Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bodhi - With a Bullseye

Bodhi died today. He had suddenly lost lots of weight, became lethargic and jaundiced. The bloodwork showed very serious pancreatic issues, possibly cancer, as well as very high blood sugar. Complicated by his age of around 12 years, the kindest thing was euthanasia.

I will remember Bodhi as a pest. Lovely boy that he was, he throve on pestering all of us. He would come to my bed early in the morning to pat me on the face, nibble my nose, nip my cheeks in an effort to wake me and get me to the kitchen. He routinely attempted to mount Luke, pursuing the dream of someday rising from his place at the bottom of the totem pole.

Bodhi, whose tabby markings were of the bullseye variety, had the softest coat of all the boys. He was also the tubbiest, and, as mentioned, he was the cat-nerd of the family.

And I loved him.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Prairie Dogs


When we moved to the country, the house we bought needed its septic drainfield replaced, and because we are in a watershed with a high water table, it needed to be a mound system. Imagine having a four foot tall pile of coarse sand to look at out your living room window!

Usually septic mounds are planted with lawn grass to blend in to the rest of the lawn. But this requires regular mowing, and running a mower over the mound can wear it down and speed its demise.

Research informed me that cooperative extension services recommend planting prairie plants on your mound, so that you can avoid the weekly mowing. And a huge benefit is the plants provide food and shelter for wild birds and animals. (The downside is when rabbits put their nests on the mound, and the dogs find the helpless babies...)

So I got my hands on a bag of seed and planted. This will be the third summer of our septic prairie and it's really coming into itself. Right now the grasses are seeding and the coreopsis is in full bloom. I also have what I think is lead plant in a few places -- gorgeous! (Well, it turns out that the "lead plant" is actually cow vetch, a non-native that's probably drifted in from the surrounding farms. It's still gorgeous!)

There are times when the seed pods on the prairie plants become torturous in the dogs' coats, but most of the year the movement of the grasses and the changing colors of the forbs make for a wonderful living room view!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Spring Flowers

A few photos from the perennial garden on June 1. This pink blowsy beauty is Iris Beverly Sills. I'd wanted one for quite a while but didn't want to pay $12 for it, then last year I discovered that you can buy plants on eBay -- voila Beverly Sills!

Here's a view down one end of the perennial bed. In the foreground is a salvia, in the back is columbine. You can see the dark purple iris and some poppy buds, too.

Here is an iris that was a bonus plant in my order! I have the name written down somewhere, I'll have to find it because I think it's gorgeous.

Finally, the block of columbine, backlit by the setting sun. This bed is shaping up in its second season and I'm quite pleased with it.