Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Bit More

Just a bit of new action in the garden this week.

Click on any photo for a bigger view.

The verbascum has started to bloom. It's also known as mullein [mull'-en]. Pretty!

The allium (flowering onion) is also blooming. I had two, but one was dug up by the dog that lives next door. He dug clear under the fence over to our side. I found the bulb and replanted it -- I hope it comes up next year. Meanwhile, I've bunged the hole with empty flower pots, until I have the time to work in some chicken wire and refill the hole with dirt.

The columbine is in full bloom now. Here is one variety. There are some purple and white ones as well, which I'll photograph and post soon.

A close-up of the cranesbill/geranium. This is a Croatian variety. It's been keeping the bees happy.

Last year I planted this Japanese painted fern, and it's come back nicely. It used to be in the shade of the maple tree, but now that the maple has been replaced with the spindly little dogwood, its spot is not so shady. Fortunately, this fern can tolerate quite a bit of sun.

Out front, I stuck in some pansies and a plant that I bought on an impulse at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden shop: Diascia. Also known as Twinspur, it comes from South Africa and is related to the snapdragon.

Mitsie's World

The big news in Mitsie's world is that yesterday evening, she caught a bird. She caught it and she ate it.

I poked my head out the back door to check on her and ask her if she wanted to come in, and she gave me one of those "Leave me alone, I don't want to come in!" meows that told me she was up to something. I looked over the railing and saw that she had already disemboweled a small, yellow-headed bird. This was disheartening for a few reasons. First, it might have been a goldfinch or some other rare visitor whose numbers are already dwindling without Mitsie's help. Also, I'd already fed her, and here she was having a second dinner -- so much for her diet.

Last time she had a bird in her clutches, two years ago, she rather fumbled the play. I came downstairs one morning after my shower to find little feathers scattered everywhere. I thought, Did Mitsie tear up a pillow? I had left the back screen door propped open, so as I didn't see Mitsie anywhere indoors, I looked in the backyard.
I found Mitsie in her secret spying spot behind the lilac bush, with her paw on a sparrow. The bird wasn't moving, and I assumed it was dead. Mitsie wasn't trying to eat it; she was sniffing it and gently touching it with her paw, as if to say, Look what I have! Isn't it nice? And it's mine!

After a few minutes, she sauntered into the house, looking very queenly -- she had just proved her mettle, I guess, and moved up a rank. I went in the backyard to look for any remains, and the bird was completely gone. There was no sign of it. I decided that perhaps the bird had been stunned and flew off (though with a lot fewer feathers than it started out with that day.)

Last time, I found the whole thing really gross; suddenly Mitsie seemed like such a beast. This time, even though she ate every bit of that bird except for the tail, I took it more in stride. It's not that different, after all, from her eating ground-up chicken that comes in a can. Except that she caught it herself. And eating it involved some work: it took her 20 minutes to pick apart the bird, while she generally polishes off her canned food in about 50 seconds.

At any rate, it's time to put her collar back on, the one with the bell. She runs whenever she sees me with it, so I'll ask Robert to do it.

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  1. A Garden Grows in Brooklyn sounds like the title of an epic novel! I enjoyed looking at your photos and keep up the good work.

  2. Hi,love all the pics on your blog,I too am a cat keeper,also a dog and various tropical fish(indoor aquarium).