Meow Mix, Dr. Doolittle, Back Porch Tommy Toes, Jalapeno Baby, and A Partridge in A Fig Tree

Dear Folks,

Hope you are still doing well. Are you gearing up for a round of holidays? Here’s an update on the home front. I was in the kitchen yesterday when I spotted this rare vision through my back glass doors. Afraid I would spook this beautiful guy if I slid the door open, I tried to take a photo through the glass. Didn’t work. So as slowly and quietly as I could, I slid the door open and took several shots. This little fellow was busy and paid me no mind at all. Is he actually EATING the cat food? Does anyone there know? If so, feel free to drop us a line. I like the red leaf in the bottom left corner — a little messenger that fall is just around the corner. I’m ready for some pleasant weather, aren’t you?

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Mike complains that EVERYTHING eats our cat food. What does Meow Mix put in that stuff? It’s attracting possums, raccoons, dogs, and now butterflies?! But if I see a bear out there one day I’m changing brands. Did you hear that a black bear was wandering around town a few months ago? If Bruno comes knocking on my door I’ll just give him the whole 18-pound bag and ask him politely to go away.

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You’ll be glad to hear Mike’s little back porch tomato garden is producing. Who doesn’t love the little Tommy Toes. We’ve already taken some over to Mrs. Williams. Hers didn’t do well this year. I do dearly love picking little tomatoes right off the back deck. Now THAT’S convenience.

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From AC to hot outdoors, the camera lens does just like my glasses. It fogs over.

Katie took some home on Labor Day as well as some grown-up tomatoes. She had been craving a good ripe tomato all summer, and not the ones from Wal-Mart, either. And she’s too tired after work to stop at a roadside stand. She was a happy camper and called later to let us know she was just sitting down to a juicy tomato sandwich.

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Now here’s a couple of red peppers ready for picking. Will make a nice stir fry, don’t you think? In olive oil, of course. Yummy.

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Mike says he’ll whip up some salsa with his jalapeno peppers. I can’t do jalapenos. I have the SINUSES from HADES already. If I add anything more to the mix you’ll hear on the news about some crazy lady from Alabama running around like a steam engine with smoke coming out her ears. NOT a pretty sight. But not so with my offspring. When my son Henry was three we were visiting with friends when he spied the man of the house eating hot peppers and begged for some. The man grinned. “I’ll just give him a teeny little bite,” he says. Men are SUCH gleeful savages, though he was true to his word. But Henry kept wanting more. With tears streaming down his plump little face, he just kept eating and loving it. My Spanish teacher once told me I had a good accent and asked if there was any Hispanic in my family background. As far as I know I’m as WASP as they come, though I love languages — especially the musical Spanish. But after I saw Henry gobbling down hot peppers like a little muchachito I started to wonder. My daughter does the same thing.

While I was down that way, I checked out our fig tree. We’re naming it “The Brain” because it’s taking over the world. Okay. Maaaabe not the whole world, but it likes living on that little hill. It has this wonderful shady nook underneath you can actually sit inside or stand up in. This year the figs are so plump, juicy, and sweet you can just eat them off the tree. Must be all the rain we’ve had this year. And we have to pick them fast because the birds love them, too. We only got a couple of bags of pickings off it, because for some reason they only ripen a few at a time.

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I love how they lurk under the leaves and you have to really concentrate to see them. And, umm, just so you know . . . don’t expect to just come charging up the hill and pop one of these little pretties in your mouth. I already ate them. Sorreeee. But see. I did take a picture beforehand so you can see what you missed.

Here’s the full fellow in all his wandering glory. I know he needs cutting back, but I love the shady nook underneath and the big crooked branches. It’s just a fig tree with personality.

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DSCN0082This is deep inside the monster fig tree, and this is at high noon. Lovely, luscious shade. Okay. Enough with the fig tree already. Hope you like the pictures. I know that noon is not the best time to take them, but that’s what I did on the spur of the moment. That’s what I do. Why do I DO that? Send us some of your stuff. I’ll bet your garden is beautiful this year. And if you don’t have one, I’ll bet your neighbor does.

Bye for now. Catch ya later. Please write back.

Love, Linda       XXXX0000

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8 thoughts on “Meow Mix, Dr. Doolittle, Back Porch Tommy Toes, Jalapeno Baby, and A Partridge in A Fig Tree

  1. Love your photo of the Red Spotted Purple butterfly. We don’t have them here. Their range is the South only. We do have quite a wide variety of butterflies though, including the gorgeous swallowtails. Here are a couple pics I took several years ago of Swallowtails on my pink lilac.

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Personal/Flowers/2Swallowtails2.jpg~original

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Personal/Flowers/Swallowtail1.jpg~original

    I have this butterfly feeder.

    http://www.amazon.com/Songbird-Essentials-Butterfly-Nectar-Feeder/dp/B005GYC5QW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378684553&sr=8-1&keywords=butterfly+feeders

    I’m not sure what there is in Meow Mix that would attract them. They definitely go for fruit though and they like the moisture in mud puddles. Frank says he thinks we spend more on food for our five cats and all the wildlife (especially in winter when I have lots of seed feeders and suet holders up) than we do on ourselves. He could be right.

    I love figs and envy you having your own tree. I gave up veggie gardening several years ago. It was just too much work and we have terrific farm stands all over the place here. I decided to let someone else deal with the deer, racoons and woodchucks.

    BTW, Frank and I LOVE hot peppers and we’re WASPS, too. :>)

    • Love the pictures. We don’t get as many butterflies around here as we used to. Some say because of farming and insecticides. Don’t know. I didn’t know the name of the butterfly I took a picture of. Thanks for the info. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a butterfly feeder. We used to have what they called a butterfly bush back in Georgia. Will have to try to find a feeder. I was just so surprised to see this one with his tiny beak or whatever in the trough of the cat food. But he is so gorgeous.

      Yes. We, too, have spent a bundle on bird feeding, cat feeding, and obviously general wildlife feeding. Between us and Meow Mix we ARE regular Dr. Doolittles, as are you and Frank.

      I’ve never liked gardening. I think it has a lot to do with not getting along well in direct sunlight. After about 15 minutes it can make me sick. Sister Katie is even worse. I think it’s our Nordic ancestry. Katie is STILL blonde and she’s only six years younger than me. Mike finally got out of the habit of tilling half the acreage in garden. Now he has built a long planter on the porch for the tommy toes and only has a few plants down the hill for a couple of jalapenos and bell peppers. Just enough and not too many.

      If it were possible I’d invite you over to pick figs with me and we could enjoy them together right by the shady tree.

      • We don’t get nearly as many butterflies as we used to either. So many species are endangered now due to destruction of their habitate and insecticide use. In August, we’re awash in milkweed and that’s the Monarch’s favorite food. But this year I saw only ONE! And only a handful last year. We used to have hundreds of them. It’s horrible what we’re doing to all our wild critters.

        A lot of people around here have Butterfly Bushes. They’re gorgeous and bloom later than lilacs, which are very similar.

        I have a pink lilac called “Miss Canada” and a white one called “Beauty of Moscow.” We also have several of the purple lilacs. It is the NH state flower.

        I have always enjoyed gardening, (at least in NH) but for the past 5-6 years it’s simply been too much work. For a couple of years, I grew cherry tomatoes in 10-gal. pots, but I’ve given that up, too, now. My vegetable patch is now totally filled in with lupines of every imaginable color. It turned itself into a wildflower garden and is quite beautiful..

        I grew up on a 400-acre poultry farm in Ohio and never grew anything except a few sunflowers. My last 10 years in NYC, I had a lovely, big patio and got into houseplants and container gardening. When we moved to NH, I went wild. We had so much lawn and acreage and very little landscapting. I definitely bit off way more than I could chew. I was only 50 when we moved here and I guess I thought I’d be young forever. Surprise!!!

      • Your lilacs are gorgeous. Loved all the pictures. So sad about the decline of our beautiful butterflies. Hope all who love them will help bring them back.

        Mike and I love wildflowers and often let patches grow where we should be mowing. But how can you cut them down. We have seeded crimson clover on the hillside and most of it comes back every year.

        Lots chicken houses in this part of the country. Big Tyson industry here. Some of my cousins have chicken farms, but seem to be tied to them 24-7. I love sunflowers.

        When I came here to take care of mom and dad I was 47 and threw all my tremendous energy into everything that needed doing. Now I’m 65 and I know all about thinking I’d be young forever. Doesn’t happen.

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