Monday, June 30, 2008

Words from the Yard Warriors...

  • Rain/ No rain. Sunday late afternoon it rained buckets at the university, and along the northeast heights, but not at all downtown or in the north valley. At least the weather was cooler. Temps dropped from the high 80s to 77/78 in the space of 90 minutes.
  • Gloria's yard: moving the yarrow, watering the garden, planting lettuce, weedingweedingweeding!
  • Second stalk of hollyhock bloomed. A smaller one. Lovely true red.
  • Caterpillars eating my petunia blossoms to shreds. Killed 2.
  • My tomatoes either have tiny yellow blooms, or the green bells I'm hoping will be blooms. I have never grown tomatoes. Gloria says they were originally Alpine plants, so they like constant moist soil. Somewhere I read that they were suspicious (not the cornerstone vegetable they are in the United States in the last 50 years). Do they need to be pollinated?
    "Our Vegetable Travelers" by Victor R. Boswell. National Geographic Magazine August 1949 Vol 96(2)

Hummingbird babies growing like weeds...

Vicki sent these Friday evening. Eyes open. Fully feathered. (Wonder what they eat?) She said that the period from hatching to fledging is only three weeks. That probably means they will be gone soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tiny dead praying mantis

Why or how is it, that I pass back and forth, retracing my steps two dozen times, and then on the 25th trip something catches my eye. I pause. And can't believe what I see: the perfect, tiny, dead carcass of a young praying mantis curled lightly on the edge of the banister, halfway up the stairs. I suspect that I inadvertently brought it in on a bunch of Catmint clippings. Whatever clumsy, accidental part I played (if I even did), I regret. I say a silent prayer that when and if I go on unexpected journeys/ adventures, I do not meet with such disastrous consequences. I am happy to report that there are at least two still clambering around in the garden out back.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bye Tux.

Amy just wrote to say that Tux died today--kidney failure.
Aw shucks.
He was a great cat.
UR cat.
Quintessential cat.
An affectionate head butt-er.
I guess I don't have any digital images of him. That's sad. He and Jasper always seemed to like each other. You know, that Tux had friends and family. He loved Uncle Luke. Come to think of it, he got along with everyone. He just seemed, ummm, well-adjusted. Probably more than any of the rest of us. I know we loved the heck out of him. And he was no spring chicken. (I feel sorry for Jasper.)

We kept them and stopped fostering kittens after their striped brother Leo turned up dead 'in the crib'. It was utterly traumatic. No matter what the vet said about that kind of thing happening from time to time (usually a malformed heart). We didn't try to give them clever new names, we just stayed with their given kitten titles. We were in Maple City on Trumbull Road. Spring of 1998? Dang, he wasn't THAT old then. ~10.

He escaped every now and then, and would show up on the front porch in a panic, screaming "Let me in!" But he didn't make a career out of it the way Buster did. And he didn't fall off the beam, bust up his face, and shed a few lives the way Sammy did. He wasn't drop-dead gorgeous like Jasper. And he didn't stomp around terrorizing the dogs the way Luke did. Tux-a-doodle. He always seemed to be smiling, expecting sunny days and a full food dish.

With his perfect white wing-tips.
Maybe you'll bump into Luke along the way.
Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.


Babies, Vickie shrieked...

Wednesday night, Vickie called to say that "Moma" was sitting on the nest funny. So while the brooding hummer was away, Vickie put up a ladder nearby and discovered that the eggs had hatched!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sari you are leaving...

Maria Manzanares-Sandoval is blowing out of Albuquerque this week--trekking off to the big city in search of fame, fortune and adventure. Her mother and friends gave her a splendid Going Away Party at a local Indian restaurant: Sari You Are Leaving.

Spendid Reproductive Activity

Waiting for Gloria to pick me up for work Monday, I had occasion to look at the flower stalks on the (yellow) red-tipped yuccas in the front yard. The plants have two different kinds of flowers on them (one stalk of each). ?!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

4 June 2008 - sentry yucca out front

First Week of June

Recently, our boss made us take a group photo for something. We were forced to arrange ourselves to be the number 15. (Then inside, we decided to do two shots to depict X and V ... grin). Anyway -- these are the people I work with at New Media and Extended Learning / University of New Mexico.

The last few days I've been walking out under the eaves of that nearby building to check on my friends the Barn Swallows. Oh my they are SOOOO cute!

During lunch I made a little collage. I have this long-standing love affair with the kiosks around campus... especially at the end of the semester when someone rips everything down and there are just enticing bits of faded Astrobrite with miscellaneous staple holes. I nibbled off a thick fist full the other day. So I spread them all out today & pasted some of them down.