It’s currently 22 degrees outside.
November 11, 2019
If I were a nicer person, I’d offer this fox a couple pairs of warm, woolen socks.
As it is, I’m staying inside where I can absorb the heat from my laptop as I work on my new writing project that makes me happy, happy, happy.
It’s a whole new week, people. Let’s do this!
For the first time in the 22+ years we’ve lived here, there’ve been multiple bear sightings in our neighborhood. Maybe not so surprising since we’re adjacent to a whole bunch of open space.
I’m not sure who shat this scat, but I could make a guess. But whoever it was did the deed on our neighbor’s driveway. The brand new driveway she’s so particular about that she was recently out there scrubbing and scrubbing at a few oil drips. So when I saw this pile of berry remains I knew she wouldn’t be happy.
But when the pile was still there the next day I realized my neighbor was out of town. Here was my chance! So I went over to photograph the remains before picking it up. (Note: I did not scrub the concrete). I wanted to get rid of the evidence so she wouldn’t know a bear had possibly come calling. My neighbor isn’t exactly wildlife-friendly. She throws rocks at bunnies that “eat my lawn” and last spring purposely drove over a snake she saw in the street in front of her house. (That’s right, she got in her car and started it up for the express purpose of killing a snake. Thankfully, it didn’t die and I helped it escape her wrath, which she then directed at me). I figured if she found out that a bear might’ve taken a dump on her driveway, she’d either be out front with a cannon or would call in the National Guard or Ted Nugent.**
So let’s keep this little story between us, okay?
** Zippy did spot her outside scrubbing at the berry stain.
The other day I saw a neighbor walking up the street ahead of me. In 2016, that white woman displayed a political sign in support of Agent Orange (something I don’t think I’ll ever forgive or forget), and when I saw her walking along in her red T-shirt I experienced a surge of anger. That red shirt triggered a stream of expletives about how she supported a white supremacist. (Poor Zippy had to endure that volcanic eruption.) Stupid mean people. Stupid red shirt.
But you know what? All the horrible racist people in this country don’t own the color red. Red is a beautiful color. Red belongs to all of us.
Cave Creek Canyon Ranch. May 16, 2019.
And no one wears it better than this dapper Northern Cardinal.
Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My iris haven’t begun blooming yet, so I’m posting this photo from last April in anticipation of the splendor that’s in store for us.
I’m forever grateful to my former neighbor, Tina, for sharing her iris-love with me. She had many different iris in her vast gardens and when I first began digging in the soil, creating my own little patch of beauty, she’d toss iris tubers over the fence. I’m pretty sure this photographed iris is one of those long-ago gifts.
It’s October 1st which means it’s time for our neighbors across the street to display their creepy inflatables. So far, there’s no sign of the coked-out cat from last year.
But, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what’s out there right now. It’s very windy and the inflatables aren’t standing at attention. When I passed them earlier, I thought that long, cylindrical inflatable was somehow attached to the jack o’ lantern.
However, from this angle, it looks more like a pumpkin-head dracula doing a face-plant.
Or maybe he dropped a contact. Whatever his deal, I’m just glad he’s not staring in my window.
Zippy and I just took Emma for a walk around our neighborhood. As we walked, we noted the bright, outdoor lights shining on the marjority of houses we passed. It was a relief whenever we passed dark houses. A break for our eyes.
As annoying as those bright lights are for me, they can be life and death for birds during migration time. (And yes, I understand that lights on tall buildings are more problematic for birds than suburban lighting.)
Photo: NASA Earth Observatory
I still wish that all people, both urban and suburban, worried less about what might be lurking in the dark, and more about the well-being of our feathered friends. Excessive lighting is just that.
My neighbors have stopped celebrating the 4th of July!
To everyone who had fun without the benefit of explosives,
my dogs and I salute you!
To whomever is lighting fires in the open space surrounding my neighborhood:
Today’s post is brought to you by people who no longer live here. The first tulip was planted by former neighbors, but not when we were gardening side-by-side. Rather, they did one of their infamous “drive-by plantings” when we weren’t looking, and gifted us some miniature tulips.
The next tulip is a senior citizen and was planted by the former owners of our house. Next month, we’ll have lived here 20 years.
That red flower is a lesson in being beautifully tenacious.
A while back I blogged about discovering the perfect sign for the times. I went ahead and ordered two (in case one got stolen OR someone was keen to add a sign to their own yard).
The bright and welcoming little sign has been out front for a while.
Yesterday, as Zippy and I walked across the yard while heading out for Emma’s daily jaunt, he spotted something:
A scribble of thanks from another human being sharing the planet.
Every time I read those words, my heart swells with gratitude and a renewed sense of connection. Thank you, Helga M., for taking the time to reach out.
This morning I was in my living room when I felt eyes upon me. I looked up and out the window.
I’d noticed these inflatable horrors in the new neighbors’ yard yesterday, but at that time the leering jack o’ lanterns and coked-out cat were oriented toward the street. Somehow, they’ve all pivoted a bit to the right so that they’re now staring across the street and directly into my living room window.