Category Archives: Nature

Gardening (or the realization that mother nature has attitude)

For the past decade or so, I’ve not had the chance to garden. And I’m one of those people who (perhaps due to a terrible memory) claim to love to garden. When Michael and I were looking for our home it was Autumn and the raucous wild nature of the South was ebbing away. We were very enthusiastic about wanting a yard. And when we stumbled upon the home we live in a big reason why we chose it was because it has a secret garden up hill from the backyard and lots and lots of green. Green, woodsy goodness, right?

And now it is full on Spring in Atlanta. Those of you that are familiar will know what that means— pollen, sure. But also a daily discovery of something new blooming. Azaleas are in full force. Dogwoods, redbuds,  pear, and all of it changes the ride to work daily. It’s gorgeous. A gardener’s delight.

And then there is the yard. That lovely thing we wanted so badly. A lot of it is our impractical procrastination of things. We didn’t have a lawn mower before the rains started. Now we do. And it is still quietly locked up in the barn waiting for the rain to stop. Our yard is over a half a foot tall of weeds that are really thriving in the mists and fog and rain of the past week. I’m beginning to wonder when the county is going to fine us for having an unkempt front yard.

And the secret garden? Even after removing several dead trees and about a ton of unwanted privet— it’s still very secret and is going to be a complete beast to control. Seriously, there are ivy vines out there thicker than my wrists. We can swing on them like Tarzan.

So real gardening may not happen for a while. Sure, when the weather allows we may slightly tame some of the tendrils and tidy the wild. But the wait is real and the rains keep coming.

My cat-ological clock is ticking

ImageSo, it’s high kitten season in the South right now and the pictures and videos that have been sent to me lately have me thinking that it may be time for another little furry beast in mine and Carter’s life. I spoke at length about this with CK (Carter Kitty) and though he seems a bit resistant now, I think I can wear him down. Unfortunately, showing him video of the close-eyed, smush faced kittens did nothing to sell it to him. I’m still working on the marketing of the idea. Perhaps if they come in salmon flavor? No, I can see problems there too. Anyway, if I’m thinking it AND writing it, trust me, that means something may be happening soon.

 

September rush

Well, well, well. What do they say about the best made plans? Right. So, about Mid-July, I was having a fairly good time of it while running and boom! Bursitis. Anyway, for those of you that have had it, you’ll understand that my imminent 5K plans were post-poned. However, I’m back in the saddle (or hitting the pavement) and am finding that balance of pushing myself and being realistically gentle. Eventually, mind and body will be in harmony. I look forward to that moment. I did sign up for another 5k that is at the end of September and this one promotes literacy — so really, that’s more my cup of tea anyway.

And, I’ve been insanely busy. Probably will continue to be insanely busy. However, I spent a gorgeous Labor Day weekend with friends. Some of these friends even reminded me that I need to be writing. So once again, here I am and at least trying to give you some words now.

If I were a good and true blogger, I’d relay the downward spiral that took hold of me when I was forced (after only just getting acquainted with my physical self) to be stagnant. Mentally, it was exhausting to try to tread those pitfalls.

Oh, and since everything is ultimately about words and what we do with them, I did go to the Decatur Book Fest this weekend and found a copy of Murakami’s book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I’m curious and looking forward to see how one of my favorite all time authors sees the mind body connection. Maybe I’ll learn something from it? Will keep you posted.

In the meantime, here’s hoping for cooler climes to do outdoor things. Whether it’s running, strolling, swimming, lounging on a hammock or just smelling the shift of season — enjoy it! Soon soon fall.

October — a.m

As I exit the bat cave in the morning, it is a bit darker now. Sunrise is in progress over Mary Mac’s parking lot and the sky gives me a rosy glow. I wish for a camera, but something about it is so personal, so perfect, I’d rather not share.

Everything is darker now (in part due to the re-paving of Myrtle). It’s my last few moments of quiet, that short stretch of pavement. As soon as I take a right on Piedmont, the rest of Atlanta begins catching up with me. It’s nice. It’s coffee weather. Sweaters are needed for more than just my climate controlled existence in a building. I know it’s time to add another blanket on the bed and set my alarm clock earlier because fall mornings take longer to start. These are the last shreds of summer, still slightly green in the trees.

I wish I could wrap it all up and keep it for the frenetic and frenzy. Just writing it down to savour later.

Fireflies

Recently, on a walk with my god daughter, we both became enthralled with the occasional flicker of lightening bugs. I keep meaning to go on a firefly expedition with her. We all have memories of capturing them in jars (and hopefully letting them out before too long). I have cousins that would try to make glowing rings out of them — cruelty seems so innocent in the guise of discovery.

So, this morning, I was happy to see an article in New York Times about the complicated life of a firefly. It claims they live for 2 years underground and then average only 2 weeks above ground mating. That fact alone amazes me. And their larvae glow. There are more males than females. The desired males, get this, give protein gifts upon mating! I love that. “Here you are, have some food to help your stamina.” Such grace and practicality in their passion.

Maybe my soul mate escaped from the bottom of a jar one summer day? His promise of sustenance fading away, seeking his own kind. Ah the glow — if only I’d understood in time.

Enjoy your summer spectacles.

More from southern bliss

Sharing some albums with you all. I had a great trip back to my parent’s home and ate too much of my mom’s superb cooking.

April at the Cat’s Farm
April at Cat’s Farm Continued

Energy burn

Maybe I do need children after all? No, that’s silly, I can borrow those too.
Saturday I worked at the library, longingly looked outside at the lovely day that was shaping up. After all that pent up energy, I thought it wise when released back into the world to head to the Howard-Barrs and disturb their Saturday plans. I found Darryl in the yard making home improvements so I borrowed gloves and a t-shirt and tried to help out. It’s a major drawback of apartment living that you have to borrow someones yard in order to get really dirty.
After that I borrowed Lori and Heather and Mendy for some diner and drinks at the standard, the Highlander. Mendy and I noticed that it is about to celebrate its 17th anniversary and I believe she and I have been there for all 17 of those years. We ended the night with chocolate and laughter that went on until 2. Very fun and I am ashamed to say that I slaughtered any chance of Mendy being able to enjoy Twilight with my not too kind candor. My cheeks hurt the next day from all of the hilarity. As I told Mendy the next day, those are some wrinkles I’ll enjoy.
And now my work week begins and there is bad news in my adopted country of Italy. It doesn’t seem that the earthquake hit Florence, but still send good thoughts to those impacted and debris lifting vibes to those lending a hand.

aerialists

There are Native American beliefs that hold that certain birds should be called upon when a shaman asks the gods for aid on behalf of mortals. This has something to do with the fact that the pewee, hawk, flycatcher and martin do not miss their prey. I like to think it is also, at least for the martins, because they are fantastic fliers. The “heavens” are their playground and they love to let the featherless below know that.

An unchoreographed dance plays out over your head here at the farm. Swallows and martins circle and dart. Mom and dad love watching them show off. Between the birds, the green, the cats and the breeze, there is constant movement and entertainment. So this morning the birds are swooping low. Dad says it feels like rain, but it doesn’t look like it. I think the aerialists are telling me something. Coming down so I can send a wish to the gods. Look after these people, look after this place.

Until I return and after.

a Southern Spring morning

After long absence from a Spring day in the deep South, I’m contemplating memory vs. experience. In Atlanta, Spring arrives with some displeasure. Obviously it is a gorgeous display of dogwood and the re-greening of a well treed city; but it comes with pollen and sinus infections and Elmer Fudd-like mating rituals. How to show off a pedicure and sandals while also blowing your nose with blood shot eyes? These are arts that escaped me, but I did love the bloom time and the long pause before the brutal heat and gritty sweat of Summer.

But here at the cat’s farm, Spring’s best performance by far is in the pecan trees. Pecan trees, for those of you who don’t know, have a great spread, much like the live oak, but with thinner limbs and lighter-toned leaves. (Pecan trees also don’t litter all year long.) And in the Spring, the color is almost lime. Protoverus is a made up word that may embody the green that they are. A first truth. (Primavera is too easy on the ears and already around.) The visual impact of an entire groove is stunning.

Back to memory vs. experience. Naturally, I always looked forward to these few weeks of intense green. And yet, 2005 being the last Southern Spring I witnessed, I’d forgotten how much this simple repetitive hue embodied the season for me. And now I’m here again in the midst of it, for the wrong reasons (or maybe the right ones) and I have to just say, thank you.

Dad is doing fine now. My biggest wish is this will be my family’s re-awakening of what makes us happy and what we have to do to obtain that.

And while I’m wishing, my rock (even a very distant rock) and my dear friend Michelle is getting a year older today. Happy birthday love and thank you for all of the wisdom your youth has afforded you. We all greatly benefit from your mind and heart. No matter how rough the water, you hold fast. Thanks for everything.

festa della donna

I’m late.

And very rushed. So, in lieu of words, here are some pictures of one mimosa tree near my apartment. Mimosa is what you give the ladies in your life. Turn back your inner clock and pretend it is March 8th.

Mimosa