This is the new guy. His name is Pilot. Someday he will be a loyal and intimidating guard, defending Stegelburg territory. 
But that day is not today.
Today he will earn smacks from an indignant cat and try not to poop on the floor.

This is the new guy. His name is Pilot. Someday he will be a loyal and intimidating guard, defending Stegelburg territory. 

But that day is not today.

Today he will earn smacks from an indignant cat and try not to poop on the floor.

Yesterday, as I sat at the kitchen table, I looked up just in time to see a bold little mouse wander out from behind the washing machine. AND I DID NOT FREAK OUT.

Last year I planted two rosebushes at the bottom of the garden… but suddenly this year we’ve got three kinds of roses. I’m pretty happy about it.

MULCH CITY.

MULCH CITY.

C spent the weekend working in the orchard. Then he took this picture.
This is where fairies live.

C spent the weekend working in the orchard. Then he took this picture.

This is where fairies live.

The first to arrive

Tonight, as I stood looking out of an upstairs window I saw what I thought was a reflection from our indoor lights. When I realized it couldn’t be that, I wondered if it was the gleam of a far-off headlight from the concession road in the distance. But it wasn’t that either. It was the first of the summer fireflies. 

And he really did seem to be the first. I watched for a long enough to see his little light was the only one of its kind, silent and hopeful, drifting across the garden. He’s early to the the party, and I immediately thought of all the times I’d been early and awkward, wondering if I was in the right place and if anyone else would show.

They always did. 

image

SO MANY THINGS.

The top photo is from a book of garden plans. It shows a “potager,” with a mix of ornamental and edible plants, arranged to create something both practical and aesthetically pleasing. 

The photo below is the beginning of our own version of this, built on the shape of one half of the illustration. 

C found the path stones through an online marketplace. They were a thrifty score at only a $1/ea.

Stegelbirds 2014

These are some of the “new” birds we’ve seen this year:

Yellow Warbler (left) - We have more than a few of these little ones. They’re tiny and bright and fast. So fast, we thought they were goldfinches just because all we could see was yellow. They are very fond of the bird feeder, but whatbird.com says they’re also fond of willow-lined streams. Hey, we’ve totally got that.

Brown Thrasher (center) - We love these guys. When we first noticed them, we thought they were lady cardinals; their brown colour is oddly vivid in the sunlight. It was their long, slender bodies and tails that made us suspect we were wrong. These birds are fearless, often swooping by our heads or running along the ground, looking for snacks, even when we’re quite close. Whatbird.com says they can vocalize 3000 distinct songs and have been known to attack people and dogs to defend their nests. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (right) - THIS BIRD. In flight, its colours are so crisply differentiated, it looks like stark graphic design. It’s stunning. And the one we’ve got (or one of them) is such a charmer. One day, we watched him eating. He would take a bite of birdseed and then stop and sing his heart out. Eat, sing, eat, sing. Whatbird.com says they like to live in overgrown orchards. CHECK.