Benji and Tiger, Brothers

I don’t know exactly how or when it happened, but I do know that these two boys, rescued from previous lives that left them uncertain and scarred (within or without), crossed over from merely tolerating each other to real brotherhood.

I only know they did.

~ Susanne, Tiger and Benji

Apples and Dahlias and Tiger in the Garden

Today I took a stroll through my garden and this is what I saw.

The Apple

One would think it’s easy to grow apples in Washington State, a major exporter of the delicious crop.  One would be wrong (unless one lives in Wenatchee which calls itself the Apple Capital of the World.)

I planted a semi dwarf apple tree two years ago in my garden, and added another pollinator tree this year.  I was encouraged to see several promising apples earlier in the spring.  See picture below for the only healthy apple that remains on my tree. I’m hoping it will not go the way of the others, scabby and dropping prematurely to the earth.  I will give it a few more days before I harvest it.   I plan to savor every bite.

The Dahlias

The dahlias on the other hand, are at their best this month, faithful and eager to please.

I cannot take credit for them.  These came from my mom’s garden a few years ago and she even planted them.  The (expensive) ones I planted next to them earlier this spring did not come up; maybe they were waterlogged from the record rainfall this year.

Tiger

This is Tiger with the lone healthy apple.

Here he is again in the barren spot which had been allotted to the aforementioned dahlias that failed to appear this year.

And that is all from today’s walk through the garden.

~ Susanne

The Brotherly Antics of Tiger and Benji

Benji is a very sweet and cuddly kitty. But don’t let that fool you.  The boy is action packed and often full of pent up energy.  When you see these eyes, know that he is about to blow!He flies around the house at cat-speed, over and under, round and round the battered perch.

All this is rather amusing to watch unless you’re Tiger and happen to be in the way.  He may be coming for you next.

“Sue, we’ve got to talk,” he said.

“Sure Tiger,” I said. “What’s up?”

“It’s the boy,” he said.  “He’s out of control.  Can’t you do something?”

Of course I agreed with him, but when Benji gets into one of his fits, I’m not about to reach in and risk a hand.

“I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it,” I told him. “You know he’s not yet two years old.  And he’s good most of the time.”

“Yes, I suppose so,” he replied.

“But Tiger, if he comes after you in one of his whirlwinds, you have my permission to give him a wallop.  It would probably be more effective coming from you.”

“Aw Sue, I couldn’t do it. That’s not who I am.”

“I know Tiger, and I love you for it.  You’re the best, you know?  How about for now I give him the boot outside until he settles down.  Then you and I can visit peacefully.”

“That’ll do Sue,”  he said. “Thank you.”

And so we did.

~ Susanne

A Fruitful Summer Day in the Garden

Endless sunny days and so far I have worked very little in the garden.  Things grow and produce despite my neglect, but still it’s time for some maintenance.  Even an hour or two will accomplish a lot.

First, the Strawberries

Although I’ve been harvesting them for a month I still see a few stragglers remaining.  I always imagine they are anxiously waiting for me to come pick them, afraid of being left behind.

“I’m here, ” they call out.  “Don’t forget me.  I’m juicy and red.  Look just under the leaves and you will see me.”

I did and found many more than I expected.

Next up, the weeds

Once in the garden I see more work to be done and tackle the most glaring and obvious: the tallest of the weeds to be pulled, the volunteers to be moved or disposed of, the empty spots to be filled in.  The dahlias I planted last year didn’t come up again so I pulled the weeds that had taken their place.  This opened up a spot for a zealous rose and traveling lavender, both of which had sprung up unbidden nearby.  They earned it!

The Pollinators

Some of the work is best left to others, the pollinators for instance.  The bees busily worked the lavender like those on a mission but still left something behind for the moth.

The blooming and the ripening

I wander about the garden, stopping here and there to admire the flowers

and anticipate the promise to come; the ripening of these tomatoes for instance,

and biting down on one of these apples in the fall, the first I have ever grown.

And don’t forget to pet the cat

And what’s time spent in the garden without a furry friend?  Invariably I am joined by one or the other of my two cats who follows along and begs my attention.  I always oblige. Today it was the handsome Tiger.

A cool drink and it’s time to go.

A day well spent in the garden.

~ Susanne

Benji the Mighty Hunter

This is Benji and I am a mighty hunter.  Tiger taught me well.

First, he said, you must listen with your whole body until you sense the presence of the varmints underfoot. This I practice.

Then, he said, you will smell them.  Follow the scent. Quietly.  Patiently.

This too I practice.

Do not be quick to attack, he said.  Conserve your energy.  Wait. Watch. You will know when it is time.

When you discover their lodging, he said, but they refuse to surrender, you must dig and dig until you rout them out.

Rest if you must but do not lose heart.  If they escape today they will be there tomorrow for you to surprise.

These things I practice for I am Benji, the Mighty Hunter.

~ Benji

Well said, boy.

~ Tiger

P.S. from Susanne

Benji exercised these hunting skills for well over an hour last night, patiently watching, digging and pulling up tufts of grass but to no avail. The rodent apparently won this round but Benji was not discouraged.