." (Samuel Johnson)

                         "Cat of the shadows, he appears as tame,
                                          till from behind the grate, the gold eyes glare
                                                        with such a light as could consume the whole
                                                                              to ashes and a memory of flame." (Panther)
 "See the conquering hero comes! Sound the trumpet, beat the drums!" (Thomas Morell)
                             (On capturing a hornet's nest, that looks like an alien head....)
    "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." (Aristotle)

                     From Bright purple plums on the trees , to the fiery sunrise. Fiery due to the smokey haze that lingers in the sky, from the fires in the B.C. Interior.  Makes for some incredible sun shots.
       And the cats keep their vigils. Cordelia on her Moai head. Smokey on the porch. Fastidious in their  washing and grooming, so as to look just right for their photo op.
           Of course, Smokey just had to flop on the stairs in the hottest sunset of the summer.
                    "For you are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
                                                            you have a right to b e here." (Max Ehrmann)
      And the ocean is calm these days. "There's never an end for the sea." (S. Beckett)
                   The mountains  quiet and hot.Screaming for rain in their silence.
                                                 And the skies bright and untamed, untouched photos.....
                      "Give me a spark o' nature's fire, that's a the learning I desire." (Robert Burns)

Monday, August 18, 2014


 Out chopping away at weeds. Suddenly, the bush  I'm chopping starts to hum and shake.  There it is ,a massive hornets nest, hanging from inside to  down to the ground.  I thought the grey thing was a rock. But I didn't remember a rock being there before. I almost put my hand on it. ( Ewwwww) Hornets are the largest eusocial wasps. They are loud and nasty.
Under this  bush , hidden from view. If you look closely you can see a huge grey mass. The entire bush is a hornets nest. Ewwwww.
Smokey does not seem to worried about hornets.Cats. In the spring, the hornet queen will create the nest. I never saw the nest in the spring, or in the summer, or until now, when it had cooled enough to go out on the hill to chop the underbrush.
Hornets have long stingers  with which they defend their hives and kill. Oh joy, oy rapture. I almost put my hand on the hive  ( ewwwww).
 Each hornet can sting many times, and they do not die after stinging. 
                                                                          They live to sting again and again.
Single hornet stings are not fatal, unless you are allergic.  The most venomous hornet is the Asian giant hornet. Oh yuck. ( I almost put my hand ON the nest....ewwww)
Hornets are very good in rallying all their pals to sting in self defense of the nest. It is incredibly dangerous to humans. There is actually an attack Pheromone that is released when the nest is threatened.Calls the others to attack. I had to be very careful getting a pic of the nest, to show the pest control guy. Was not my favourite thing to do.
Hornets feed on nectar and sweet plants, including sap, rotting trees, honey and sugary foodstuffs provided by humans, apples, plums. Sometimes they will burrow into a sweet fruit to eat. Humans have been known to pluck a fruit with a hornet inside ( ewwwwww...we have lots of fruit ripening).
Hornets also like to eat crickets, bees, locusts and other big bugs. Chewed up and deposited in the hive for the larvae to eat. Ewwwwwwww. Pest control guy can't come over soon enough........