Visitors who stay: Foo Man

We had thought this visitor was Shadow kitty, introduced here. The story is a bit sadder, I’m afraid. When trailerman moved, I suppose he couldn’t capture the poor soul and so left him behind, explaining why the cat looked scrappy and was always hungry.

I named him Foo Man a long time ago. While we were here full-time, this cat would hang out in the garden and seemed to have a Chinese-style beard that hung low. What I didn’t know then that we have since figured out is that Foo Man is deaf, the poor soul. We learned this by noting we could walk up on him while he was sleeping, making all kinds of noise on the approach. To wake him so he would move before being sprinkled or tossed off a cushion, I would touch him which would cause him to bolt several feet up in the air. Then we really started observing him, noting that while at rest, his ears do not move like cats’ ears tend to do while resting: twitching and moving in micro-directions as they track various sounds. I also began to notice he doesn’t pick up on KP’s approach until he sees him. Not our noisy back door nor our awkward human steps alert him, but rather he takes note by sight only.

In the ensuing weeks, KP took to feeding him. In time, he had Foo Man eating dry food from his hand, and then scratches and petting followed. Foo took longer to warm up to me. (My own fault; I used to startle him out of the garden. Zeke has first right of refusal, don’t cha think?) But this weekend, KP brought out a brush and we both did some grooming on him. (with much more needed!)

I’m glad he found us. I’m glad we can help. I’m not sure what we’ll do come winter. Here’s a happy Foo yesterday:

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Felis silvestris catus “Foo Man”

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Garden Visitors

Hello again! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. We went to South Africa for a couple of weeks in June, and our mutual employer has instituted some changes that have rocked our world, but the garden remains a tranquil anchor. And what a riotous blast of color and texture one can experience at this time. Until I have some pictures and a new post ready, I thought I would share some thoughts on some visitors we have.

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Terrapene carolina

This box turtle was attracted by some watering I was doing. The markings on his shell are just gorgeous. He (why anthropomorphize with the male gender…hmmm) wandered in for a shower and a drink. KP chased the poor critter down to get this and many other shots. Here he is leaving the garden:
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Another visitor of late is Shadow kitty from a neighbor’s house. Not sure of its gender; KP thinks its a “he” while I think it looks like a “she”. A very timid creature and always looking a little tousled, Shadow waits for us to place a little food outside and very gingerly accepts the gift.

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Felis silvestris catus “Shadow”

Update! (July 28, 2013) We’ve seen civilizations of dragonflies this year, perhaps due to a wet early summer that launched a bunch of mozzies and nasty green flies. Thanks to the dragonflies, these pests have been controlled. We love them for their pest control abilities and tend to idolize them architecturally. But it wasn’t until I read this post that my esteem was equalized by respect. In the garden, they appear to spend time resting (!) while holding onto a plant or lighting upon a surface. Once on a surface, their wings fold down as if in rest.

Odonata Anisoptera

Odonata Anisoptera

Oh, the illusive hummingbird! Always attracted to the crocosmia, they are ever so difficult to capture in photo. You can barely see it in this shot, but it is a gift to be relaxing and visited by these amazing creatures.

Trochilidae "Green Violetear"

Trochilidae “Green Violetear”

Added later: After a rainy morning, I watched in complete astonishment as this little bird preened and stretched in the afternoon sunshine. I have absolutely never seen anything like it. He lifted his wings, shuddered, stretched, posed – it was like he was doing yoga. Naturally, the camera was no where nearby. Startled when I did get up to fetch the camera, I didn’t have to wait too long for its return. But, the bird was entirely aware of having the camera aimed at him and this is the best I could get:

Dumetella carolinensis "Grey Catbird"

Dumetella carolinensis “Grey Catbird”