… a fond farewell to Mickey and Minnie.
The Canada Geese are back after an absence of nearly two months! This morning I saw about a dozen of them flying overhead in the traditional V-formation, and decided they might be headed south, given the last few days of cooler-than-normal morning temps. Honestly, I had missed their cantankerous hissing, honking and my need to duck down and protect my head when a flock of geese flew overhead. The nature nook was not the same without them. So, evidently their flying feathers have grown back and the geese have returned as well.
Yesterday’s session in the garage stretched from mid-morning to late afternoon, and, by the time I was done, I had rounded up three bags of garbage, mostly that papery cellulose that was piled up in corners, behind shelves, or even embedded in the lawn equipment. Unbelievably, strands of gray cellulose even dotted my “reserve” silk flowers I have on hand (just in case the existing ones should blow away during a stiff wind, even though they are weighted down in their respective pots and baskets).
In cleaning the garage, I decided it was also a time to bid farewell to two old faithful garden friends “Mickey” and “Minnie” which, as you see above, are a pair of life-sized Canada Geese who have graced the backyard since the 90s. The past few years they have, however, been relegated to the garage for no particular reason. I vividly recall the time we brought them home. One day my mom and I were walking around Johnny’s Nursery, our favorite go-to spot for landscaping and annuals, when this pair of Canada Geese just called out our names. We bought them on the spot, and, on the way home, on a lark, decided to name them. They are so realistic looking, and their markings so resemble that of real Canada Geese, that through the years, whenever new neighbors moved in, they did a double take (until they realized the geese pretty much held the same pose, and they soon figured out they were not the real deal).
The picture above was taken by my neighbor Marge, when she got her first digital camera in 2006, and she surprised me by e-mailing me a series of pictures of my garden later that same day. Here is another shot of the geese from the same day:
Sadly, the backyard, which included a big butterfly garden as well, and, to me, was like paradise back in 2010 when it was really exquisite, lost most of its pizzazz after Polar Vortex #1 came through, dealing a punch and knocking down three butterfly bushes and some rose bushes and evergreens. Then, the following year, Polar Vortex #2 wiped out most of my perennials. I had been proud of my black-eyed susans, coneflowers and daisies which had lined each side of the yard since the mid-80s. I decided it was “paradise lost” and I was fed up and vowed then to never put that much effort into a garden or yard again. The walking regimen I began in the Fall of 2011 also contributed a lot to that mindset. Now, I use silk flowers instead of annuals and have reduced the rose garden and enjoy it and the perennials that made it … I’ve not replenished anything. This past Spring, I was dismayed to find my longstanding Nellie Moser clematis, which I had trained to climb a tall pole, did not make it. So, still another touch of color in early Spring is gone forever.
I walked four miles again today. I wanted to work in the yard and had to take the car out of the garage anyway, so I got two laps of the entire park in … four miles in just under an hour, then hurried home to hustle out for weeding and trimming the bushes and rapidly filling up yard waste bags. Why does everything look so wild in just a few weeks’ time?
Now I am done with fiddling around with the house and can enjoy the remainder of the Summer. There are still some odds and ends to do inside and start shopping and gathering pantry items for the Winter, but I am happy to be done with this humongous effort to get the house in order once again.