Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Family" Pictures

These are our little friends, Bandy and Skeeter.
Bandy, the grey striped tiger cat, is 5 this year, having been born on cenquo de maeo (my phonetic spelling of May 5) in 2001. Bandy has lead a blessed life, always wanted and treasured, cared for by his mother until he was the appropriate age to come to our house and cared for by us ever since. He was "chosen": the only cat we have had the privilege of choosing as all our others were orphans and strays of questionable heritage and unknown pasts. Bandy is a neutered male but this is his territory and he will defend it.
It is hard to get a good picture of Skeeter. When she chose us it was evident she had lead a difficult life and she looked like a little kitten but our vet, Dr Marling, assures us she is probably a year old but very petite. Skeeter weighs less than 5 lbs: Bandy weighs a svelt 15. He is a big, beautiful boy.
Skeeter is getting to know us. She isn't much for being held but she does crave attention and, besides being a very excellent mouser, she will actually eat leftovers! This is a trait not shared by the pickier members of the family. Skeeter has been spayed and had her shots since we took her in so she should be well on her way to a healthier life. I would suspect there is a Siamese somewhere in her ancestry as she has the voice, more's the pity, and her frame looks Siamese - long and angular. We are trying to put a little padding on that frame and we are hoping to tame her to come in the house by winter. She's so tiny I'm not sure how she would fare outside all the time.
Bandy quite likes his little friend and she is rather fond of him as well. This makes welcoming Skeeter into our family easier. We are all for a "Peaceable Kingdom."

As life goes whirling by......

It has been a busy, busy time, balanced by unremitting heat.

Last weekend, (July 22 & 23) was Creston's Garden Festival which was wonderful as always: beautiful gardens, great artisan's market, music at Milleneum Park all Saturday, a play Thurs and Fri, but oh, so very hot this year.

This year's celebrity guest was Des Kennedy. As I am always busy with art shows, artisan markets, or you name it I generally do not get to tour the gardens. I did manage to squeeze in Des Kennedy's rather humorous presentation on "The Ten Commandments of Gardening: Who's breaking them and who's Not." That was Sunday morning, and then I spent the rest of the day sitting in Andrew and Anna Zelinski's lovely shady garden in West Creston telling people how to mount and care for their birdhouses.

Saturday James and I took part in the Artisan Market, which also took in the weekly Saturday Market. Every week I already spend 2 days baking for the Saturday Market and with the heat this year it has been quite a challenge. Normally we are set up on the gravel lot, just north of Milleneum Park, facing North, and are only there 'till 1:00, but for the Garden Festival we were set up on the black top parking lot of the college, facing east, and were there until 4:00 pm. By then we were all pretty much cooked.

Four oclock was when they also held the umbrella auction. The umbrellas were paraded on stage by some of the local "Red Hat" ladies. People were so hot there was not enough participation and no bids were placed. They will regroup and re-examine that activity as they do have some lovely, high quality cotton canvas umbrellas painted by local artists. The auction was to benefit the local Arts Council and the Garden Festival, as well as the artists receiving a portion for their hard work. James did the orangy umbrella and was the only man who painted an umbrella. I wouldn't mind just keeping it, but it is for sale.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Our tiny princess

Here's a head shot of Skeeter. She doesn't pose well, and she may be looking at the baby swallow sitting on his house in this picture...
Whereas I thought she was only 4 or so months old, our vet thinks Skeeter is probably a year. She is a tiny wee thing, although she has really grown in the past month. We still need to get some meat on her bones, and she is trying too. She shows off with 2 and 3 mice a day and if they aren't shrews (which taste bad - to cats!) she eats the whole thing.
This has been a lovely week for wild birds. James and I saw a bobolink as we were coming up the driveway the other day. I remember my mother talking about them when we were little but I don't remember ever seeing one before.
Our baby swallows are flying and one little fellow has been sitting on the birdhouse where James could photograph him.
This afternoon as we sat on the deck watching a magnificent vulture circle overhead a catbird came along and "meowed" at us from the bushes. They are quite the handsome bird. When we were growing up in the old house just down the hill from where James and I built on top of the hill, there used to be a catbird who would seranade us from the thorn bush by the outhouse.
My dad used to work a crazy night shift at the saw mill and when he would get home just after 3:00 in the morning he used to enjoy the cat bird seranading him too.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Roses love Sunshine.....

They must also like long, cool, wet springs. Now, however, the weather is very hot and dry.
I need more hoses to drag to thirsty flowers.
This red rose is a Winnipeg Parks: very hardy, it only blooms once a season but oh the rose hips! Fall begins with many, many rose hips and over the winter the deer nibble them off. Something to go with my hen and chicks which they can find down under 6 inches of snow!
The other morning I was walking down to my mother's and sort of daydreaming about the Blaze Climbing Roses that have grown 15 or more feet off the ground up into her Silver Lace Vine, and suddenly I heard a little yelp - or bleat? A tiny, spotty fawn had nearly run into me. We studied eachother for a few minutes and then I went on to see if I could get my mother to the window to see him, and he went to find his mother and tell her about the monster on the driveway.
I was able to show my mother the doe hiding in the trees but baby was mostly obscured by bushes.
Tomorrow I go to town early to pay the land taxes and then I will go to the vet to gather up little Skeeter who has been there recuperating from being spayed. I hope she won't have found the whole experience too disquieting. When I put her in the cat carrier to take her in she fairly roared her disapproval of being caged, but having had kittens get up in behind the dashboard once, all cats travel in a carrier in my car.