In the Garden: New Decking

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Nothing lasts forever especially if it made of wood. Wood get old. It seems too that termites love it. So a year and a half ago after considerable deterioration the old deck was torn out. It had come to a point that is wasn’t safe to walk on. We put boards on it to put less stress on the wood but putting a foot through the wood was not unusual.

I was very happy it didn’t rain. if it had it would have been a big muddy sump right outside the back door. I spent a whole day, six hours priming the wood, or sealing the wood. The colors being brought up are really beautiful. There is nothing like beautiful wood grain. After it was sealed on five sides it was hammered into place.

The birds were moving into the arbor vines over the deck. The skies were gray. There was a cool breeze. After the wood was in place there was a tarp placed over it and it was a good thing. The rain came pouring down. It was so wonderful to wake at 5 A.M. to the sound of a thunderous down pour.  A rain we desperately need, for we are in water rationing. Still more work to do.

In My Garden: Beauty and the Beast

Garden rose 001 Here is Beauty, Her Royal Highness. She is a large rose with a delicate fragrance. Southern California weather is a beautiful Indian Summer. The temperatures are unpredictable. Daytime temperatures could be anywhere from 60 degrees to 80 degrees.  Evening temperatures have dropped into the 40s. When the temperatures dropped the roses began to bloom again.

Water rationing is in effect now. It may have helped. No water is being given to the grass but my roses get water three times a week as allowed. They seem happy with that. They are not getting over-watered. With the sun not beating down relentlessly  but a nice steady warmth it is perfect for roses and they are blooming again. I even have a few roses for the table.

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I’m calling this The BEAST. Does anyone have any idea what this might be? At first I thought it might be a mushroom. I looked on the Mushroom identification site and on the Fungus site. I couldn’t find anything that looks remotely like this. In the ground it looked like a Russet Potato standing on it’s end. Four inches protruded from the ground.

It has a firm skin-like surface. The surface yields slightly under the hand. It looks like it has been nibbled by something. Luckily there were no dead creatures around. This growth is about 4″ across and about 12″ long.

It was under the Star Pine tree. I thought it might be a root fungus. I broke it off, concerned it might be poisonous. The bottom surface has a somewhat woody look to it. Since it is Sunday here I didn’t take it to the nursery to see if anyone might have a clue to it’s identity.

Does anyone out there have any idea what this could be?

Birdwatching with Riley

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Some people spend their Saturdays watching football — Riley likes to sit in the window and watch the birds. Most cats would watch the birds outside, but why bother with that. When even withbirdwatching 009 limited vision you can watch the ones in the cage. There is no instant replay but with enough incentive I can get them bouncing around the cage pretty well.

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Technically, I’m is not supposed to watch the birds that’s why they are covered. The birds get upset, but it does not deter me. This is my T.V. set.

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I have a captive  audience birdwatching 006

literallybirdwatching 007What better way to spend a rare, damp and rainy Southern California day indoors? birdwatching 008