Silly Ajax Story
Yesterday I was out scooping up after the dogs and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ajax in snake-hunting mode:
Whacking in the long grass with his front paw, tail wagging joyfully, darting his muzzle cautiously into the grass and out again.
He was right next to the fence, so I went over to escort the snake to safety just as he tossed his head as if he'd caught something.
Then I saw what it was, and I really did laugh out loud:
A shed snakeskin!
Over the course of the day, he hunted for it and killed it several more times.
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By the time he had his vet visit, Ajax was fine. The vet said she could detect very slight lameness in his right leg by the way his foot was turned, but it was so little she believed it was a strain or sprain and not his hips.
The Niebling swatch was one of those "Let's see how he does this" things. Charts are great, photos are great, but I really have to feel how the pattern grows in my hands. I can't wait to get my hands on the patterns from Lacis. Anything that makes garden string look that good, I want!
Paw paw flowers do look like weird alien lips. And yet another thing I like about columbines is that the hummingbirds come to them.
Once I saw an enormous bumblebee going from columbine flower to columbine flower, but he wasn't wasting any time crawling in them: he was landing on the outside and stabbing right through the end of the nectar spurs to slurp out the good stuff.
I love our all-by-itself house. We have talked seriously about buying the next-door property if the absentee owners ever put it on the market. Just in case that doesn't happen, we've been planting shrubbery along the property border line.
And yeah, having it paid off and really ours is great. We still have to pay the property taxes, insurance, and utilities, but not having a mortgage gives us a certain freedom.
Just this morning I heard the indigo bunting singing, and what I think was a grosbeak (every year I have to relearn his song). There is a lot to be said for living in a place you love.
The hops are mainly my husband's. In the past, he has made such oddities as all-local beer (a member of his brewing club grew, threshed, and malted the barley) and hopped mead, and he usually shares either root cuttings or hops cones with the brewing club that meets at a brewpub.
The kind of hops you get in a homebrew store are called pelletized hops. To me they look like rabbit chow. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the cones when they develop later in the year. There is something compelling and prosperous-looking about hops vines with the cones on them.
A couple of the things I have learned about hops: The cut-down vines burn with an incredible fury when they are dry. Wow. Resinous an' all. If you get hops cones on your car the resin is teh suck to get off. The only beers I ever liked in all my long history of "Yuck" faces made at brewing club meetings were . . . unhopped.