bunt sign

Monday, January 22, 2001

When I peeked through the blinds for the first time yesterday morning (and trust me, it wasn't all that early), a large orange cat was curled contentedly under a clump of wild grass in the garden. The birds were in the trees. The cat seemed oblivious, but the birds were obviously nervous. The food, after all, was on the ground.

Now, bird lover that I am, I still don't generally chase the cat away. This one and a skinny gray striped one are the two that I see most often, and there are four or five others that come around every so often as well. I don't mind, because I haven't seen any rats lately. But the cats don't usually make themselves so comfortable in my garden.

One thing I know is that as soon as I open the front door, any creature close by will flee. That's why you haven't seen pictures of the sight that has me transfixed every day, of my garden alive with a dozen or more birds. They'll always fly off, but they'll be back. The cat isn't approachable, and I knew all I had to do to get him away from the birds would be to open the door.

So there aren't any photos of the cat in the grass. I did happen to capture him later in the afternoon, sitting comfortably on the fence post, scanning my yard on one side and the field on the other.

here, kittystaring me down

This was as close as he would let me get, though.

Eric dropped by yesterday to help me put together the storage racks he gave me for Christmas. (And when I say "help me," I mean he let me watch.) We haven't had a lot of rain since the big storm a couple of weeks ago, when the garage flooded, but more Weather is promised later this week. So I'm glad to be able to get my records and a lot of my tapes up off the floor and away from the rushing waters.

my new shelvesI swept it out, too.

It's also good to have a little more space in general. I don't like to feel crowded when I'm parking the car.

I feel as if I've been writing too many words in the last few entries, and not all of them words I'm really happy with. So I've been hoping for one of those spectacular California sunsets to take me off the hook. This one from last night isn't one of the best, but it's pretty darn good.

Sunday sunset

California oak trees are being killed by a disease called sudden oak death. In Marin County, just to the south, it's an epidemic. Oregon has banned the import of California wood products. I would be devastated if something dreadful happened to the mighty oaks in my yard.

oak tree against the winter sunset

There's apparently nothing to be done, that they know of, but the disease is being studied. I'm really looking forward to spring, when all my trees are green and lush. In a few weeks I'll be watching out daily for the first leaves of the season. For now, I'm just in awe of the magnificently twisted way the great branches grow out of that sturdy trunk.

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Lynda, I thought you said you were tired. You look absolutely radiant in the latest set of pictures with your granddaughter. And the new mother and aunts are a good-looking group, aren't they?

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