Garden: Feral Cat

feral cat 003

I call “her” Feed Me, our feral cat. She’s black as are most unwanted cats.  When she first came to our backdoor she was about half this size. She is pretty well-fed now.  She will come closer and let me stroke her back if there is food involved.

Halloween is approaching and I always fear for black cats at this time of the year. This reminds me that she must be about 18 months old because I had this same concern for her last year when she was very skitish.  I tried every method last year to catch her for her safety with the exception of setting an actual trap. She has done well outside, I hope it continues.

Garden Clean up: English Ivy

ivy tree 002 fig tree 001

This is the Fig tree today. It is pretty bare. Every year when this happens I tell myself I will clear the English Ivy away from it. The ivy is under the tree and One the fence. It is probably all that is supporting the old cedar fence which is invisible, completely covered. I’m very fortunate that they still bear an abundance of fruit. This year though one of the trees was not as bountiful.  I feel the ivy may have something to do with that.

“Fences make good Neighbors.”

The neighbor on the other side of that fence approached me one day with his coffee cup in hand. He said he didn’t like my ivy. I told him it was in fact not MY IVY but the ivy of a former neighbor who lived in the house he is now living in.   I told him it was perfectly okay with me  if he or his brother cut it down. I had told Pat, one of the previous neighbors, at the time to PLEASE  I wished she would not plant Ivy. Her husband was military, I knew they would be long gone and the Ivy would remain.  She said she would plant it on HER side of the fence.

One of our other neighbors has said of this neighbor that he is lazy. Well so much for the possibility of him cutting down the ivy. I am sure though if I cut it down that work not intrude on his work ethic.

Except for poison, my efforts to get rid of it have not worked. English Ivy is not a native plant to the United States. As a non-native it is an intrusion to our environment. It has berries which are not good for the diet of our native species birds. I want the yard to be more friendly to our environment. So the ivy must go.

Gardening: Good Bye Old Friend

dead tree 001This is the tree before it fell over. Notice the toll the lack of water has taken on it. I would have loved to leave it, but it was obvious it was getting dangerous.Epi 001When the tree was removed I discovered a small jungle behind it. The Epiphilium had jumped it’s pot and taken root. There is virtually a dozen plants behind the tree.Epi 002Kim from Los Angeles told me that in Hawaii  Epi’s climb up trees and telephone poles. They are like Hawaii’s weeds. I believe this to be true. Not that there is a good visual — I see the bracks are approximately eight feet long and climbing up the side of the shed.

The pot I moved to the other side of the yard spread out and is probably seven feet across. It seems so very happy to be released.

California Drought 2014

dead tree 004dead tree 007dead tree 011It once was a beautiful tree with a lush canopy. It supported the birds and nests and provided cool shade in summer.  Then came the drought and water rationing. The grass went brown and little by little the tree dropped it’s leaves. The birds still came and sat in it’s naked branches. Then so did a Perigrine Hawk who relished the fat Doves that would eat at the feeder on the table below.  The doves didn’t have the leafy tree in which to hide. dead tree 012dead tree 001That was the drought of about four years ago. The birds still sat in the naked branches only less of them came.  With the drought of 2014, presently, the tree started to crack. Then recently a large split was obvious. There was also a lifting of the base of the tree. It was now time for the tree to say farewell to our yard.

Taking it down had to be a multi person task. Each branch cut had to be carefully planned so the body of the tree was balanced as the branches came off.  The tree stood until the branches over the shed which supported it’s weight were cut then down it toppled.  Only a couple of the Jade bush limbs fell victim.

I have a friend who said she would take the wood. She lives in the back country and firewood is expensive.