Sunday, September 24, 2023

Dead and dying

There is not a lot happening in the yard these days. No rain, so I have been watering. Too dry to mow, although the 'Crimson King' maple tree in the front yard is dropping its leaves. (I mow leaves instead of raking them.) Yesteday was the first day of autumn, but the weather is not cooperating.

Dry or not, dog poop still needs to be picked up. While completing this task, I came upon a dead chipmunk, literally belly up. No apparent trauma, but then I didn't inspect it closely. It could have been the victim of two critter-chasing dogs, or maybe a hawk dropped it.

Then, while filling up one of the birdbaths, I noticed a young raccoon lying on the brush pile in the corner, dead. The dogs killed a young raccoon earlier, which I found traumatic - the thing screamed like a cat - but those two can't reach the area around the brush pile. Maybe an owl dropped it? Some vultures were checking it out the other day, but it's still there. I'm letting nature take its course.

(I am of two minds regarding the dogs killing trespassing wildlife. On the one hand, I wish they wouldn't. On the other, without their vigilance, my property would be overrun by vermin.)

That houseplant I showed you a couple of weeks ago, the one that supposedly needs very little care, made a liar of the seller. The poor thing looks a bit bedraggled. Crassula 'Buddha Temple' succulents are prone to root rot, but they *do* need to be watered periodically. I hope the good soaking I gave this guy revives it.

Not everything is dead or dying around here. The aromatic asters are coming on strong, attracting pollinators and even a few butterflies.

I haven't planted the new asters yet - the ground is so hard and dry - but I may not be able to wait much longer. Even though I keep them watered, they won't last forever in their current state.

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