Welcome to week ten of the diptych project I am doing with the talented Eden of Draw, Doodle, Decorate. Each week for the next year both of us will take a photo meant to represent a word and share the photos (and our stories about them) on our individual blogs.
This week, the word was “view”.
My photo is the one on the top. It’s a photo of one of my kitties (Ginger) lounging in a sunny spot on a desk in my art studio. The window looks out onto my front yard, and just outside the glass is a bird feeder and a hibiscus bush which is surrounded by some *seriously* overgrown wild petunia plants. The petunias tend to not bloom unless they are several feet tall, so I have been letting them get a little wild.
Ironically, shortly after I took this photo, my husband and I discovered we have some unwelcome wildlife looking to nest in the petunias, so they have to come out. They are so “root”y that to cut them down would basically make the patch into a little square of brown sticks poking up from the ground. Not exactly my idea of an attractive view.
As far as the wildlife: My husband and I were both sitting in my studio, chatting, when two small, furry animals climbed the hibiscus and jumped onto the bird feeder. At first, I didn’t think twice about it because I come from NY and squirrels are all over the place, climbing everything. But there are no squirrels here in Southwest Florida. It took me a moment before I realized that the furry creatures I was looking at were mice.
Tom and I both stopped speaking and stared at the window with our mouths open. We’re big animal people, so at first we were sort of admiring how healthy the mice looked- glossy, pale, fluffy coats and clear eyes. Probably someone’s pets. We commented that we hoped the snakes that live on our property don’t get them. And then we realized “wait a second, it’s probably *not* a good thing that we have mice in a tree right outside the window.”
Tom went out and took the bird feeder away and the mice scurried off. We consulted around a bit with local landscape/wildlife folks and found out the best way to discourage the mice from making the area their permanent home and populating it with many more mice is to remove the overgrown ground-covering and start fresh. My husband poked around in there for any signs of a nest but it looks like the mice were just scoping out the place, so we caught it right in time.
So it’s time to install the mice/squirrel proof bird feeder and time to say goodbye to the wild petunias, which is fine, actually- the petunias were put in before we moved into the house and I never really liked them.
And now that I know a tiny bit about plants, I’m starting to think about what I’d really like out there, what I’d like to look out the window and see for hours every day… something with bright flowers and big lush green leaves, and something that can be easily maintained… Maybe more hibiscus. Maybe NASTURTIUMS (just kidding, sort of… I have about 30/40 nasturtiums growing and/or germinating in the container garden, so when my husband heard I was thinking about planting them out front, he groaned a little bit.)
For more on Eden’s (very, very cool!) photograph and to read the story behind it, please visit her blog!