Friday, May 6, 2022

A Cold April and May

It appears we are going straight into summer from a very chilly spring!

We have had rain since Wednesday... and... after one last cool day, today, we are to dive into the nineties!  

Too soon! 

Here are some pictures from around the place in the last few weeks...

I walked out on the deck and happened to look to the east one day and saw this! 
It is in about the same place where the maple that turns into fire every fall stands... but I have never noticed it before! 
(Could the big maple have been felled??) 

It was beautiful, and shown like a beacon for several days. 
Yes, I know it's probably a pear tree that needs to be cut... but gosh, 
it was beautiful.

Jack Flash is always around, always watching.  The other cats are scared to death of him, and I am not kidding.  He has beaten up Cleo several times, and she fears him.  I have to carry her food to her now. 
He comes on the deck about 4:30 AM, and curls up in the chair by the door. (camera)   At 5:30 or so, I haul myself out of bed, and go to the door, having filled the dry food bowl the night before.  He jumps down as soon as the door opens and eats his breakfast, and yes, he will let me pet him now.  He is the only one left not neutered... and I am working on that slowly.  The other males are gone (except Bullseye)... Yeller and Rusty are eating across the road at my friend's house now. 

The orioles are back, both Baltimore and Orchard. 
However... I could not feed on the deck as I did last year, so I have not seen them "up close and personal" .  Cats.  Cats everywhere. 

The feeder is way out in the yard, and after trying it on the shepherd's hook for a day, I moved it to the flat feeder that Ben built for me last summer.  

They will be gone in another week. 

Oddly, I have had the hummingbird feeders up on the porch for two weeks, and have yet to see a hummingbird.... also cats?  I wonder. 

I could move them down in the yard in the shade... and may try that, but the littles are everywhere.  The littles are Wanda, Coco and Bullseye, even though all are a year or over a year now.  They are all small and young cats.  They are also good buddies. 

Wanda and Coco playing on the trellis and fence. 

That is literally the cross bar of the big main feeder Keith built. 
No wonder I am not using much wild bird seed right now. 

I have to admit they make me laugh all day. 

The rainy cool days caused us to spend a lot of time inside. 

I have never grown sweet alyssum or lavender, isn't that crazy?  I had no idea that 
Sweet Alyssum actually smelled so wonderfully sweet!  I know it is spring-flowering, but, my goodness... it's wonderful!

I planted lettuce at the back of that planter, you can barely see it.  It did not 
germinate well.  The flowers in the front are all volunteers, so we will see what they are. 
(they look like daisy foliage) 

Here are more volunteers... Batchelor's Buttons, from the planter 
directly above them on the deck.  There is also catnip growing out of sight on 
the right.  I am leaving all these, they are doing wonderfully. 

There are pink versions around the corner there on the right. 
Serendipity, folks. 

The crazy thing is the planter is my "pasture flower" planter that was planted with a 
wildflower mix.  These were obviously seeds that dropped from it. 

On Monday, my young friend Ben stopped by to invite me to his graduation party. 
Any of you who have read this blog over the past year knows how Ben has helped me so much... he weed eats, does simple maintenance, builds, fixes... the list goes on.  I was afraid I had lost him forever, as he is working at the local bank this summer.  He reassured me that he will still work for me this summer, and I can't tell you how happy it made me! 

I have a list already. 

My local friends are so tired of hearing me talk about On The Hook. 
They are in about six states... if you have a chance to eat their fish and chips, try them! I am NOT a seafood lover, but I could eat their cod every day of the week, and believe me, the weeks I can hit the truck more than once stand out in my mind!

(My friend Gloria calls it "The Truck" and that is how I think of it now, even though there are many food trucks) 

They have the best tartar sauce I have ever tasted! 

I rarely eat more than a few french fries, but I savor every bit of the cod. 
I bought four pieces last Saturday (dinner comes with three) and ate every single bit. 

They are five miles from me this Saturday... I will be there as soon as I leave the Ag Hall. 

Speaking of the Ag Hall, we had our first Barnyard Babies Family Festival on the 23rd... and had a decent crowd after not having it for two pandemic years. 

This is not a very good picture, but you can see that people are starting to gather around the Southwest Dairy trailer to watch a milking demonstration. 

It was so good to see families enjoying themselves, and we had many, many animals there for them to see (and no, I did not get pictures, I'm so sorry) 

In the afternoon, I was the Schoolmarm in Island Creek School, and I invited kids to come up 
and draw on the blackboards behind the teacher's desk.  There are no blackboards in schools today, and it's a novelty to draw with chalk and erase what you have drawn. 
Unbeknownst to me... a young artist drew ME. 

My granddaughter, Paiton, was there helping me all afternoon, and she laughed and said 
"Grandma, turn around and see what is on the board."

I couldn't believe it!  She had actually captured me perfectly, and oddly enough... there was also a cat on the board to the left of me!  

I did not get her name, but she was very talented! 

Another young girl drew a city across the board... it was really something to see.  There is so much hidden talent in our young people. 

My little Zoey had to make a trip to the emergency vet on the 24th... she had a bladder infection, they thought.  She was on meds for over a week, and seems to be much better.  We go on Monday for a checkup with her own vet to make sure.  

She and Jester did a lot of resting up during the chilly week. 

This came up in my Facebook memories this week... Little Snowy in the haybarn, looking for mice. She was as dogged a huntress as is Zoey! 

How I miss her sweet little face! 

Here are the three littles caught by the deck camera.  They are together, many times, when I look outside. 

And to close... proof that there are still a few wildings around. 
However, I don't know whether it is because I am feeding MUCH less feed, or whether it's because I went to a cheaper feed, but 
I have nowhere near the number of wildings eating in the yard now. 

The cameras catch only one or two, not ten or eleven, as they used to. 

Last week, I had a raccoon strike during the day, and kill one of the silkies I use for education at the Ag Hall. 
I have not had that happen, though I have had coyotes strike in daytime. 
I have watched for a raccoon around the place... but have seen only an opossum hurrying home early one morning. 
I know it was raccoon.. it had pooped under the bird.  

And on that happy note... 
goodbye until next time, I am going to deliver some eggs! 



  1. we have had a cool spring which is about to end and i am not happy about it. i love seeing all the pics of the critters. i just ordered my husband a bird feeder for his birthday.

  2. You lead such a varied and interesting life, Mary Ann! And contribute so much to your community as well as taking care of so many critters, not to mention your own fur babies. I love the chalk picture the student did of you and especially what she wrote about you! Same weather going on here, chilly this week, which I love, and then 90s coming soon. My husband got the garden all cleaned up this week while it was cool and the few herbs and peppers planted that we still use but I think he's at the point where maintenance will be his goal from now on, not new garden projects. Happy Mother's Day to you; we have our two granddaughters coming in today with their parents for the weekend!

  3. Hari OM
    Do you grow the alyssum just for show or as a food crop ... you do know it can be added to salad, soups, omelettes....??? A fabulous round up again, Mary Ann - I always look forward to these after seeing all the images on IG! YAM xx

  4. You have some great volunteers this year!

  5. I threw some lavender seeds in a planter, am hoping they do something. I've never grown it before. OM goodness, the cleome sparkler's that grew last year have volunteered a million seedlings this year. Great to hear from you. We did our big bi-annual garage sale on friday and saturday. Next one is in October. We had the very best sale ever this time.

  6. We are doing the same here, chilly and raining all last week but now we're warming up. I may even have to turn the a/c on. I'm looking forward to the warmth and sunshine. And I hope you have a happy Mother's Day !

  7. forgot to say that this is ma from mostly known as ma


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