Little Lover

Our tortoiseshell cat Trixie sleeps in a cat bed

Trixie is probably a little over a year old now and weighs in at about 7 pounds. She’ll fill out a bit more with time but the vet’s prediction when we adopted her is proving itself true, she’s going to be a pretty small cat. She’s our first tortoiseshell, some claim that torties have a lot of attitude but so far our little lover has been sweet and affectionate and particularly enjoys rubbing noses. Fair warning, biting them too.

Water Slide

Raindrops cover the surface of the flowe of a black-and-blue salvia

After an unusually hot and dry summer, we got some much needed rain this weekend so I grabbed my macro lens for some pictures of the flowers and insects in our garden covered in raindrops. This is a close-up of one of the flowers of our black-and-blue salvia. I ended up with a sore back from standing or sitting in uncomfortable positions to get the macro shots that I wanted, I find it rather unfortunate that Canon didn’t put an articulating LCD on the back of the 7D Mark II, which I would use constantly for macro or pet photography.

I pre-ordered the Sony A7R II back when it was first announced and I need to decide in the next week or so if I should cancel the order. I would vastly prefer a mirrorless camera for macro work, and they have a stunning new macro lens for their system, but while the LCD tilts it isn’t fully articulated.

Cape Fuchsia

A close-up view of the flower of a cape fuchsia

When we bought our house years ago there was a plant out front with gorgeous red flowers that was struggling. I guessed it wasn’t getting enough sun and it seemed like it would be hummingbird friendly, so when we started a wildflower garden in the backyard in memory of my mother-in-law and the hummingbirds that swarmed her feeders, I decided to try transplant some of the suckers of the plant and see if any survived. I didn’t have any potting soil handy so they went from clay to clay. I kept them watered during the dry summer and was stunned to see that they all did fine and now we have two thriving sections of what I discovered are cape fuchsias.

Despite the name and appearance of the flower, they aren’t true fuchsias. While not native to the Northwest (they come from South Africa), they do well during our dry summers and wet winters and are thriving even during our unusually dry and hot summer. The hummingbirds love them and they require little attention from me and have proven to be a lovely addition to our wildflower garden. I normally dislike suckering plants but these are easy to keep under control, and I even use one section of them as a buffer between the wildflowers and the raspberries, which are rather obnoxious in how they sucker and spread.


Our cats Sam and Trixie sleeping

Sam is slowly — slowly — beginning to accept Trixie. She’s learned, much like Scout with Templeton years ago, that if she comes up to Sam when he’s fast asleep, he might let her curl up next to him. On this occasion she started off in my lap (he’s on my legs) and inched closer and closer. When he didn’t budge, she eased over on her back and stretched her head up onto his body and just reveled in the moment.

Bless her heart she is relentless in trying to win his affection, and it’s starting to work.

Poet Tree

Poet Tree

Several people in the neighborhood post poetry outside their homes, either in a dedicated housing or in this case, attached to a large tree by the street. Sometimes the poetry is self-written, while some highlight the work of others. Ellie and I pass by this tree pretty frequently on our walks, depending on the route she wants to take home, and the postings change over time, a Pooh quote below and a poem above. I was rather struck by the current poem, Langston Hughes‘ “I, Too”. I despised poetry in my youth so it’s not surprising that I was familiar with neither poem nor poet, but I was both moved and educated on our walk that evening.

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table,
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed —

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes