snake in the grass

Yesterday I was pleased to find a couple of garden-variety snakes, though I worry about them with the cat out in the yard. Most small snakes are defenseless against a cat. I spied one sitting atop a piece of slate at the edge of the parking area, it blended in so well I was surprised I even saw it at all. About that time the cat ran to me and it was all I could do to make sure she didn’t see it, I hoped it would remain still. I pushed her towards the steps area of the yard and she ran off to another area of garden. A few minutes later I went to that area and found another snake, apparently somehow unseen by the cat, remaining as motionless as possible atop the daffodil greens. How do they hold still that long? I checked on both of the snakes about 5 minutes later, and they were still in suspended motionlessness. I went on about my business. I marveled at the red-tipped green leaves in the garden on the crabapple tree right next to some Japanese blood grass, and just on the other side of the tree the yucca has shot up a bloom stalk. The leaves are important as the blossoms. Garden zen, except for weeds I keep pulling, all things give me a spiritual boost in my garden.

It’s amazing what a couple of years can do in a yard that was covered in rubbish and Johnson grass. By no means is this place a show garden but my hard work is starting to pay off. The yard can take care of itself in a few places, truly an aim here. I have divided a few plants so many times that I now have color in many places, and though I would like different varieties am still pleased that what I have has grown. The lamb’s ear and purple salvia mix with the striped grasses and artemesia. The Japanese iris are almost ready to bloom and columbine blues still blow back and forth over where the bluebells have all but given up their place to the green leaves of the lilies. The bushes are now hidden in their leaves. Seeds I planted are vying for their place in the sun. There is a lot of vegetation growing.

Yesterday my friend (Darlene) brought some coriander and dill, peppers and tomatoes, and stopped by today with cucumber, eggplant and onion sets. She was looking for rosemary for me (wasn’t that nice?) and brought me all this other stuff. What a sweetie she is to do so much for me. She brought me an armload of papers yesterday and today’s papers which I can relax with later today. I worked a little outside this morning, having just stopped when she got here, not wanting a repeat of the emergency room visit from last week, I am doing no more than a 45 minutes at a time. Not much I can accomplish like that, but a little is better than nothing, I suppose. This year I try to plant a little each day. Basil seeds one day, a few plants the next. It will get done, just more slowly.

I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t feel much like it, though I did do a collage and anagram. Figured I would stuff it into today’s entry. The collage contains a single anagram, “Felt that I use Chinese dragon in allusion, I wait a lot, how is family.” Consider that done.

Today’s collage made me laugh because yesterday I did not post, feeling I had nothing worth posting anyway. Wouldn’t you know, when I saw the cartoons of the day, I would see that no matter how dull my life is, it shows up in the comics. What do I mean?

I also had to laugh at the snakes in today’s Buckles comic strip, not only because of the snakes in the yard here but because a news article about unsightly tall grass in yesterday’s paper which also mentioned snakes. The city is out to get unsightly yards under control, according to the article:

Besides being unsightly, overgrown lawns can attract things like snakes, Hoffman said. He told about a woman who was enjoying sitting on her porch when she saw a large black snake that had slithered over from the neighbor’s tall grass.Tall grass also can harbor rodents, and national health officials have warned for several years that overgrown grass is habitat for mosquitoes, some of which could carry the West Nile virus.”

Well that was just a coincidence, but I also had to laugh. Don’t rodents generally get eaten by snakes or cats, so wouldn’t that make the snakes a good thing? Maybe the woman had rodents and the snake was just coming over for a look-see, to help out. Some folks just don’t like snakes. Some tall grass is a good thing, especially if you want to encourage the likes of turtles and such, something I like to have around, but I doubt anyone around here wants a natural habitat. Yes, some homeowners never touch their waist-high grass, but let’s not say the snakes need to be chased outta town, either. The snakes in my yard have a preference for sunning themselves on the rocks, manicured garden areas, slate, and flowers. I am amused by their presence in the yard, but surely they slithered over from the neighbor’s tall grass. If snakes like tall grass so much why would they hang out where there is none? They don’t sit in my ornamental grass either.

As for the West-Nile virus, dead birds falling from the sky on a downtown sidewalk aren’t necessarily coming from the tall grassy areas. I doubt that’s where all the mosquitoes hang out.Yes, culex mosquitoes start the process and, according to the Indiana State Dept of Health, “Culex mosquitoes breed in places like ditches, open septic systems, discarded tires, unused wading pools, and other assorted containers, particularly if they are in the shade. In urban areas, many sewer catch basins can be found holding not only water, but also thousands of Culex larvae and pupae.” Sounds like water is another culprit, not just grass, but what do I know? It probably helps to keep one’s yard under control but I have a problem with threatening liens against homeowners. Maybe that neighbor could just use a helping hand.

It’s funny when I first moved to Madison one of the first things I bought was a t-shirt from a downtown store. On it was a large mosquito with the words Got Blood? I guess I have a weird sense of humor. I also occasionally cut down the neighbor’s tall grass. He hasn’t touched it in all the time I have lived here, but part of my being tells me it’s ok to cut it now and then.

Today’s collage contains blogging about nothing, some snakes in the grass and even a goofy reference to socks hanging off of drawers. Yesterday, with no place else to put the laundry I had to take off of the clothesline because of rain, I had socks hanging off of drawers in the kitchen so they could dry. Mundane but relative. Life and art are often difficult to tell apart. It must be an alien conspiracy or something. 😉

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