Rash promises in Covid year.

I promised to tell you how my attempt to grow my own loofas went.

I bought the seed last winter when cutting down on plastic seemed the most important thing in the world. Well, the seeds germinated well and

the seedlings grew. I identified a good place against a wire fence to plant them out and watered them in. Then it turned wet and the cats were both sick and the slugs came out and ate the plants down to the ground when I wasn’t looking!

End of story.

What is astonishing about this little tale is that a whole year has gone by since I bought the seeds and the whole world has grown so strange since then.

I feel as if I haven’t been out of the garden or house since then. Time has folded in on itself so much since then that I am not sure I ever planted the loofa seedlings at all, or what I was hoping to achieve by growing them.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time this covid year staring at my two cats Winston and Pixie and marveling at their markings. They are brother and sister who were living in a neighbor’s greenhouse as kittens. We took them in and have always been fascinated by how many wild cat genes they might carry.

There are wild cats here in the edge of the Jura and I have seen cats on the edge of the forest with the tell tale fat banded tail and the black Pom Pom on the end.

Pixie and her huge tail.

Pixie has the classic wildcat tail, when she is being really agressive or scared, it quadruples in size and my little affectionate Pixie becomes a fluffy monster. Her larger brother Winston has some of the wildcat markings, but no where near as many as his sister, he has sleek velvety fur and classic tabby cat stripes. They both have wildcat cat ear tufts.

Winston with his tabby stripes.

This useful illustration of the markings on a cats back is the best I have found for telling a tabby from a real wild cat.

It could be Pixie A (wild cat) and Winston B, ( tabby cat ) but as they are sister and brother I think all that it proves is that cats, just like humans are a bit of everything and wonderfully mixed up like us all!

Notice the markings on the head and the spine. She has 5 bands on her tail and a black line across her shoulders. Wild cat!

The tendril goes on …

Just thought I would show you how far the grape vine has grown across my front door, as there is no new reason to cut it back.

( Sliding on By ) https://cathysrealcountrygardencom.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/sliding-on-by/

Covid is still keeping guests away and me inside, but I can still step over it and go into the garden.

The delivery man is amused by it, the cats are bemused by it and it just keeps on growing.

If it is a metaphor for the insidious growth of the virus, then when winter eventually kills it, we will all be set free . If it is a metaphor for the resilience of nature, then I shall leave it to grow. If it is a metaphor for my sloth then I should hack it back.

As planning for the future seems impossible these days, I shall live the metaphor and do absolutely nothing at all and just wait and see what the tendril does next.

I am not a vegetarian…

I am not a vegetarian, but sometimes I think I should be.

I love the taste of meat, but am disturbed by eating fellow sentient mammals.  Then I consider the fowl and the fish; decide I shouldn’t eat them either and then I am left with the plants. Plants are alive too and are killed so we can eat them. If we eat neither flesh nor fruit, we are left with nothing at all, except our own extinction .

I grew a magnificent  pumpkin from seed. I fed and watered it and then I picked it, sliced it into mighty  chunks and made it into soup. The slices wept moisture and were so beautiful I could hardly bring myself to hack it up. But I did: I cooked it with red lentils, cinnamon and spices , pureed it to creamy perfection and ate it with relish while the rain fell outside. Oh to be human!

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/02/trees-have-rights-too-robert-macfarlane-on-the-new-laws-of-nature?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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Where do butterflies go at night?

Having had the luxury of really watching the butterflies in my garden during the day, as I swung in my hammock my thoughts turned to where they go at night.

I have two big ficus trees that are wheeled out from the house in early summer and take up residence under an open sided covered terrace. In the evening I have noticed butterflies of various species disappearing into their glossy foliage as dusk gathers. They are bereft of flowers and so their only attraction must be a safe place to rest during the night. I have also noticed that the spiders in my garden never make webs in these ficus trees, which in a garden strewn with webs of all shapes and sizes is interesting in its self, and I guess that this safety from spiders, combined with protection from rain and a slightly warmer temperature makes them an ideal resting place.

As my holiday draws to a close I am beginning to feel that anxiety that comes when you realise you won’t have enough enough time to do all the things that you wanted to. I am determined to look under bramble leaves for resting brimstone butterflies this evening, to check rabbit holes for sheltering peacock butterflies, but I think I know that I will really spend the day chasing up the satellite guy, getting the chimney swept and cleaning the cooker hood. How all our good intentions end up in the kitchen sink!