Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'll take Pansies and pumpkins, thank you.


There isn’t a whole heck of a lot to talk about lately except that Tuesday evening brought a trace of rain! Few drops of rain didn’t benefit us much since our 93 degrees yesterday broke a record of 91 back in 1939. A nearby town called Albemarle, home of Kelly Pickler, American Idol country star, had 97 yesterday. Lake Norman is twelve feet below normal and boats are in dry dock. The forecast looks dry for a while but the temperatures will drop in a few days, so I say bring out the pansies and pumpkins. Thinking and decorating in Autumn style isn’t easy until you can feel it in your bones.


After pushing dinner into the oven, I had about forty-five minutes to spare outdoors. When I see the largest feeder full of seed near the end of the day, that tells me something went awry. Not one bird could be heard or seen, except for a Cooper’s hawk that flew over my head and kept going, obviously not very hungry…


After all, it had a banner day, leaving behind two piles of Mourning Dove feathers. The feeder is still full as I write this. Second day in a row – full feeder. The large one is always empty by the time I get home from work!


A Carolina Wren saved my day and flew out from under the back deck where I’ve seen its comings and goings since last winter. Could I get a picture? Heck, no!

I hung around the pond for a while, still thinking and looking for something good to write about when I saw four large butterflies float by, over the pond, over the fence, and drifted into my neighbor’s yard down the hill. I had to know what the attraction was so I took off for those butterflies with camera around my neck, slipped on the pine straw on the way down the hill, landed gracefully on my backside, but I just had to say something, “Hey, come back here. Where are you going? My bargain basement butterfly bush isn’t good enough for you, eh?” Snobs, they are. I found the attraction. A very well established and huge butterfly bush, loaded with blooms, had been planted years ago in a low spot in the yard.

It’s no wonder they float by without stopping. There’s one bloom left on my sickly, so-called bush.

Then it got funny. Every time I hear it, I think, I’m going to punch the next person that says: “Mary Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?”




Impressive, huh? All were promising beauties a few months ago. Spider Wort didn’t have a chance. At this point. I don’t care. Let’em die.


There are still plenty to attract the butterflies but they don’t like me and my camera anymore.


In the middle of a brown, lifeless canvass I call my garden, the pink Zinnias have a little life left.


A few birds came back after a while. This one cranked its neck around to hear a Chickadee with a voice ten times is size. (May I suggest this is a……….juvenile goldfinch? I take that back. I don't know.)


It took a few minutes to remove my shoes and socks and to find a smooth rock on which to position my fanny. The Koi brushed by my legs and feet while I cooled down and felt relief…until I realized I left the camera on the porch step. I was too comfortable to get up.


Bel Bel, make yourself useful and go get mommy’s camera over there and bring it to me. (Of course, I didn't have my camera but these are the looks I get from her.)

Ten seconds later,


Well, Bel Bel? Where’s my camera?

Not until you g-g-get up and throw my hula hoop.

Bel Bel is not a cranky dog. It's the heat.


My ageing Chloe has been suffering the relentless heat for four months. Holding her face in my hand, I said to her, “I know it’s hot. We might not ever love Summer again like we used to but soon we’ll be painting pumpkins and planting Pansies! We’ll take walks in the neighborhood again and your teeth will chatter.” Oh, I hope so.


entoto said...

Oh, I hope so, too!

I would love to have a pond in my yard. I love, love, love hearing about yours.

Mary said...

Trixie, it's only October and I am already jealous of your snow! I know, I know, it will get old for you. But, snow on October 5th?

NatureWoman said...

Hoping you get your pumpkins and pansies real soon, Mary. Wow, the lake is 12 FEET low?! Amazing. What a weird year this is.

Anonymous said...

not much to post about? Coopers Hawk, Carolina Wren, House Sparrow . . . sounds like all kinds of things you were able to find!

Carol Michel said...

I hope you are okay after landing on your backside. When I do something like that, I stand up real quick and look around to make sure that no one saw me!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Mary said...

House Sparrow? Tom?

Anonymous said...

Oh, could Bel Bel be any cuter? Those cute lips! She's the anti-Chloe, isn't she? Kiss them both for me.

Juvenile goldfinch. Hmmm. Now I know you retracted the ID, but...if I had a Nerf baseball bat I'd clock you a good one while shrieking, Eee! Eee! I'm not nearly so subtle as Mon@rch. Besides, you sound like you could use a good chase around the yard.
House sparrow going into winter plumage. The males lose their black bibs and chestnut crowns. That's OK. You were distracted by hula hoops.

Ever waiting to pounce,

S. Chimp

Mary said...


I made sure the neighbors weren't home yet. It's the second time I slid into their view...LOL. That pine straw is very slippery, especially when it's bone dry.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Dang! You have to be quick on this blog! Buncha geeks!

Mary said...

Oh, God, It's a House Sparrow. Shoot me. I need to get my hula hoop aim aligned for the sparrow war.

Thanks Tom. Thanks lovely Chimp. I deserve a nerf bat on the head.

Mary said...

I forgot to say...LOL!

Chimp with a Nerf baseball bat. Priceless.

possumlady said...

Mary, guess what? It's 10:30 and it has started raining like my cats and your dogs! Looks like the cold front is coming through. Hopefully it will be in your area soon.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mary, your cute little pups always save the day and bring a smile to my face.

My old girl is so much happier now that it's cooled down. It's nice not to have her start panting as soon as she gets outside.

I saw on the NBC nightly news last evening about how extreme the drought is in the SE US. I'm keeping you in my prayers for more rain.

Unknown said...

Like Julie said you have to be quick on this blog. I always bring up the tail. You sure do put together a good story and pictures. gotta luv your little dogs face. So cute. And how about Tom being so discrete. House Sparrow!

Susan Gets Native said...

COOL air is coming, Mary. It was in the low 60's today and it's heading your way. That big dip in the jet stream is going to bring relief. I am willing it to be so.

Catherine said...

Beautiful photos Mary...
I love the cloud photo!

Catherine said...

Beautiful photos Mary...
I love the cloud photo!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I keep hoping the House Sparrows will somehow become darling Warblers! Our Carolina Wrens like under the deck too! Your zinnias look healthy. The butterflies will be back! They like zinnias too. No worries on the butterfly bush, it is still a youngster. Come next year you will have blooms and lots of butterflies. Plus saving a plant is good Karma! Chasing butterflies can be dangerous, be careful! Hope you are okay. Falling is one of my biggest "fears". No one knows how hard we work for those butterfly photos!!
Always the girls are so cute...heart stealers!
Happy New Pumpkin Moon!
Perfect day for pansies and pumpkins.
Thank goodness you have cool down. Now for rain.
Loved your essay.

dmmgmfm said...

Your dogs have the most precious, expressive faces. I just love them.

Jayne said...

I feel your pain with growing things Mary. It's been a really tough summer for sure. Fall is here this morning with a glorious 48 degrees!!!

Mary said...

Oh my goodness! I'm a mary gardening in charlotte--and its so funny to read your post, I've been trying to snap a photo of a C. wren today myself- Love your blog!

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

What a sweet puppy face. I love it. xo Nita

Mary said...

Hello, Mary T in Charlotte! I'm so glad you found me. You are welcome to visit here anytime - we can share weather woes. You are new at blogging - welcome to this wonderful place.

dguzman said...

I hope so too! I wanted to take a picture of our rain yesterday and send it your way!

JeanMac said...

I laughed at your "Mary, Mary quite contrary" woes but how would you like to be named Jean!I had to defend my name all of elementary school:)

Mary said...

Catherine, welcome! Now I'm off to see where you are!

Susie said...

Your pond sounds so refreshing. I'm sure all the wildlife find it a welcome spot to visit!
I'll be watching for your pumpkins and pansies post one day real soon!!

KGMom said...

Mary--even if the birds have fled, and the butterflies won't come by, you still have your wonderful pups hanging around.
My goodness, you still paint pumppkins? When my younger child left for college, I gave up all contact with pumpkins. Of course, I carved, not painted, and I had my fill of slimy seeds.
And the Science Chimp chumped you. I did have to giggle when I noted that the Science Chimp has actually changed her on screen ID to Science Chimp.

Annie in Austin said...

We'll all be happy when cooler air and rain refresh you and the girls, Mary - what a long summer you've had!

Our Octobers are usually pretty warm, and it doesn't look much like fall until late November. I've also found it hard to get in the mood for Halloween! I've learned to keep the pumpkins inside the airconditioning until the last minute, because they rot really fast here.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Larry said...

I've actually seen some pretty sharp birders fooled by House Sparrows before.