Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lily and the Catnip

We now have a resident cat. She came along when my brother moved in. Not your typical cuddly kitty, Lily prefers to pretend she'd like to be patted, only to return the favor with a swipe or a bite. I've watched this charade enough to never fall for it myself.

Still, I like having her around. She sleeps a lot, being an older cat, and when she's awake she practices looking bored and above our silly human chatter.

The other day I found some catnip under a tree, that managed to survive the recent freezing temperatures. Catnip is a very hardy plant. It is often the last to disappear in winter, and the first to show leaves in summer. The old wive's tale is that cats aren't much affected by wild catnip, and only really like cultivated catnip. In fact, I once had a cat who jumped 5 feet to knock down 3 potted catnip plants, and ate them all down to the roots during the night. He did leave the wild catnip in the yard alone. We covered the cultivated plants (that were purchased to replace those he'd devoured) with 1/2 peck peach baskets to protect them until they reached a size that even he couldn't kill, and then he wasn't nearly as attracted to them.

So anyhow, I gave Lily the wild catnip I'd found by putting it in her favorite lounging area when she was elsewhere. As soon as she found it, she was transported to wherever cats go when they nibble on the plant. She savored the small sprigs for two days, at which point we decided she'd had enough. She's still looking for it.

While I was out looking around (i.e. walking off the feast) yesterday, I snapped a couple of pictures.

The first is the pond looking down from my sister's front porch. It is quiet and still, all of the fish, frogs, and turtles snuggled in for the winter. In a few months time, they'll need all of their energy to raise a ruckus of mating calls, and feeding. Then it will be a wild and crazy place. But for now, all is slumber.

Out on the trellis, the gourds we'll work on next spring and summer are drying. These are a different shape than what we've been using, and should make some interesting bowls and hinged caches. There are also 5 or 6 loofah gourds not in the picture. They are blackened and slightly shriveled. We'll need to peel them and clean them well to use them.

Lastly were my least favorite chickens. The black and white rooster is my arch nemesis. He follows closely, darting in for a good peck to the ankle if given the slightest chance. He runs along sideways, looking out of one eye, always watching, always nearby. He, more than any other, needs a little taste of hot water, parsley, and celery.

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

I **love** the photo of Lily! She has 'catitude'! Nancy