Several years ago, I planted a clematis at our previous property. Each year it would grow, but never bloom. When we moved, I somewhat perversely decided to transplant it to the new property. Apparently, it was much happier in its new location, and it shot up the side of our deck. I thought I would finally get to see it bloom. Then my son, with the best of intentions, cut the grass in the backyard and mistook my clematis for a weed, leveling it with a swipe of the weedeater. Undaunted, I protected what remained of it through the long winter and crossed my fingers for this summer. (I also announced to everyone repeatedly to beware of that little spot next to the deck!!)
I finally received my reward!!
Similarly, I went to a Green Elephant plant swap a couple of years ago. Among other treasures, I was given a baggie full of what I thought I heard were crocus bulbs. Crocus bulbs? Those delightful, little harbingers of the end of the long, wet winter? Yes, please!! Well, life being what it was at the time, I didn’t get the little bulbs in the ground for quite a while because we were in the thick of moving. Finally, gardener’s guilt kicked in, and I made a place for them just outside the front door. Lo and behold, I was not too late, and long, green leaves began to appear. But they didn’t look like crocus leaves and they didn’t bloom. I’m not much for killing things, especially when they aren’t doing any harm. So I left them. The next year, the greenery became thicker and taller, but no blooms. By now, I realized that they weren’t going to be crocuses, but I was intrigued by the mystery of what they were.
I finally got my answer in the past couple of weeks!
One neat fact about crocosmia is that hummingbirds love them. It happens that I planted the corms underneath my hummingbird feeder, and we’ve been enjoying watching the hummingbirds buzz around them and rest on their branches.
Anyone who is at all familiar with me knows that I love all animals. Not one passes from my life without grief, but a few have chosen me as their companion and their passings leave a larger void.
Seventeen years ago, I decided that it was time for my two sons, the oldest of whom was around three, to have a dog. I started watching the newspaper for a mixed breed, something with the intelligence and energy of a cattle dog and the sweet disposition of a golden retriever. One day, an ad appeared for Golden Retriever and Australian Shepherd puppies. I jumped in our truck with my mother and sons and drove straight to the address listed. There, I saw the mother, a small Golden Retriever, and her litter. I took one look at a male pup with a big patch of blue merle on his side that said Australian Shepherd to me, and the decision was made. I had no idea that $50 was getting me a companion who would shadow my every step outside for the next 17 years.
Because my younger son was just learning to talk and could just get out the word “doggie,” our new boy was promptly named “Augie.” As with any healthy puppy, he grew quickly. Strangely, however, his legs never did. He had the body and head of a golden retriever, but the impossibly short legs of a corgi and Queensland heeler. So much for the mysterious Australian Shepherd father. And we never visited a new vet without seeing a quizzical expression, followed the question, “And. . . what is Augie’s breed??”
Short legs never stopped him, though. He had no problem following me everywhere. And when he had to deal with appearance of a high-falutin, sleek, long-legged, purebred Border Collie who joined our family in the last few years, he handled it with great aplomb. Whenever possible, he took the tennis balls she obsessed over and buried them with his nose so she couldn’t find them. You could actually see a sparkle in his eye when he knew he had found one. He also had the truly uncanny ability to hide gardening gloves. . . .but only right-handed ones. We have never been able to figure out how he knew the difference.
Augie, my little buddy, you may have been small, but the hole you leave is vast. You will be missed.
We kayaked for about 2 1/2 hours around Lake Union, toured the Lady Washington of Pirates of the Caribbean and Starship Enterprise fame, and ate great fish and chips at Ivar’s. All in all, a wonderful day.
My son and I are Beach Watchers. Among other activities, we gather with other volunteers at our local beaches at low tide and offer information about the flora and fauna that live in the intertidal zone.
Yesterday was our first beach day in well over a year, and it was wonderful to be back. These are just a few of the surprises the Sound revealed. (The identifications are my best, researched opinions.)