Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Road

I try to walk the road in front of my house as often as possible, and always travel the same mile of road. One reason is health, but another is identifying all the native or invasive plants that grow along the road. What I've discovered is, given a chance, the natives survive in spite of all the completion from imported garden plants.

This week I snapped two native wildflowers: bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and a yellow dogtooth violet, also known as trout lily, (Erythronium americanum) along one shady bank. Another wooded bank is covered in Vinca minor, an imported ground cover known locally as periwinkle. The house it once surrounded is gone but this invasive plant has covered this ground and now the small native plants are gone.

The bottom photo is a pond with some leftover cattails. I found it an interesting spot, the deep snow and ice of winter finally melted but last season's cattails still standing tall.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another Cat

Okay. So our kids are ready to commit us -- way too many cats. But what do you do when you find one like Jack wandering around town starving? We brought him home after learning he had been out all night in -20 degree weather. He's been indoors for three weeks with no desire to go outdoors. Actually, not much desire to move, period.

We were quite worried we might have to have him put down. He scratched and bit if you tried to pick him up and we have grandchildren and other cats to be concerned about. We couldn't just drop him outside again, which meant we might have to make a tough decision.

What we didn't know was Jack suffered frostbite along with a respiratory infection. If you look closely you can see portions of his ears are missing. The tips fell off.

Three weeks of guarding his food bowl have paid off. He is starting a nice plump profile. His temper is also starting to come around. He had a very nice inquisitive 'mew?' I still don't trust him, but he can be touched now, he even likes having his neck rubbed. He is less jittery and jumpy but goes to his hiding spot at any sudden movement.

Jack wasn't feral; somebody abandoned Jack. Maybe because of tough economic times. Jack may never recover. If you hear of anyone looking for a pet cat...