Saturday, October 29, 2011

Red Butte Garden, End of October

I have finished with my volunteer gardening for the year at Red Butte. My gardening clothes are washed and put away. My tool bag is stashed in the back of the car. I threw away a hopeless pair of garden gloves. I won't be back doing any horticulture work until March or April next year. Much as I love doing this work, I'm ready to stop for the year. I think they will have a few extra days where volunteers can work next week, if the weather holds, but it's getting to be so cold in the mornings now, it's not that much fun anymore for me.

Over 100,000 bulbs have been planted this year. I did a few. The last few days we've just been cutting back and digging up. many of the gardens are looking rather bare now.

I am amazed at how many of the roses are still looking grand.
We have plenty of fall color now. It's probably at the height, or just a bit over.
Here's the view in the four seasons garden now. We chopped down all the grasses last week so there would be plenty of room for the spring bulbs.
Pretty leaves are everywhere.
So here are just some more pictures of fall colors.
It's hard to stop taking pictures.
I have plenty more.
But maybe I'll quit here.
Time to go see the garden before winter really sets in.

October, the best month

I think October is just the best. I love the fall colors.

I love the temperatures, cool in the mornings and evenings, cold at night for sleeping, but pretty nice during the daytime.

It doesn't rain or snow much in October. The sky is usually bright blue.

I don't have many autumn decorations for my home, but I have a few things, and I enjoy doing a little bit of fall decorating.
It's time to get out the crock pot to make soups and stews. I'll do some baking too...carrot cake for our potluck at work, birthday cake for our knitting group party, something to bring to another potluck next week.

Plenty of knitting to do.
This year I decided to make a sweater. It will take me awhile, but perhaps I can finish it by January.
And naps in October are just the right thing to do in the late afternoon.

What's not to love about October?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Welcome Smokey Rose

I have a kitty living with me again. Over Columbus Day weekend, I went down to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab Utah and found New Kitty. She was the very first kitty I met because she was a lobby cat at Cat World HQ. She just came right up to me as I was waiting and began schmoozing. She does that. She loves people but not so much other cats which is why she was a lobby cat.

I visited some others cats at HQ, but they weren't right ... 14 years old is too old for me, new kittens I'll leave for someone else. So as we were sitting in the classroom talking about where to go next, Ms Smokey comes up to get some more attention, and the staff told me her story. That did it. I was hooked.

I did go and check out several other cats in other buildings, even spent a couple of hours with Nirvana whom I had picked out on the internet. Nirvana was hard to get to know, but I would have taken her if there had been no Smokey. Nirvana tended to stay up in the rafters, playing hard to get.

I came back after lunch and declared that Smokey was the one. Then it was a big flurry of stuff to do so that Smokey could go home with me. I went away to another building and spent time with another internet cat, Bing, who was dying of cancer because Smokey had a huge parade of caregivers coming in on a holiday Sunday to say good bye. Bing reminded me far to much of little Poppy. I hope she is all right now, one way or another

I don't want to put Smokey's whole story out on the internet for all to know, but she suffered dreadful abuse by some person when she was about 3 months old. She was so lucky she was brought to Best Friends because I am sure that other shelters would have just euthanized her. She's now 7 years old and has had all kinds of surgery, medical care, rehabilitation, and just general kindness from everyone at Best Friends. She is almost normal, but her health is precarious. She needs a strict, special diet, medication twice a day every day and close assessment every day.

She's been home with me for a week now and things have gone well from the beginning. I decided I did not like the name Smokey ... every gray cat seems to be called Smokey and besides people assume it's the name of a male. But I need to keep the name because I anticipate continuing to deal with Best Friends over the years about her. I decided just to add the name Rose, so now she is Smokey Rose which sounds kind of pretty. I call her Rose or Rosie. The sound of that is similar to Smokey, and she responds to either name now.... well she responds to the same extent that any cat responds to a name which means only when she darn well feels like it.

She is her own self. She does not have any of the little habits that Poppy or Lily had. She has her own likes and dislikes. For example, she spends all her time in places that are off the ground and have a view. She likes to see what's inside cupboards and closets, but she spends no time there at all. I plan to write more about her as a "person" as time goes on.

She remains a total love bug. I can cuddle with her at any time. She does cute things like what they called at Best Friends "Eskimo kisses" in which she bumps her nose and mouth right up against my mouth. So far she hasn't licked me, but maybe that will come one day.

I realize that having Rosie live with me is as big a responsibility and change as having another person to care for. I will become much more of a homebody now. I can travel if she has a really good caregiver while I'm gone ... not just someone looking in on her and filling up the food and water. I have that in SLC in the form of Russ, the Animal Nanny, a professional animal caregiver. But I'll not be able to afford Russ for lots of days at the same time. And I have no Russ equivalent at my summer place. Plus, I don't really want to be far away from Rosie. Already I know I would miss her a heck of a lot.

I have figured out that I can travel out of Salt Lake for short lengths of time, and Rosie will be well cared for. I can take her with me and care for her myself, but I perhaps will not be able to leave her alone at the summer place. Any way I cut it, it looks like I will only the taking short trips from time to time over the next 5-10 years.

And, you know, that's ok. I'm fine about stopping thinking about that round the world trip. I feel good about just settling in and being content at home, Rosie and me snuggling together. Autumn is here, winter is soon. Time to just take a nice long rest with the best kitty in the world.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Red Butte Garden in Early October

Folks at Red Butte Garden have decided that we will set some kind of record for the number of spring blooming bulbs. To that end we are now planting 100,000 of them. That's about all we are doing, sitting on the ground planting bulbs. Sometimes we do get up and hack things to the ground (aka cutting back perennials for the winter & throwing away spent annuals). These activities do not make for good photos.

Before we started all this, I did take some photos of the lovely things that were happening in early October. We are no longer deadheading roses, but there were plenty that were at their height in early October, especially yellow ones.
Thought that many of the rose blooms were especially large.
We have some special fall flowers like colchicum.
I always love the grasses,
and many have changed color for fall.
The red garden was looking pretty good.
And the four season garden is fine in this season as usual ... notice the beautiful grass.
There were some early signs of autumn color,
although only a few trees had actually turned colors.
Here are some more grasses.
It's hard to resist taking photos of the roses.
There were just so many beautiful plants.
I could go on forever, but I won't.  Well one more....
Welcome to Red Butte Garden. Autumn is a great time to visit.