Monday, May 1, 2017

Blazing Azaleas, Burglar Alarms

I'm sorry to inflict another dog-and-flower photo on you, but aren't those azaleas incredible?

Olga and I discovered them completely by accident while walking on the Heath yesterday. We were way up on the northern edge by Athlone House, and when we passed the gate to the gardens I saw a flash of color and decided to check it out. I'm so glad we did!

Athlone House has signs on the gates saying dogs visiting the gardens must be on a lead. But they don't say anyone has to be holding the lead.

Here's a panorama shot for full effect. Click to enlarge!

I hasten to add that I did hold Olga's lead when I wasn't taking photos. While we were there, she sniffed around a small, rocky pond beneath the azaleas. A man and woman passed by with a little furry, yappy canine on a leash, and the woman said, "Oh, my dog just fell in there!" Indeed, its fur was soaking wet.

The pond looked like it might hold a koi or two, so I said, "Are there any fish?" If there were, I thought, her dog probably gave them a shock.

"Piranhas!" exclaimed the man.

Wishful thinking, probably.

Olga and I walked about three hours. Dave, meanwhile, worked on the garden, planting all sorts of things he's purchased recently. After I got home, we put our rescued foxglove in the ground -- when we pulled it out of the pot where it was rooting, I was amazed to find a big ol' rootball! Clearly it's been thriving on the windowsill all this time.

We went to bed about 10 p.m., as usual, having watched a couple episodes of "The Leftovers" and "Mad Men." We were sound asleep when, at midnight, the burglar alarm went off. Now, this is a problem. Between you and me, we never use the burglar alarm, and it wasn't even armed -- when we looked at it the "tamper" light was flashing. So while it whooped and beeped and shared its rage with the neighborhood, I went scrounging around in our lease paperwork to try to find the code. No success. Finally we flipped the breaker that supplies power to the front door area, and that shut it off.

We kept hearing alarm noises, though, and we realized that weirdly, our neighbor's alarm was going off too! I think we all had a power outage -- our clocks are blinking this morning and need to be reset.

I have since found the code, so we'll be able to turn the breaker back on and resolve that problem today, hopefully. In daylight. When the neighbors might not hate us quite as much.


  1. Suggesting you don't have to hold the dog's lead is like saying that when you are in a car it's okay to wear a seatbelt across your body without actually snapping the buckle into its housing. Or if a sign says "No Cars", you drive into the area with a tank instead. The azalea bushes were a tremendous find - beautiful.

  2. You know, I don't think I've ever seen that color combination of azaleas and I doubt I'd ever purposefully plant those colors together but they are absolutely stunning!

  3. the azaleas are gorgeous. they are one of my favorites. we had a row of them along the property line at the house in the city, small when we moved in but grown large over the years that would bloom solid. unfortunately they died during the severe drought Texas had four or five years ago. we were living out here by then and the kids just weren't good about remembering to water them thoroughly every day.

  4. I really do hate alarms on houses. My last house had a system that I never used and my new place also has a system that I never use. I suppose if I lived in a big house with lots of things to steal, I'd think differently.
    I love the flower and dog photos, keep them coming.

  5. Brilliant blooms, and always a treat to see your wonderful dog!

  6. Olga looks like she's grinning at your joke! The azaleas ARE beautiful.

    One year we had a neighbour whose car alarm kept going off at odd times. I live in dread that my car will start doing the same.

  7. Olga is very calm with such a colorful background of azaleas.

  8. Those azaleas are impressive. I love the bright, cheerful color.

  9. Incredible azaleas! They almost look like bougainvillia -- it grows like that in a riot of color.

  10. Gorgeous color, and I never tire of pictures of Olga. As for the alarm going off, and then your neighbors', I'm happy that your first thought is a power cut and not anything more nefarious!

  11. Beautiful! And adding Olga to a picture always increases its value to me :)

  12. Hee-hee about the lead. Last year when we were visiting London and walking the Heath we came upon a sign that read--All dogs must be on a lead in the park. Yes this means even YOUR dog!

  13. Polly: I know that sign -- at the Hampstead Pergola on the West Heath! In fact, I blogged it here: