Category Archives: Animals, Nature, Gardens

Effie among Grapes

Special Guest Star Halvor basks in the welcome sunshine on the patio. . . .

Effie enjoys a bit of shade near a chair.

Effie checks out a blackberry branch. She probably doesn’t mind that the blackberries have all been picked. Behind her are ripening Flame grapes.

Happy girl in a pleasant garden!

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Effie and blackberries

I took this photo last summer, of Effie slavering over the unripe blackberries she had been checking out. This year she has shown no interest in them at all, even when they were ripe. I think she does really cute things with her tongue.

Her cute look elevated my morale after reading the NOAA wildfire reports and predictions. It was a tad demoralizing to learn that I am not cut out for life on earth, but hey, I’ve had a fair number of decades to prove I am blessed with some kind of knack for survival–aka God’s preserving grace.

I have a wonderful husband, a compatible cat, a pleasant home, and a well-matched church. Smoke happens. I’ve been outdoors only briefly, to run up the hill to get any eggs our hens have laid, and down the hill to pick up our mail. I feel a little cooped up, staying in the house so much, and very ready to get back to fishing in the Snake River again. The fires have kept us from fishing for three whole weeks.

Like most nuisances, smoke doesn’t stay forever.

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Still no rain

The lightning-generated forest fires across Montana, Idaho, and Washington continue to plague Eastern Washington where we live. The smoke today is worse than ever. The original morning designation was “hazardous for the sensitive,” and was quickly promoted to “hazardous.” The 3,200-foot-high, red-brown basalt hills normally in view, continue to blend with the light-cloud-grey sky.

I think a homeowner’s best defense is a garden. Our indoor-outdoor cat Effie has an enclosed garden, Effieland, filled with green ground cover, grape and berry vines, tall corn and sunflowers, and a few poplars. I think these plants displace the compromised air with oxygen. It smells fresh and green, and easy to breathe. I am happy I don’t have to leave home today.

Even the UV filters in my camera’s lens are unable to compensate for the smoke screen that whites out the basalt hills.

Effie loves her green domain, Effieland, and so do I. My husband created the fenced area just for Effie and our garden.

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Effie’s refuge–Where’s the shade? In the grapevines of Effieland

Once again, it is 110° F in Effieland, and Effie is there. I call her and call her, but she is hiding very effectually. Finally, she  gives me a mew cue. I still cannot see her. I call to her again. Her mew is closer–under a dense grape vine, inches from where I stand. She is fine; the vine provides plenty of shade. She still will not come in. The grape vine provides shade and a fun place to hide out from her worried Mum.

We would probably all like to hide under a grape vine once in a while; Effie can actually accomplish it.

 

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As blueberries ripen

As our blueberries begin to ripen. . .

Effie evidently prefers the shade of grapevines. I honestly can’t blame her; Effieland is 106° F right now.

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Meeting new people

Who’s Effie looking at?

But of course! New friends every day!

 

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Effie in her garden of sunflower wonders

The first sunflower to bloom was bronze. . .

 

followed by yellow.

 

Effie seems to debate the virtues of it all; or, she could be tracking a bug.

 

Sweet clover grows above Effieland.

Effie devours a catnip leaf from my fingers.

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