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I am not a fan of morning glory vines because they are invasive. I took this photo in early June of last year when I was visiting Lam. Today I dropped by to leave something for her and she happened to be there. We went around back and I saw this morning glory vine again. It had completely obliterated one side of the wooden fence. If anyone knows the name of this morning glory, jump in with a comment.


The last time I called for eggs, Mrs. Beekeeper told me that Junior got rid of the hens to go mountain climbing or some such event. I don’t remember, exactly.  She mentioned that Junior kept the rooster because it was “a good guard dog.”

crockpot rooster-0501

Chickens and roosters are hard to photograph. They don’t pose.
Next time I catch him wandering, I’ll take a new photo.

I almost choked. I’m sure I gasped. That rooster’s inner clock is on the fritz and he crows not only at sunrise but all day long. However, the Law of Circumstance dictates that the very moment you need the rooster to scare off a burglar, is the moment he’s going to cock his head and give the burglar his stupid look.

With the air conditioning on, I can’t hear the rooster most of the time. When I do, I go to YouTube and crank up Martin Hurkens. He sings You Raise Me Up better than either Josh Groban or Susan Boyle.

After Junior got rid of the hens, he gave the rooster the run of the neighborhood which is only fair. You can’t lock up a rooster all by his lonely. It’s not – what is the chicken equivalent of “humane?” Chickenane? Henane? Roostermane? I dunno. You can tell me later.

I’ve seen that rooster in the middle of the road, two doors down, and all the way down at Mr. Golfcart’s. I’ve seen him chasing behind The Hippy’s riding lawn mower. I’ve seen him poking around in the grass in our yard which is okay because he leaves no evidence. However, he leaves a lot of evidence when he does his rooster scratching in our driveway outside the gate.

Note edge of driveway in bottom right-hand corner

Note edge of driveway in bottom right-hand corner

What a mess!

What a mess!

The driveway and the crowing condemned him. Despite having no authority over his future, I nominate him a Crockpot Rooster.

In Garden Tip-Compact Way To Save Seeds, I shared with you Tonya’s notebook method for saving seeds. Not everyone can cram all their saved seeds into a notebook so I am offering you another idea.

Dawn Endle, a fellow subscriber to The Plants Exchange on Facebook may have the ultimate in seed storage. Dawn stores her seeds and annual bulbs in a plastic storage unit which she puts in an old refrigerator set at 50 degrees. Come February when she wants to start seeds, everything is in one place.

Photo Credit: Dawn Engleused with permission

Photo Credit: Dawn Engle
used with permission

Photo Credit: Dawn Engleused with permission

Photo Credit: Dawn Engle
used with permission


Linda Cunningham wanted to compare one of my plants to hers because mine had a different name. So I took some cuttings which I put in a bucket of water to keep them from melting before I could get to her house. I belted the bucket into the front seat beside me to avoid any unwanted adventures on the way over there. I should have known it was impossible to avoid an adventure. Before I could even crank the car, a green grasshopper flew out of the cuttings and landed on my steering wheel giving me one of those beady-eyed insect looks. I was so startled, I screamed. I couldn’t help it, okay? Thankfully, Poppie got into a bad batch of hearing aid batteries. He was sitting on his back porch right by the garage and it would have been embarrassing if he had come to my aid over a grasshopper.

I pulled a map of Atlanta from the crack next to the seat and whacked him out of the car with enough force to cannonball him into the next county if the garage hadn’t been there to stop him.

At Cunningham’s, I watched with fascinated awe at the level of her courage compared to mine. Whenever she encountered one of those monstrous Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, she picked it off the plant with her bare hands and called her dog, Milo.

Eastern Lubber GrasshopperPhoto Credit: Linda Cunningham

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Photo Credit: Linda Cunningham

Milo would come running and promptly dispatch the grasshopper with two shakes of his head and a toothy crunch to its neck. First time I have ever thought about getting a dog.

Milo with grasshopperPhoto Credit: Linda Cunningham

Milo with grasshopper
Photo Credit: Linda Cunningham

African Blue Basil has been on my “want list” ever since I saw it at a Duval County Extension Agent class 3 or 4 years ago. It is a sterile (does not produce seeds) perennial basil with a strong camphor scent but that didn’t bother me. I wanted it for its non-food properties —  it blooms profusely with very tall flower spikes that attract all kinds of bees and other pollinators.  African Blue Basil probably needs staking unless you aggressively pinch or cut it back. It tends to flop all over and part in the middle.

African Blue Basil close-up

African Blue Basil close-up

African Blue Basil spike with very small butterfly

African Blue Basil spike with very small butterfly

It’s inability to produce seeds is probably why it’s hard to find but I finally got some. Tell everyone! Linda Cunningham has African Blue Basil! Don’t forget that Cunningham’s is open year round by appointment. You can get her phone number and directions here.

Late breaking news: Linda Cunningham informed me today that Milo’s annihilation of grasshoppers is over. She took him to the vet and learned his inflamed mouth is caused by the toxic juice grasshoppers give off. Milo’s grasshopper vet bill exceeded the others, too. Short-lived occupation as a Grasshopper Dispatcher.

Even in death, what beauty to behold. I found this Luna Moth lying out in the grass today with much of its color leached out. Notice the brown margins at the top of the wings and the two “eyes” curling just below it, the two round circles in the lower wings and the delicate line covering the sides of all four wings. It almost looks like a delicate Chinese painting. My photo does not do it justice in terms of the detail you can see with the naked eye.

Luna Moth-2537

I think we should add a new word to the English lexicon that would combine the words cat and crap. Twitter users would then have a hashtag — #ohcrat — for stories about their beloved cats.

One of my cats lives permanently with Poppie because my other cat, Whiskey, is a bully. I bear all the expenses of cat ownership but visit with Big Foot only when I cook dinner for Poppie. Thus, I am down to one cat who will come inside at night and sleep with me. I like the comfort of a furry animal who takes over most of the bed.

Whiskey - furry animal comfort

Whiskey – furry animal comfort

There are downsides to furry animal comfort. It is not bestowed nightly, due to roaming, and comes with a hefty fee, thanks to Poppie’s habit of feeding the cats a “red eye” special. In other words, on the nights Whiskey deigns to sleep inside, his habit of catching the red eye special does not change. It simply does not matter to him that I am NOT a morning person. Such a shortcoming on my part garners no empathy. His non-roaming fee must be paid. At 4:30 a.m.

For me, 4:30 a.m. is prime sleeping time. The thriller novel finally set aside, the 2 a.m. bathroom call satisfied, you get the picture. Whiskey has to really work at waking me at 4:30. If meowing, walking on me, hair pulling and face sniffing do not raise me from my slumbers, he starts throwing things off the night table. A tube of lotion, an ink pen, a pencil. In final desperation, he pulls out all the stops. Hearing the glass water bottle slide off the night table and crash to the carpet ALWAYS transforms me into a morning person mentally hollering “Oh crat!”

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