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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bashful Giant

We've been letting plants come up where they may in the lavender beds this year. Included in the rogue plants are several beautiful purple poppies (and the California variety that gets promptly pulled out), a wayward Russian kale and a giant sunflower. The sunflower is the most impressive with a 3 inch diameter trunk and a flower that's at least a 19 inches across. I attribute its enormous size to its DNA but also to the fact that it planted itself close to where we recently planted our cat, Bonnie. Cat's grow giant sunflowers, I guess. The rose we planted over her isn't doing to bad, either.

Unfortunately, the public walking up the sidewalk isn't able to ponder its incredible size as the flower head started facing due SW, away from public view and now its weight has given it a droopy, sad presentation, sort of Charlie Brownish. There's evidence of squirrel activity, though. Empty seed shells have been discarded in the depression around the top rim of the bloom. The squirrel sits up there and reaches under for the ripening seeds. Luckily, he can only reach under so far, so hopefully he won't get them all. But there is evidence of the varmint chewing his way down the bloom! Luckily, mostly collect the seed for next year's planting rather than to eat. They're just fun to grow. This particular plant might have been planted by that very squirrel, last Fall, which is rather funny that he picked the largest variety to perpetuate his food stash this year.

Admittedly, we've been feeding a squirrel on our front porch for dog entertainment. It sits just outside the front window staring at our dog, Snorky popping a gasket barking at it and bouncing around the back of the sofa, frustrated with the glass barrier. When the squirrel alarm goes off, we toss some peanuts on the porch. The fun lasts about 10 minutes, then Snorky spends the next hour keeping vigilance in case it comes back. He sits on the top of the sofa back with his front paws draped over the wood frame, head resting on them like a bored kid hanging on the back of church pews. The whole routine usually ends with snoring noises coming from his direction. Our useless cats sit on the porch and watch the whole thing happen without moving a whisker. The squirrel is so brazen that it literally climbs over the cats to get to the randomly tossed peanuts, acting as if they are part of the furniture. I guess that's what happens when they're all well fed.