Thursday, May 28, 2009

Walkabout in the yard

When I got home today, there was a happy dog waiting to greet me. He raced upstairs because he knows what comes next. So after I changed, I took the last of the raspberry iced tea in a big plastic cup, grabbed the camera and went outside.

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This little planter greets me when I come out the mudroom door. It was my husband’s idea to line it with bark from a tree and I added bits of moss to fill in the spots. Then I filled it with torenia, a new annual I’m trying out.

After I took this photo, I turned around and saw this in the mudroom window.

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A co-worker had given me this little decorative planter last year as a housewarming gift when we moved to the farm in Pennsylvania. I never did anything with it because the pots are so small and I have no idea what I’d put in them. So it sits here on a shelf in the mudroom. But wait, I said to myself. What’s that inside one of the little pot? My husband had to have put it in there because I surely did not.

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I’ve often said that I would never post anything gross in my blog. I know some people do, but I just don’t feel that it’s necessary here. However, today I am posting something just a tad bit gross, so bear with me.

What you see in the little center pot is actually owl dung.

Why owl dung, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

My husband enjoys bringing things he’s found home to show me. One day this winter, I came home from work and my husband proudly showed me something he’d found under the big tree where the owl sits every night. “Look closely at it,” he told me, “and you can see what it eats. There’s fur and bones, and . . .” And that’s when I cut him off.

“But it’s poop,” I said.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “You should put it in your blog thingy.”

I told him I don’t post gross things and thanked him for the interesting artifact and life went on. And I’d forgotten about the owl dung until I turned around just now and saw it.

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I walked around the house and headed towards the backyard. I’m standing by the little back door to the mudroom. That’s the breakfast nook on my left. When we moved here, poison ivy was completely covering this entire wall. You could see some out the windows, but it was pretty bad. The girl that lived here prior to us had tried to get rid of the vines, until she got an awful spider bite on her arm.

Straight ahead is my husband’s little garden and to the right . . . that’s where the tree came down. You can see half the lilac bush and the other half is under the tree. Not much can be done at this point because it’s covered with poison ivy. But my husband did clear big branches of it from the patio.

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Looking towards where I was just standing a moment ago. My husband put up a little umbrella at the edge of the patio. We eat out there sometimes.

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In the garden, he’s got tomatoes, corn, zucchini, cucumber, peppers, sunflowers and nasturtiums.

I don’t know why about the nasturtiums but I’m glad about them, nonetheless.

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Well, it’s time to go in now. I bet dinner is almost ready. Thanks, everyone, for joining me on my little walk.

Until next time, then . . .

30 comments:

Amongst The Oaks said...

The owl pellet is not gross to me. And I think technically it's not poop, but barf. But anyway, schools often have the kids take them apart to study owls' diets.
We have found them camping and had the kids spend some time recreating the little rodent skeletons.
And the nasturtiums can be used not only for decoration, but in a salad. Lovely walk, Thanks You!

Ellen said...

The owl dung made me howl. Your husband is so thoughtful to bring you such treasures. It's like a cat bringing you the dead mouse.

Your garden is awesome. I would love to have a bigger plot, but our space is limited. I wonder if he planted the nasturtium to eat since they are an edible flower. And sunflowers are so neat but I don't have garden space and the rabbits would just eat them as they grew.

Thanks for the tour of the outside of your home. It's beautiful.

Deb said...

so the owl poop is really like a cat's fur ball? I think I am going to get sick!

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh thank you for the walk. I totally enjoyed it.

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh and the owl poop, I don't mind. Not much bothers me.

Shellmo said...

The owl thing wasn't too bad! Lol! I was going to guess a cat's hairball but then I remembered I've only seen George on your blog and I don't think he's coughing these things up! :-)

Leenie said...

I like the varmit fence around your garden. I can guess you have plenty of woodland creatures that want a share of the crops. Laughed at the owl dung/barf. So sad to lose a tree. Looks like you need an energetic neighbor with a chain saw.

Maria said...

enjoyed the walk :)

Country Girl said...

Thanks, Amongst The Oaks! I didn't know that.
Leenie, we actually have a good chainsaw. The difficulty lies in the poison ivy that completely covers the tree. It's thick with it. Ick. I'm hoping the owners will hire someone to cut the whole thing down and remove all of it.

~ C.G.

Hilary said...

Your yard looks so lovely and inviting!!!

Jeannelle said...

Your house, yard, garden are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your environs on your "blog thingy"!

Oliag said...

You will have to let your hubby know that I would find owl poop interesting too!...but it is hard to gross out a nurse..

Your yard and garden are beautiful...I'm missing having a garden this year when I see pics like this...

noble pig said...

My boys love owl dung and rip it apart to find the treasures. I had a professor who used them as paperweights. Go figure.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Oh, I like the garden! Looks like it will be providing you with fresh veggies soon.

With my hubby it's leaves that he brings into the house to look them up and see what kind of tree they are from... two weeks later I finally remove them from the kitchen counter and toss them out. He's my Mr. Science Guy.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Ms Bubblefish said...

I loved the virtual walk around your part of the world today.
The Veterinary scientist/Paleontologist that I'm married to is right into dung for all the reasons your husband pointed out. Fossilized or slightly dried out-it all has a story to tell. Apparently.
I did have to smile though.

Kamana said...

what a beautiful walk that was. i am envious of all that space you have :)

Jacqueline said...

What a delightful jaunt around your place--thank you so much!

So your hubby didnt dispose of the owl poop? Was he saving it for later...hoping youd change your mind about examining it? lol...

Happy Thursday to you.

Hilary said...

We come upon owl pellets often in the wooded area by Frank's place. They're quite fascinating really. You can learn a lot about the night's activities from them.

Lovely area, Kate. Your walks are most enjoyable.

elk said...

a window into your world so vivid and calm here

Fritter Chicks™ said...

Great pictures! Thanks for the walk :-)

Mental P Mama said...

My children loved to explore owl pellets...and I am glad that phase is over. That garden looks amazing;)

Daryl said...

What fun and I am going to take a photo tonite of the window box so you can see how those little plantlings I 'stuck in the dirt' are growing ...

I love the owl dung and your 'blog thingie' .. tho he didnt leave a comment (he hasnt figured that out yet) Husband visited your blog to see the pix from last weekend AND to see George ...

You need to get those long thick gloves to put on over a long sleeved shirt you can toss after the ivy is ripped out .. but I would put on a surgical mask and make sure all exposed skin was covered .. poison ivy is lethal

asthmagirl said...

I love the little annuals in the first shot. Ihave not seen those here.

The owl dung is a hoot! (I'm cracking myself up)

TSannie said...

His garden looks a lot further along than mine! POOH! Your borrowed backyard is lovely.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Here we collect owl pellets and disect them to see that things the owl has eaten - you often get tiny skulls in there - fascinating stuff.

Lovely walk Kate - lovely garden - and by the way you can eat nasturtiums in salads and they are said to keep greenfly away from veggie plants in the garden.

Georgie K. Buttons said...

That last photo looks like the cover for a magazine. :)

I love your yard, and your house. It's so pretty.

Maria said...

How pretty, pretty, pretty. That surprise owl poop in the window was funny. Oh well, I have a possum skull in my kitchen.....

Hey, torenia is a great plant. It ls perfectly fine in shade if that's where you have it and it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. My squirrels like to take them out of their pots but the plants do manage to regrow pretty fast after they've been replanted again...and again....and again. Also, I don't think you could ever water them too much.

I enjoyed the walk through your countryside. That's all I want to do in my part of the world and you have it right out your front door. :-)

Woman in a Window said...

Hey, your husband plants sticks just like I do! I thought I was the only one growing them.

(Your yard always astounds me with its beauty. So green.)

Char said...

beautiful walkabout. funny - one of the first blogs I wrote included a part about owl pellets.

the garden looks great

Carolina Trekker said...

Not Poop...the owl burped up an Owl Pellet. My folks used to wander around under an "Owl tree" hunting for Owl Pellets. They enjoyed opening them to see what was on the Owl Menu. Your husband came across a tree where an Owl likes to roost. My sister on a farm in Iowa keeps a collection of beautiful wild birds she finds dead on her road in her freezer. Keep an eye on your freezer?