Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Flowers and cats and frogs and birds, oh my!

So many things in one post!!! First, Steve's thrilled his (actually mine, but I'm terrible with houseplants) African Violet has finally started blooming again. It hasn't bloomed in ages, just a lot of green leaves. You can text him to give him pointers if you have his cell number! 

Jon got out his dad's birthday present. Moses wasn't as impressed as he was last year, mostly cuz he was alone in it!! 

 Mittens seemed to tolerate it for a while with her new two legger. .
 Maxwell T. Silverstone, however, was in bliss. A breeze, a safe warm haven, and a human to purr on top of.
This annoyed me. Jon thought it was a bag hung up on a tree, it was gone a few days later. Whatever it was, it does not belong out there floating around. 
Lovely lady bugs are everywhere. 
 This is the Lazuli Bunting Jon saw three of. All males waiting to stake out spots for a female. The girls are definitely going to be a lot more difficult to find, as usual, the guys are best dressed.

Saturday Jon went up to the Mountain Ranch. It snowed briefly, he saw numerous turkey and deer, and a lot of frogs. 

On Sunday, Jon was doing something outside while hummingbirds visited the feeder. The Rufous was fighting with a Calliope! Thankfully, Jon got photos of them visiting at different times. 

 And now we've come to the end of April 2019's posts!!!!! I leave for Alaska in a couple of weeks, so a mixed bag of photos will be forthcoming.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Eventually Hopping Away

This month of April we've had those 136 different kinds of weather in 24 hours that Mark Twain noted ages past. In one of the lulls on Friday, I decided it was time to remove my hops plant. I don't want to toss it out, it is such a lovely herb. Dangerous, aggressive beyond belief, unknown, but lovely! A much missed Tillamook friend and I brought plants back from Imbler (maybe?) and I put mine in a bottomless container. You can see in this very early photo of the yard where it is waiting to be put into the earth by the pink tub. (2009) It didn't take long to establish. 
June 2010, this plant has taken off! Every year it needed cut back to the base. Jodi trimmed on Tex's side, Steve and I trimmed on ours. 
Sometimes it seemed to not be quite as vigorous, it was biding its time! This photo below is from August 2011. 
 Eventually, it was everywhere. By 2014 no one was entirely fond of it, but I still didn't want to get rid of it. I do like the flowers,  they smell heavenly! A small plant I'd separated out for Tex didn't stay in her yard long and my host plant didn't seem to mind having been divided one bit.
 However, looking at the yard and the work involved in controlling the creature, it was time. So, I decided to attempt removal during a break in the April rains. Thankfully, Jonathan came home from work to apply more leverage and weight than I could.

 I had hoped we could pull it out with the bobcat and it would still be sort of in the pot. Not a chance. It had broken through the pot, a million giant roots were everywhere, and a good portion of the root ball was still firmly entrenched by the time it commenced raining again. I'm hoping it can finish being removed as soon as possible. I have a honeysuckle I'd like to move in. Also vigorous, yet less dangerous. Except for the stinging insects!

 It has grown under the very heavy pink bathtub and might even be veering off into what is now Jodi's yard. I'd not be surprised. The thing is almost an Audrey 2! Thankfully, most of the injuries it leaves end up as small scars instead of entire bodies being consumed. I'll need to be diligent about picking up bits of the hops plant, each one will most likely root!
 After the digging and rainstorms, we (and most of Oregon, it appeared from the pictures online) were graced with a beautiful double rainbow. A sign and a promise in the midst of mud and change.