Watching the grass grow

Look at this picture I took this morning of that grass seed I posted last time:

This past week the weather has been perfect for growing grass.

This past week the weather has been perfect for growing grass.

But look what else has been taking advantage of this prime growing weather:

I tried to clean this area, but apparently not well enough. So, if I want the grass seed underneath to amount to anything, I have to get out there and pull out the take-advantage weeds. I wish I had my gloves on.

I tried to clean this area, but apparently not well enough. So, if I want the grass seed underneath to amount to anything, I have to get out there and pull out the take-advantage weeds. I wish I had my gloves on.

Look what I found underneath the clover and other sticker plants:

As I pulled away the sticker plants I found shoots of new grass buried under there.

As I pulled away the sticker plants I found shoots of new grass buried under there.

Crawling around in my yard on all fours, grubbing at weeds with my bare hands, with about a million other things to do right now, I thought, “Stooopid! You should have gone with the weed and feed!” But, it really didn’t take me that long to get rid of a bunch of weeds, and now the grass will grow and overtake the rest. I’ll spend a few minutes cleaning the lawn every morning after I give it a spritzer with the sprinkler, and I’m guessing I’ll have a nice bright green spot where I used to have dirt and stickers last July. 

I found a lot of surprises around my yard today. Last year I planted a blackberry vine along one fence. I love blackberries, my mom used to take us out along ditchbanks in Glenn County to pick them by the bags full. We’d take them home and I’d make a  big bubbling blackberry cobbler. My gramma used to complain about getting the seeds under her dentures, but she’d eat it anyways. Now I don’t know where to get blackberries, you have to be careful snooping around people’s private property, don’t want to get an assful of rock salt. So, when I found this little bush growing in the middle of my lawn, dropped in a bird turd I imagine, I dug it up and planted it along my fence. Grateful, it grew like crazy, bloomed, and put out over two dozen fat juicy berries. They were delicious, and we had to fight the blue jays for them. But this year, it was so dry, the poor thing didn’t really grow much, and I didn’t water it, busy with other things. But this morning I noticed, about another two dozen berries, and some of them were ripe. They taste like a sugar explosion.

Sorry, I forgot to take the picture before I ate all the fat ones. This one proved to be satisfying.

Sorry, I forgot to take the picture before I ate all the fat ones. These proved to be satisfying.

In the morning when I get up, I make a cup of coffee and stumble out to my patio, as the first rays are coming out of the East. The sky is beautiful, the air is nice, and the birds are cavorting and singing and acting pretty happy to be alive. Like Amarante Cordova, they wake up every morning and say, “thank you God for letting me live another day...” Except for Hummer. Hummer wakes up every morning with a mission – none shall pass!

These are called "pink powder puffs", "hermosa", and some people call them "smoke trees." The hummers and butterflies go insane over these flowers.

These are called “pink powder puffs”, “hermosa”, and some people call them “smoke trees.” The hummers and butterflies go insane over these flowers.

We have this little tree in our yard, it looks scraggly and dead all winter, but in early spring it begins to get these groovy fern leaves that close at night and open every morning, and soon after, it gets these little flowers on it. They’re really exotic looking, fluffy little pink “powder puffs”. Before the flower buds are even visible, Hummer starts standing watch, from his sentinel post at the top of our young redwood tree along the fence, or the old crepe myrtle in the middle of the lawn. He sits and sings his funny little song – this kind of chirp-buzz melody – a sort of HUM, I guess. And he’ll sail straight up in the air, until he disappears from my sight, and then drop out of the sky again like a missile, emitting this high-pitch whistle as he hurtles down. I wonder how many people have had their eyes put out by one of these little marvels. 

The Pipevine Swallowtail  butterflies like the tree too, they come in bunches when the sun is hot.  The males  fight among themselves, and there’s always a lot of courting between the males and females. But the other day as I was inspecting the drip lines in my flower beds, I witnessed a showdown between Hummer and a male butterfly.  Yeah, butterflies are testy. I’ve seen those little yellow ones go after bumble bees, and chase them away. This match between bird and bug was thrilling, like the aerial spectaculars of WWI and II! Hummer moved in with authority, as if he just expected to break up the butterfly party with one sortie. They chased him like a posse at first, then one male just started picking at him.   The others backed off as the dominant male butterfly engaged Hummer. Hummer seemed furious at first, then perplexed, then he just went up and sat on his redwood tree, to think it over? The butterflies returned to the flowers, as if the Hummer was forgotten.

Within seconds Hummer came flying off his post and routed the bunch of them, sent them fluttering off in all directions. Boy he seemed happy with himself, just full of it. He zipped around the yard several times, then sat up on the phone line over the tree, singing his little song. 

I feel lucky to be allowed in his yard. 

Thank you God, for letting me live another day.

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