Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Looking Out My Front Door

A teeny tiny lizard, out on his own, crossing the walkway in the courtyard after pumping himself up and down and up and down to make the effort, lurks on the stones.  The white butterfly, more than a moth but nowhere near flashy, is nibbling on the purple lantana, seven river rocks away.  It's hovering counter-clockwise, intent on drawing all the nectar out of that one blossom, seemingly unaware that it is being stalked.

The lizard is still, then leaps one, two and lands on the third stone, capturing the branch on which the butterfly had been dining, pinning the flower to the stone, while white wings fly in front of my window, landing on the safer lantana nearer the pony wall.

Such drama.
The scarecrow lost his head last night. I found it on the ground beside his knees as I retrieved the Sunday Paper (yes, it deserves a double capitalization; it's an institution and should be recognized as such).

I reassembled him and, stepping back to admire my handiwork, I wondered where the color went.  I know it "faded" but I don't know what that means.  Where is the color which used to be there?  Are there random orange molecules roaming the universe?

Yes, I really do think these things.  Most of the time, I even say them out loud.
I know that there is a bee crisis. Today's paper told me that, perhaps, it has something to do with diesel fuel emissions.  I don't know where they are looking, but it's not in my front yard.  I have big fat black bees colliding with the window in front of my face... colliding at an alarming rate.

The sunlight reflecting on the glass deludes flying beasties into thinking that they can pass through to the tree that's OOOPS reflected and not really there.  We get the outlines of all manner of small and medium sized birds throughout the year. The dust patterns are better than the brain matter which is occasionally splattered on the patio, a result of too much speed and a small body meeting an immovable object.

The bees aren't big enough to crash hard enough to die.  They bonk and then they retreat, unsteadily and often with an dramatic change of altitude, but they always fly away.
My plans to color coordinate my plants with the seasons never quite work out.  The pink and white vinca did nothing in the back yard this year so I moved it to the big container in the front last month.  It's much happier with more shade, a mystery since it's a sun lover, and it is flowering beautifully amidst the yellow and orange of the mums I bought for fall.

The gopher plants (Euphorbia rigida) I put in to act as a visual hedge between the street and our yard are dying in rapid succession.  It began with the southernmost plant, and has progressed, one by one, until now there is but one lonely remaining example on the south 40.  Termites have eaten up a flower stalk; the brown result is a sculptural marvel
It's a beautiful day and there is no one about. No walkers, no golf carts, not even a car.

There are times when I miss living in the city.
The bigger bugs and creepy crawlies are fattening themselves up for the winter.  Giant black beetles litter the pathways.  They make a sound I notice even without my hearing aids.  I saw a small, black rodent race into the drainage pipe this morning.  I wonder if it's the pack rat which has reestablished himself under my bougainvilla.  I suppose I will deal with him when I am back in town.  For now, I'm amusing myself by watching the detritus from my yard adorning his abode.  Empty six-pack-petunia-containers, giant wood mulch pieces, dead hersperaloe stalks.... I'd photograph it if I weren't afraid to confront the inhabitant.
In Chicago, I'd be mulching the beds and pulling up the remaining plants.  Here in the desert southwest, I am planting lettuce.

No, I don't know why you all don't move here... right now!

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