August 2021 Kitties, Amaranth, and Tomatoes

That might be the perfect August trio: kitties lounging on grass in the heat, amaranth getting top heavy with its reddish purple heads, and the lush, unbeatable tomatoes.

Above is Martin Frobisher (here is a post on his naming) and below is Sidney.

The crunchy grass is also a part of August. Below is Tiglet, being busy as he usually is.

He did stop to have a look, and below is just so you don’t miss the Tiglet / Tiger staring out of those eyes. This throwback to a wild look is particularly amusing with him because is the sweetest softest cat.

These cherokee purple tomatoes are an heirloom variety (what a friend in London tells me is called heritage there). They are so beautiful and flavorful and a distinctive flavor. I like the flavor a lot –but the color is what really gets me. The greener ones here are not quite ripe. Yum.

August 2021 cats! more news from Thomas’ house

I am pleased to say that I have some really lovely pictures of Thomas and his friend Squeak. Squeak is a fastidiously clean kitty –with her bright white fur.

I gave Squeak some treats. And she was very happy and cleaned my fingers for me.

Thomas was inside so I gave him a little snack.

But he was ready to go outside.

July 2021 on naming cats after historical figures

Many years ago, I named one of the cats Martin Frobisher. It makes for a long note on the vet records since they add my surname onto his full name. Sometimes when I am calling for him, I do shorten it to Martin, but for the most part, he is Martin Frobisher. Unlike the seaman for whom he was named, this Martin Frobisher is not much of a traveler. He is very much a homebody. Of the three siblings (Minnie is his sister and Tiglet his brother), he is the most conscientious about staying home. He has some very strong opinions though and is very willing to push his way around on a lap or chair to get things (people legs, people arms, other cats) exactly where he wants them. And I think to a certain extent his looks have turned out to match well with his name.

Martin Frobisher is a handsome cat, who usually looks like he has a lot of poise.

In this painting, Martin Frobisher’s trousers seem to take over. The present Martin Frobisher has some impressive back end covering too.
This picture above is from last year and to give him credit, he isn’t quite as fluffy this year as he has lost a little bit of his roundness.

I think there is a certain similarity in the attitudes captured by the images of the historical Martin Frobisher.

All in all, I think he has turned out to be well named.

You might notice in this late afternoon photo taken yesterday that the haze and smokiness from the wildfires in the west are affecting the skies in south dakota.

July 2021 kitty updates

The outside kitties have been so terribly hot in this recent overheated weather. They’ve been draping themselves in the grass. Sidney is very smart and goes under the hostas near to where the hose attaches. I think he rests on the hose when the water is going through it –keeping it a bit cooler under there. The inside kitties are happy about the air conditioning, which I had repaired a few years ago. I am happy about having it fixed too. I think I have used it more this summer than any summer before. The good news is that the heat seems to have broken a bit here and the weather is quite reasonable this morning (time for open windows in the house!) AND there is a decent chance of rain tomorrow –according to the weather reports.

Ok, on to the kitty pictures….

Minnie looking at the sunset.
Minnie stretched out in the lawn.
Martin Frobisher looking handsome.
My svelte little old man, Sidney.
And here is Dekker, the now-very-chubby, previously-stray cat. He is prancing through the lawn like a show horse. Of course he doesn’t realize how round he is.
Here is the handsome Cousin getting some morning cuddles.

And finally, here are a couple of very funny pictures of Vlad taking advantage of my having set this down on the overfull coffee table. This kitty update is a Tiglet-free post, but don’t worry, he is just fine with his talkative little self. He just didn’t show up for the pictures. I’m sure I will have plenty more pictures of him soon.

Vladimir, His Royal Silliness.

July 2021 rain, blooms, and bedding

I am attempting to get the plants bedded in with lots of straw to try to hold the moisture we do have, and it is taking me longer than I would have imagined since we are now past the 4th of July. I did get the massive strip between the south beds and the fence taken care of early in the season. This is the place the squash are all meant to go. They are planted on the far south side of this bed. Here is a picture I took from the upstairs window.

The bed only partly showing on the left edge of this picture above has tomatoes in it. Between that and the rudbeckia are (among other things) peppers, a couple of sweet potatoes and some broccoli. There is not much edible goods to the right of the walnut tree trunk other than the squash all the way at the far back of the bed. There is some sorrel in there, but it is a rather bitter variety and I don’t eat much of it.

I put this geranium here to see from the living room window, although the walnut tree trunk is good too.

I have this other geranium below in front of the other walnut tree. But I think I will be moving this one soon.

In the front of the house, the blooms are rambling around a bit. The phlox at the far edge of this picture are just the beginning of a massive patch. These are unfortunately growing in (possibly through?) the front steps.

This bed has lots in it including russian sage, a rose bush, gay feathers (that haven’t bloomed yet), day lilies, the firecracker bee balm (I know that is not what it’s called), cone flowers, japanese iris, snow on the mountain, and some naked ladies. And there is a nice white salvia in here that you can’t see at all in this picture because it is on the other side of the malva and cone flowers. Here is a picture of the phlox, just getting started.

Yesterday it started raining and really broke the heat. And then it rained on and off all afternoon and a good part of the evening. I am very relieved. Absolutely everything in the garden looks so much better today. It is also overcast and looks like it could rain today –and fortunately much cooler than it has been. The kitties are happy.

Tiglet, checking in.
Tiglet, always busy.

June 2021 kitties and hollyhocks

These light pink hollyhocks came from seed last year and they have returned very nicely. These are in a fairly protected spot between one of the walnut trees and the fence and I’ve not had to stake them so far. There were massive thunderstorms last night but it was thunder and lightening without any real rain. So disappointing.

The rudbeckia are still doing well –and this large clump in the bottom of the photo (below) hasn’t started to bloom.

Minnie above and Sidney below.

June 2021 moss rose and kitties

This moss rose (portulaca) is such a brilliant color. Crazy pink. I have it in a pot on the patio and it is really cheery.

The kitties have been extra cute in the cooler weather.

Minnie has been scampering and also found a new spot to curl up.

Milton (above) has the best of both worlds with some sunshine and some shade.

Sidney and Pretty have both found good spots.

Caramel and Vladimir snoozing together.

Tiglet being extra sweet in the grass.

Martin Frobisher and Tiglet, brothers together.

June 2021 Geranium /pelargonium, and some kitties

I have several geraniums in pots and move them inside in the winter and bring them back out in the summer. I do love how cheery they are in the winter, but I think some of mine might be reaching their age limit. I think I will take a couple of these out of their pots and see what is actually in good shape and do some heavy trimming. If I do it fairly soon they will still have a couple good months outside to recover from whatever I end up doing to them.

This pink one (above and below) was repotted last year.

This poor thing above needs to be released from its cage and its pot. I’m not sure what is happening in this one.
This white one is perfectly happy in the pot, but the top edge of the pot is disintegrating badly.

I just moved this deep red one, so I am trying to give it a chance to figure out which way it wants to go. I didn’t repot it, but took it out of a rather protected spot. The red is really deep.

This one has (obviously) a very different leaf and although the color doesn’t really show in this picture, the red is different than the other one.

Pretty is very happy about this seat. The evening sky last night almost looked like it might produce some rain, but it did not.

June 2021 roses, rudbeckia, and a kitty

I have several different rudbeckia in my garden. One my garden neighbor and I dug from a field and I am very pleased it has managed. I tried to have a look at some of the names of the different kinds –but there are so many it will take me a while to figure out which ones I actually have. In any case, they are quite spectacular and should go on for a while.

I was completely convinced that I had planted a yellow rose in my front bed near the bridal wreath spirea. It is definitely not yellow, but what a lovely color and so fragrant.

Here are some more pictures of rudbeckia–amazing when they are about to burst open.

Minnie is very happy about this cool grass that she found. It has been really hot here.

This white rose is blooming so much it almost can’t climb. And the poppies are sneaking over to this side of the garden bed.