my garden friend, the cat

This day is as fresh and crisp as one of those gala apples I bought the other day. Take a bite, and sweet-tart juice squirts out. I went down to the lady garden after lunch with plans to lounge in the swing and savor it all, but I couldn't sit for long. The clean air, the shimmering fall colors, and the song of birds enticed me from my comfortable spot, and I soon was strolling around the garden paths.

I checked out the shrubs I transplanted a couple weeks ago. They are doing well. I was admiring the purple foliage of a loropetalum bush when I heard a familiar mee-ow. A gray kitty, who has determined that I am her best friend, if not her owner, trotted toward me. This cat, always well-fed and taken care of - not a stray, first introduced herself to me last year, a few months after my mother passed away.

I do no believe in re-incarnation, not at all, but if I did, I would be wondering. My mother was an animal lover, and she jokingly had said she was going to come back as a cat. This particular gray cat, the moment she saw me, came running to me like she had known me forever. I was sitting on the swing, and the cat hopped into my lap and began to purr and rub my neck.

"Cat, " I said, "I am a stranger to you. You do not belong to me. Don't you know that?" 

She purred all the louder.

Today the gray kitty accompanied me on my rounds, examining plants and helping me pull a few weeds. When we got to the woodland garden, she ran to the bench there and jumped up, expecting me to sit with her a while, which I did; and so the two of us enjoyed the fine day.

When it was time to head for the house, my friend stayed by my side until we reached the walkway leading to the front door. Whereupon she did a strange thing. She leaped in front of me, then turned and batted at my legs. Every time I took a step toward the house, she did this. She was clearly telling me she was not ready for our walk to end.

So I spent a few more minutes with her. I showed her the pumpkins and gourds I have placed in a bed of lemon thyme near the front door, and we discussed what a great time of year it is. Finally, she turned and headed down the road toward her own house. She was holding her tail high, the sign of a happy cat.This little pumpkin is resting in a bed of thyme near my front door.



remembering Arizona

In September, some friends and I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona for a business conference. When we weren't in meetings, we were able to visit some local attractions. Today, Janet White, Amy Sheen, and Jan Harris came over to share photos from that trip. When I arrived in Phoenix, I was upset because I had forgotten my camera. However, thanks to my friends and modern computer technology, I now have over 200 photos to reinforce my memories. I am putting a few desert pictures up on this blog to share with readers.

The Sonoran Desert is spectacular, with red rocks, turquoise sky, and weird, beautiful plants that definitely do not grow in Alabama. One afternoon we spent several hours wandering in Phoenix's desert botanical garden. The temperature was 104 degrees - if a person happened to be stripped down and standing in ice water. Now, Alabama is hot, too; and as they say, in Phoenix it is a dry heat. I have to admit our sticky, humid summers can take some getting use to. Hot is hot, no matter where on the planet you are cooking. I suppose the choice depends on whether one prefers to be dry-roasted or steamed. 

Arizona is so different from Alabama. I am glad I was able to visit. Our land is vast and offers so much. As Jan Harris said today, "Don't we have a great country?"

Yes, we do.Birds use the cavities near the top of this cactus as an apartment building.