The Cattails in the Corner – Update

18 08 2019

Cattails – August 2019

Cattails 2 – August 2019

As you can see, we have 6 cattails in the corner where the water seeps under the two retaining walls. That goldenrod volunteered to grow there as well. The catalpa tree that was cut down decided it wasn’t dead and has sent up several strong young trunks.

The overgrown alley below us is full of weeds as well as one healthy elderberry plant with soon to ripen berries for the birds.

Our wildlife neighbors have increased to add a handsome healthy young fox who looks very out of place poking around all the concrete and asphalt driveways here. There are chipmunks living under the stairs to the top of the retaining wall, a very bold young squirrel living in the network box of the neighboring condo building who visits us on the porch railings and is very friendly and unafraid and seems to like being talked to, so got named “Nutty”. We don’t feed Nutty, just talk to her when she visits – silly squirrel. The skunk waddles up and down the driveway, the opossum and raccoons visit the garbage cans but can’t get into them. The flock of goldfinches and pair of cardinals enjoyed the thistle seeds down in the alley and are busy eating something else down there and the purple martins flying after the bugs up high. They all are our interesting neighbors. the humans are more invisible, don’t use the porches or walk around back there, so it’s generally quiet and peaceful – other than the traffic noise from in front – and usually with a nice breeze.

Smoky the dog crossed the rainbow bridge in March and it just isn’t the same around here without a dog, it’s the first time in 53 years we’ve been without a dog and we don’t like it, but we knew the conditions of being here and will have to wait until we leave. There is no knowing when that will happen though, rather sooner than later but not my call.

The crickets are singing again, started just last week, the cicadas and katydids are rasping (ratcheting as the kids used to say) the coming autumn even if we’re not ready for it.


Cattails In the Corner

15 08 2018

Cattails in the corner

As promised – the photo of the cattails growing in the northwest corner where the two retaining walls meet. There is a small crack between the concrete walls and the asphalt paving and a constant seep of water. We think there might be a natural spring finding an outlet as there are a lot of them along this ridge, once part of an ancient lake shore. Lots of clay and sand on the slope of the ridge which faces mostly east and runs north and south. These popped up this spring. No sign of the brown cattails themselves yet but it’s the first year for them and they might not even be cattails, we’re not sure.Whatever they are they’re a good six feet tall and there are dragonflies that like to visit and sit on them.

There are some elderberry plants down in the “alley”, a cottonwood sapling, several well-grown trees-of-heaven (which need to be removed as they’ve grown into the electric lines), burdock, thistle and other weedy growth which has made the “alley” pretty much impassible. It’s city property but they don’t bother with it and won’t unless there are complaints. Not many people ever see it so there’s not much likelihood it’ll change. It would make a nice place for raised beds full of vegetables along with a few flowers, if someone wanted to make the effort to clean it up and tend that kind of garden as it’s sheltered between a high concrete retaining wall and the rear wall of a commercial building with no rear doors and only opens on the south end, there’s a fence, trees and bushes on the north end, and good full sun most of the day.