Illegal Alien Invasion

 Wabbit War Press Release

Grumpa Joe has had the barrier area under tight surveillance for the past forty-eight hours. The enemy has retreated, or has changed tactics. Osama de Wabbit has gone underground. Most likely, he is hiding in a cave of foliage somewhere in the area. Meanwhile, the Alliance has strengthened (Grandma Peggy and Osama de Wabbit) with the addition of mosquitoes, and stripped ground squirrels.

On several forays to improve the barrier in the evening hours, Grumpa Joe has encountered heavy concentrations of buzzing mosquito kamikaze fighters. He retreated in order to minimize bloodshed.

Grumpa Joe has not sighted Wabbit during daylight hours prompting him to believe Wabbit is now attacking under cover of darkness.

The barrier remains breached, and damage to prized horticultural specimens continues to occur.

Grumpa Joe is forming a commission of Master Gardening experts from universities throughout the Big Ten to investigate the problem.

The lure of Grandma Peggy’s Free Seed for Birds Program has caused an Illegal Alien invasion. Wabbits, young and old are coming to assist Osama de Wabbit eat free. The FSBP is stressed by the additional burdens placed on it. The rate of consumption has doubled since the beginning of June, and is burdening the resident taxpayer. Additionally, two robins died after slamming into the picture window during aerial pursuit. Grumpa Joe sadly gave them appropriate “Aerial Burials.”

Grumpa Joe must secure the barrier before the garden becomes bankrupt of colorful floral displays and natural food sources for birds.

Sneaky Slinky

SlinkyHe’s baaack.  A few weeks ago, I noticed a huge garter snake on the front lawn. He is easily seven hundred and sixty centimeters  long, and three centimeters in diameter. I was curious, and moved closer to take a look. He slithered off into the Barberry shrubs and disappeared. Oh well, I forgot about him. The next week I was cleaning the pond of algae when I noticed a strange looking stick protruding from the edge of the waterfall. Upon looking longer, I realized it was Slinky holding his head vertically erect a full six inches above the waters edge. I kept cleaning the pond. He disappeared again. A few minutes later I saw him emerge from the rocks that hide the filter tank. He sprawled on the rocks like a piece of rope. I moved closer to get a better look. He immediately slithered between the rocks and disappeared.

Later in the evening, Peggy and I walked around the yard looking at the flowers. We were admiring the California poppies when she noticed something move in the foilage. I reached down to spread the stems; nothing was there. We walked a few steps more when I spotted Slinky again. He’s the one who moved in the poppies, and  now, was on the edge of the water on the rocks.

Later in the week, Mike came by and I showed him Slinky and his home. We stood within four feet of the spot and talked. I happened to look away from Mike for a moment only to see the snake slithering through the lawn into the wetlands. He went on the lam through the back door. Good riddance I thought.

Every time I weed or clean around the pond, I watch for my new found pet. I hate snakes, and would rather do him in than tolerate him, but I must get over my childhood fears. I know what my mother would have done. She would have stalked Slinky with a hoe, and at the first opportunity he would have been twins.

Yesterday, I walked out the front door to my car, and noticed Slinky on the lawn again. This time he was only partially emerged from his den. He lives under the walkway to the house. As soon as I stalked him to get a better look, he disappeared into the hole under the concrete.  Since then, I have seen him several more times in the morning when the sun  warms the concrete. 

I will be speaking to my Master Gardener friends to re-learn the techniques for capturing  a slithering slinky garter snake. He gives me the creeps.

Slinky Eyes Me Up

Needed Downtime

Barb's Orchid CollectionThis BLOGGER took some needed downtime. Peggy and I went south and east until we hit some serious water, then followed the coast further southward. We were seeking warmer weather, and some colorful spring flowers. We got it all.  Along the way, we stopped to visit friends from another life.  I have a list of friends I want to visit before I die, and I got to see four of them.

We also got to see a section of the country that we’ve never seen before, i.e. the North and South Carolina coast. Peggy lived in Columbia, South Carolina during the nineteen fifties. She was with her husband Ron, while he was in the army.  Our sight seeing began in the small hamlet of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, on the Atlantic ocean. Sneads Ferry is a fishing town located on the southern border of Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine training base.

The couple  we visited built their dream home on Everett Creek  which winds into Stone Bay, then  into the Intercoastal Waterway, and finally the Atlantic Ocean. Barbara, the Lady of the House, is a Master Gardener. She took her training in North Carolina, and was a encyclopedia of horticultural knowledge about local plants. She has been building her new garden for five years. It continues to expand. Inside the house she sports a collection of orchids. Many are in bloom, and are gorgeous.  Gary, the Master of the House, designed and built the home. He is an engineer and it shows in the construction details of the building, and layout. He also added a greenhouse for Barb, and a walkway from the house to the creek . 

White Orchid

 Time flew by rapidly, and the visit lasted longer than we had anticipated. Gary and Barb drove us around Sneads Ferry, and Topsail Island. The town is a blink of the eye, while the island, and beach stretches for miles. The weather was cool and drizzly, so there were not too many hardy souls on the beach; it was empty. We quickly gathered a few shells to bring home, then moved on. We lunched on softshell crab at the Sears Landing Grill in Surf City, and talked about times we spent together.

Gary and Barb recommended we see Charleston, so onward down the coast we drove to Charleston, South Carolina.  The city founded in 1670 is one of the oldest in the United States. We checked into the Mills House Hotel in the heart of the historic district. Built in 1853, it stands as one of the oldest hotels in North America. It was totally remodeled, and updated in 1970. Without doubt, this is a five star hotel.

Peggy and I arranged to take a carriage ride around town in the morning. We passed homes and churches built in the seventeen hundreds. All have been meticulously restored. The entire historic district is on the National Registry, and will remain so in perpetuity. Even though the district is historical and old, it is houses many private citizens, and commercial enterprises. We ate lunch in an old building, once a cotton warehouse, and now a modern sports bar.

Rainbow Row-Charleston, SCCharleston in BloomCharleston HomeCity of ChurchesAfter lunch, we sauntered to the harbor and took a cruise around the bay for a waterfront perspective. One of the porters on the ship lives in a house boat at the dock . He is retired, and fortifying his income working on the cruise boat. He commuted by taking a thirty second walk from his tiny float home across the dock to the sightseeing boat. Peggy and I got sun burn while basking on the deck. She was white knuckling the chair the whole time, not being one for taking boat rides.

Very Large Old HouseBridge to CharlestonMills House LobbyAntebellum HomeWe arrived at the Staybridge Suites in Savannah, Georgia on Bay Street early. Our room was not ready yet so to kill time, we booked a trolley tour of the historical district. What a city! I always wanted to see Savannah, but somehow this part of the country eluded me. Savannah was founded in 1733, by General James Oglethorpe. He was also the architect of the city layout.  The historic district is a beautiful grid of streets  divided into districts by squares or parks. Twenty four distinct little squares define open spaces between congested avenues of row houses and mansions. Twenty two of the squares still exist. Two have fallen prey to civic center development. In between the streets with the squares are larger more elegant boulevrds. The median dividers on the boulevards are filled with pink, white, rose, and red azaleas. Shading the streets are giant oaks, three hundred years old, and dripping with dainty  Spanish Moss. 

Wisteria Laden Home in Savannah, GAPeggy and I roamed the streets from square to square taking house tours, and visiting museums.  Among the more notable homes we visited was the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace. Juliette  founded the Girl Scouts of America In 1912. The house has been preserved, and is in excellent condition. It contains many pieces of the original furnishings. In the Telfair Museum of Art we saw two wxhibitions by black artists. One of them by a man named Robert Colescott has a series of contemporary paintings on display. It is my opinion that this man was on some serious shit while he painted. The second artist, Elizabeth King, displayed a ceramic mannekin head the size of an apple and with infinite realistic detail .  She photographed the head from various angles against a black background; the photos are magnificent. She is a true artist, while Colescott seemed to paint only while high, or maybe he just can’t see too well.

Red Azaleas on River Street, Savannah, GATypical Savannah SquarePre-Civil War Funeral Parlor Pink AzaleasWhite AzaleaReally White Azaleas

Home of Juliette Gordon Low, Founder of Girl Scouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

White CameliaRelaxing in a Square, Notice the ShoesThe Savannah river front along River Street is a string of shops, and restaurants, converted from old cotton warehouses. A Green and Yellow Trolley runs along a track laid in the center of the cobblestone street, reminiscent of streetcars I rode in Chicago during the forties. A container ship passed by as we shopped. Savannah is the second largest container port in the US.  Here is a piece of useless info, the largest export out of the port is chicken; shipped to China.

More to follow.

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