Tuesday, June 17, 2008

School's Out so Watch Out


This is not my house. I saw this in my community on the way to work this morning. Whether it’s a prank from a bunch of good or bad kids or a gesture of friendship, I don’t know. What if, by freak of nature, we had a rain shower last night? Wet, spongy Charmin glued to my front porch wouldn’t make me happy. No, I don’t think it’s funny at all. I learned from a police officer friend that it's common in North Carolina to have your house rolled this time of year and sometimes it’s a gesture of friendship. A sign that someone really likes you? What???

We lived in Delaware for three years before moving to North Carolina and when school was out, our mailboxes were destroyed in the middle of the night or our mail was carried to an address on an adjacent street. A crime. Do you remember an ad on TV, “It’s 11:00 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” Obviously there are plenty of parents who don’t.

This three-week long heat wave is making me cranky so I’ll lighten up and show some photos.

These blooms are the best I have. Believe me, there’s stress on garden life here. Not pretty.



This rose bush needs deadheading enough to reduce its size in half. We’re supposed to have a cool down this week so I’ll work on it and a few other outdoor chores I’ve been putting off.



There is Grackle or Starling poop splattered on the face of this sunflower growing under a feeder station so I made the best of it. Bunnies are nibbling them to the ground.


The bird situation is something else. I’m serving safflower tomorrow in hopes the gangsta birds will spit it out and leave. Last year, they acquired a taste for it but I didn’t have so many of them. Titmice, Cardinals, Brown Thrashers and Chipping Sparrows are constantly being bullied and I haven’t seen woodpeckers, Chickadees, or Carolina Wrens for weeks. I miss them. It’s been a depressing ordeal for me. I try not to look at the feeders often.


Overheated. Always arrives when it sees me, expecting suet, nuts, and grapes like the good old days.


Mourning Doves are slimming down.


They’re too skittish. I held my breath, tried to focus quickly and quietly without moving a limb, and this is what I got.


Lucky shot just before sundown. Thank goodness for photo editors!

Maybe in a couple of days I’ll rise from this gloom and return wearing a smile.



Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can't believe the children are so bored already that they are tping the neighborhood.

Your garden is so lively with all those gorgeous blooms and birds.

KGMom said...

In our neck of the woods (of course one must say "our neck of the woods" when writing about papering the trees!), the TP comes out for seniors. Our house was hit TWICE when our daughter was a senior. Or was it our son? I don't know.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I dont' find it funny either. I'd be furious if my kids did that.
I wish I could send you some of our cooler weather and rain.
Hang in there May!

NCmountainwoman said...

You will be fine, Mary. A good steady rain will breathe new life into everything, including you. Meanwhile, those are very nice pictures.

What photo editing do you use?

Mary said...

Carolyn, I use the editing software that's include with Kodak Easyshare. I don't edit most of my photos but the hummer needed help :o)

Lisa, I think the kids are bored with computers and text-messaging. Isn't that a wild thought?

Donna, your house has been rolled? Funny :o)

Lynne, there are silly pranks but I think rolling a house is destructive. If my daughter did that I'd be furious, too. Hmmmm... now I'm wondering if she did...

Carol Michel said...

Hi Mary, your flowers look wonderful considering the heat and dryness. Hang in there, someday it will be cooler and it will rain.

I would not like that TP in my trees. Would. not.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Steve Buser said...

Really great shots. Your lens is as good as your eye for the shot.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary, the blooms you shared are gorgeous. I do hope you get rain soon.

The hummers here are so fast right now and they are sparse. I haven't gotten a good picture yet. You did a great job capturing your hummer.

Anonymous said...

In my Wisconsin youth, TPing was the prank of seniors (high school, not senior). Frankly, kids are the reason I'm not having kids.

Your garden's looking great as ever, though, and you're still getting the birds. But will we ever get rain again? Argh!

Anonymous said...

Where I grew up in Texas, TPing was a sign of respect and admiration. Only the best football players were TPed -- coaches too. And, I'll point out that was WELL before computer games and text messaging. :)

Susan Gets Native said...

Snap out of it, girlfriend. Go over to my blog and look at brand new babies.

I can't believe I am admitting this, but I was one of those kids whose parents never knew where I was. I have TP'ed.
Why do kids do it?
I have a very easy answer for that one:
Kids just do shit.
Shit for no reason.

Mary said...

Mary sorry I havent been to visit for a while. Hope you get some rain soon for the garden We have plenty here!

Beth said...

oh Mary, Mary, drought, heat and gansta birds. It's enough to make a person settle down in the AC with a season of OC on DVD (that was a joke, my daughter's home and watching too much OC on DVD).
Even under bad conditions your pictures are lovely, I especially liked the hibiscus.
Keep your chin up.

Kerri Farley said...

We are seeing a bit of a cool down here and we finally got some rain. I hope it is cooling off a little for you and that you get some much needed rain soon!

Your flowers are still lovely and the shot of the hummer is FABULOUS!

PS - I would not be happy if my kids did that TP thing!

Jayne said...

It feels glorious this morning! 57 degrees...ahhh! We're feeling the heat stress too Mary, so you're not alone. I've all but killed my pretty hibiscus trees. They apparently don't like being on the hot deck, and I can't seem to keep enough water on them. :c( Feeders have been quiet too. Too hot to even eat maybe?

Rose said...

Mary, I thought you said you weren't a gardener--your flowers look lovely!
When son #2 was in high school, tp-ing was very popular among some of his friends. We got hit several times. It was a pain to clean up, but not as bad as some of the things kids would do.

beckie said...

Mary, kids do that here around Halloween. Better than getting your house egged! If this is the worst they do, I'm not to worried. They've got to let off a little steam now and then-but I much more aid back now that I am old. I think your flowers look really good considering the lack of rain. And 2 hummers-yeah! Have you been reading Julie Z. She has some distressing news about Zick dough.

Annie in Austin said...

As Liza said, in Texas it seems to be a mark of honor -especially for those in sports. But it's still a pain, especially when the kids pick the house next door by mistake! Our soccer playing neighbor was supposed to be the honoree, but it was our house that got the toilet paper.

BTW, you said 'rolled' but my Divas of the Dirt friends refer to it as 'Wrapping a house", which puts it in the decorating category.

For someone who claims to be a non-gardener you sure have some good flower photos, Mary! Hope we both get rain someday - it's very scary to have too much and very scary to have none.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary....don't understand this house stuff but hope it doesn't start here!!! Seems a bit crazy to me.......but then I am probably boring, thank goodness.

Don't be down Mary this time will pass....it always does. When you think of what else is going on out there, it is minimal. Gardeners and us in touch with the natural world, have these moments, we are only human after all.

Annie in Austin said...

I came back to give you this link to Jan in Louisiana, Mary - one more reason to keep an eye on your hummingbird feeder!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

Your flowers are gorgeous, Mary, despite the hot weather, but cropped close like this, they're vibrant and summery.

I got tp-ed a few years ago. Not funny. The kids were heading to our backyard when our neighbor noticed them and they ran off.

Anonymous said...

I just loved when school was out but I can't remember papering anything like that! Looks pretty . . . well kinda if you are not the one cleaning it up!

Naturegirl said...

Mary I love your sense of humor!!
It's what makes us all come back for more!About the bird poop..I have it all over my hostas..under the bird feeder!

Now about the Charmin....I'd (((HATE)) that if it happened here!
bird poop and Charmin is what I'll remember about this post! tee hee!NG

JeanMac said...

Gosh, you do need rain, don't you. We've been getting high temps - the weeds are doing beautifully:)
Our son's little car was TP'd in Gr 12 - it was a red Honda - could barely see the color of it. Found out it was a bunch of girls

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Mary, these pictures are awesome. When we lived in Charleston, we had two Live Oaks in our front yard and one of them got toilet papered like this. What a mess. They meant to do the neighbor's house - not ours. LOL

Q said...

Dear Mary, Goddess of the Endless Summer,
I would send you some of my rain if I could, as I have had way too much!
The climate is changing.
So happy to see a couple of Hummers! Wonderful pics!
Let me know if the safflower seed works. Grackles are driving me silly too.
I so love your bee on the coneflower. Lovely.

Debbie said...

Mary, I'm sorry the weather is making you so glum. I get that way in February here in the northeast!

Regardless, your pictures are great, as always.

Hopefully you will have some rain and cooler temps soon. Hang in there.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Sorry I've been away (really BIG wedding in my family)(my daughter :-))--just checking back now to play catch-up.
When we moved here 15 years ago, one of the first welcomings we received was a mailbox bashing. Annually it continued, and for years, we replaced the box until, finally said, "no more!" When the mailman complained that he couldn't fit the mail into our flattened box we eventually bought a steel one and concreted it into the ground.
It seems a shame we spend (waste) so much time on bothers like this.
Do peole have so little other of interest to occupy themselves that they resort to vandalism for entertainment? Sad commentary on our society if it's accepted as that.
Hope your dry/heat spell resolves soon. I'd be playing in that hose, if I were you!

Anonymous said...

Mary, I know what you mean about the heat wave and feeling cranky. It's too early for this kind of heat. We need rain!

I would be very upset if my house was tp-ed. I've never heard of that happening around here except on Halloween night, as a prank.

Love your hummingbird shots, and your flowers look gorgeous!

Tera Rose said...

those flowers are gorgeous! I love the closeup of the hummingbird...

today, I was nursing my baby, sitting under a tree- and I looked up to see a rubythroated hummingbird staring at me...for a long while. I never saw him before- always his wife- and never to sit and stare....beautiful arent they?

TR Ryan said...

I have to second egretsnest - TP was a sign of favoritism in Oklahoma -- if you were not liked -- you got egged, instead. Some of us had to work to save for college - so no time to even contemplate who should get which.

Goddess of the Endless Summer - I love that. I imagine just one single bead of sweat sliding down your forehead and the rest is still utter perfection as you maneuver through the heat with grace, grit and that beautiful smile - fighting off the starlings and the grackles and fussing over big fat bird scat on your sunflowers. You are my Doris Day, my hero. I'm in love!

PJ said...

We need rain, too! Hang in there...we could be under water! (This is what I think when I feel gloomy in my world!) Those poor people right now! As fare as the TP thing...oh, gawg! But Your garden is still beautiful to me :)

Anonymous said...

Here in MN we call that T.P. {toilet papering} and is usually done at Homecoming in the fall. We've gone thru this several times, but not that high.
The garden pics of hibiscus and bees and butterflies, all the flowers are super. I looked at your pics a couple of times, savoring each one. Thanks!
Nature Knitter's Mom[Betty K]