Morning rounds

We’ve got ourselves a lovely – and windy! – day today. It made doing the morning rounds quite pleasant.

The routine started, of course, with babies. šŸ™‚

One of the down sides of not being able to do stairs very well is, even with my daughter at the top of the stairs to help keep the other cats away from the door, kittens manage to run across the length of the basement and up the stairs before I can get far enough down to close to door behind me.

Having a door that opens over the stairs doesn’t help, either.

Of course, while kittens are being wrangled, other cats try to take advantage of the confusion. David got into the basement, which we’re okay with, since he’s very good with the babies. I think Two Face got in, as well, but I’m honestly not sure if I remember that correctly. My daughter was dealing with the adult cats after we got the escaped babies back down.

Eventually, all the adult cats were herded upstairs, and the kittens got to have some wet cat food.

These guys have very hearty appetites!

After a while, we let Beep Beep down again, so she could have some, too. If she’s around when the wet cat food is first set out, she’ll push her own kittens away to get at it, no matter how much we spread it out!

Among the things I look out for when doing my rounds is fallen branches. Thankfully, between what we’ve been able to clean up ourselves, plus what the arborists were able to take down, there are far few of those than there was when we first moved here.

Usually, we’re just picking things up like the willow branch you can see in the photo. Willows are always dropping branches, but after having the power lines cleared, there are a lot less of those in the south yard. Recent winds did bring down one of the larger dead branches we can’t get at to clear. Even as I stood to take this picture, I could hear the winds knocking branches together, above my head.

Dead branches sound distinctively different from live ones.

Speaking of which…

The crab apple trees are not the only ones that are struggling. This plum tree seems to be mostly dead. There is one section that leans off to the right that is still alive, but it looks like the other two are completely dead. What few leaves there were, just weeks ago, have shriveled and died. It looks like another of the plums, behind it, is also dead or dying.

Other trees and bushes are doing just fine, though.

The pollinators were having a hard at my mother’s white roses, in the wind! I believe these are called Cherokee roses, and they have just exploded with flowers! Between these, the honeysuckle that is still if full bloom, and the double lilac that is nearing the end of its blooming period, this little garden is just a riot of flowers!

While the more common varieties of lilacs are finishing their blooming period, the dwarf lilac will soon be a mass of flowers!

I had cleaned up in this bush, taking out a maple that had been allowed to grow in the middle of it, cutting away dead wood and pruning things back. Now, even the new growth shooting up from below is showing masses of flower buds!

There is one more variety of lilac that blooms later, but I notice it is struggling, too. There is another maple that had seeded itself and was allowed to grow, near it. I think that maple is what’s killing the lilac. It’s keeping the lilac in shade for most of the day. I don’t think it gets any direct sunlight at all, really.

I’m going to have to choose: keep the healthy maple while the lilac slowly dies off, or take down the maple and hopefully save an unusual variety of lilac, that we have only one of.

The decision would be a lot easier, if I could only be sure that taking out the maple would save the lilac.

Meanwhile, while checking the sunflowers, I found we are down a couple more. I really wish I knew what is doing this. Then we could know how to stop it!

When I got back to the house at the end of my rounds, I had a lovely surprise.

Rolando Moon came back for a visit! I haven’t seen her in ages. The last time couple of times she came here, Creamsicle and Potato Beetle chased her up into a tree. My daughters could see her, but I never did spot her. The boys were away, though, so I got to say hello to Rolando. šŸ™‚ She, Beep Beep and Butterscotch are the only yard cats remaining, that were here when my father was still alive. I have some photos from when we made the trip out to visit him, back in 2015. He did love the yard cats – and they loved him right back! Me, not so much. šŸ˜€ After we moved here, it took a while to socialize them, to varying degrees. Most just sort of disappeared. Especially the males. Rolanda Moon has always been an ornery cat, aggressive with the others, but she seemed very happy for the attention, today! It was very good to see her. šŸ™‚

Today, being Sunday, is my day of rest. No unnecessary work. So the most I’m doing outside, really, is setting up the sprinkler to water the squash and potatoes. We’ve had some rain, off and on, but not very much, and these winds are really drying things out!

Time to go shift the sprinkler off the squash and give the potatoes a good drenching. šŸ™‚

The Re-Farmer

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