Category Archives: Arts: In The Yard

So, How’s Your Friday Morning Going?

The remnants of Ex-Hurricane  (now Tropical Depression) Nicole are passing by. How do we know this? Here are clues:

1. 9:45 AM, the radio squeals its alarming BEEP!” And do we have a basement? No.


2. 10:15 AM: Sunshine, and our Cosmos blooms have cutesy raindrops on the stems.

Continue reading So, How’s Your Friday Morning Going?

Meanwhile, In the State of North Car-oblivious . . .

We’re In The Yard, ignoring the slowly gathering overcast

Just Kitty & the Zinnias & the cactus fruit & me . . .






On the edges, two or three patches of Oxalis, one of my abiding favorites, is showing off. But they also know how to fold up & keep low when the weather comes. . . .


An increasing number of late roses are opening up, a I like the japonica as a frame — it’s a hardy bush which shows vivid green & yellow  year-round.












The morning glories are still a phenom. with three colors of blossoms on one vine. They’re still celebrating having overwhelmed everything else in this corner; but their days are numbered. And no matter what, neighbor Ms. Hazel’s flag is still flying, as always.






Hmmmm. My sense is the flowers & bushes are ready for a storm, in their way. But will the bottle tree make it through a tough weekend?
Bottle tree & table In The Yard 09-28-2022


In The Yard: A Labor Day Update & Exhibit.

The calendar may say it’s a holiday, but all around the house, In The Yard, there’s “work going on” today: steadily, indifferently, variously, in dead earnest.

A cartoonist does his best to put climate doom and gloom into striking visuals. There’s no lack of apocalyptic ideas . . .

The summer is drying out: hot, very little rain, parched. Yet there must be underground currents here, because we don’t water much, still most stuff remains green.

To the east, halfway through hurricane season, the Atlantic is spookily quiet; two storms are on the map — Earl and Danielle, but they are swirling far out, aimless and unlikely to bother any land mass. Then to the west, we have large forests, and something like 60 wildfires are burning, but the nearest of those is more than half a continent away.

The eerily quiet Atlantic. How long can it last?
California. Can the sequoias (or anything else) be saved there?
Togetherness? Zinnia-MG rapprochement?? Don’t believe. the MG has wrapped its tendrils tight around the Zinnia’s stem. A consenting couple? Piffle: domination and gaslighting all the way.

in the meantime, there have been some very good regional peaches and not-so regional (Washington state) cherries.

Given this deceptively normal-looking larger backdrop, the annual struggle In The Yard, between the Morning Glories and everything else is about as much drama as we can claim.

It used to be more exciting In The Yard. For several years the city’s yard cops tacked citations on our door, telling us our yard was way too unruly, not sufficiently square or trim or bourgeois for local regulations.  But the Fair Wendy went to bat for us, arguing (backed up by a thick notebook/photo album, with lots of Latin names), that one person’s weeds were another person’s cherished free-range “home meadow.” They held off on imposing fines, but there was more to come. A true “grass roots” movement is underway, with people ditching the pre-astroturf for lots of bushes and flowers and stuff bees and other critters like.  Last spring we spent a few hours driving around the ‘hood and we soon discovered at least a dozen “wild yards,” recognizable but all different, within a mile or so radius of our small house.

So, what was The Man gonna do? Confiscate our garden gloves and lock us all up? Really, your excellencies, compared to the folks who swagger in the streets waving their bare nekkid AR-15s around in front of Gawd and everybody, we’re much less a danger to civilization. All we want to groom is our postage stamp gardens. And when “We say ‘Gay,'” we might also be talking about mums or peonies, fer pity sake.

But anyway, the heat seems to have backed off; summer’s just about over and there have been no more citations, and the only serious clashes seem to be silent struggles between the Morning Glories and everything else they try to strangle.

A fine regional peach; it makes many other things bearable.

But I just noticed today that there are some areas In The Yard where there are no MGs.

A fine solo zinnia, utterly unmolested by the MGs. What’s keeping them at a distance?

Yet why not? What or which (or whom?) is holding the MGs back? Some difference in the soil? Another rootweb system pushing back without showing above ground? Some anonymous bug? (As to insects, which I don’t much follow, their disappearance is their most visible feature this summer.)

This will soon be the second autumn with no sign of the black & yellow spiders who colonized the southern wall of the house. They always looked vigorous enough, and we didn’t use any insecticides.

But they’re gone, along with the honeybees and others, including most of the mosquitoes, whom I do not miss.

I forget the name of this spider; took it for granted it would always be there. Looked big & tough. Well, not as tough as us, I guess. (Update: Friend Kathleen Beasom of Asheville NC says it’s called a yellow garden spider, which pretty much nails it.)

Even on this comparatively tiny scale, I continue to get hints at how much in this most familiar quarter acre  is completely unknown to me. Meantime, I continue to fall for their obvious late season propaganda of flowers, which by tradition will be followed by turning leaves and all that, to distract us while the cold sneaks back.

Another zinnia, seemingly safe from MG assault. The dark orange berries are asparagus, which yielded a couple stalks awhile back. And cactus fruit, which I’m not brave enough to try to eat.