Monday, June 10, 2019

More Flowers, and a Furry Visitor


Saturday evening, I was lying on the couch reading, with Olga snoozing next to me. The back door was open, and Dave was somewhere else in the house. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and at first I thought it was a trick of my glasses -- it was right at the point where the corner of my lens met "real life." I turned slightly, and it was a fox -- INSIDE THE HOUSE, about five feet from the back door and two feet from me!

The fox was watching Olga, whose eyes were (fortunately) closed. I wish I'd thought to try to get a picture with my phone, but instead I said, "Get out!" and waved my arms. The fox scrambled, just like a character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon -- it ran in place for half a second on our smooth wood floor before its feet found purchase. All I could think was, "Oh my God, Olga is going to kill this fox in our living room." I was picturing the blood and wondering how I would clean it up.

But by the time Olga looked up from her nap, none the wiser, the fox had shot out the door. She didn't pursue it. I don't think she realized what happened.

I've heard of foxes coming indoors, but we've never before had it happen here. It was a young fox, maybe even a first-year cub. I had a package of cookies sitting on the floor, and I wonder if that's what brought it in.


I spent yesterday in the garden. As you can see, there's still a lot going on. Our first poppy bloomed (top), and the first flowers opened on the hawkweed (above). Yes, that photo is oriented the right way -- the stem was bent sideways by the weight of the blossom.

The pink petals of our "Bowl of Beauty" peonies unfolded to reveal the shredded coleslaw at their centers:


I mowed the lawn and did some weeding, and I FINALLY planted out the rest of my seedlings -- three burdocks, five honesty plants and three hollyhocks that had been growing in pots. All my seedlings are now in the ground, and it's sink or swim. The honesties seem to do pretty well once they're planted, so I have high hopes for those. The burdocks, on the other hand, tend to get nibbled by snails (or something) -- which is surprising since burdock is basically a weed. Some hollyhocks do better than others -- a few have been eaten -- but we have enough (18!) that at least a couple of them ought to grow big enough to bloom next summer.


Our blue skylovers, a type of pimpernel, are flowering once again. They're supposed to be annuals, but this is their third year! They live in a pot on our patio and just keep coming back, and we haven't been doing anything to protect them in the winter.

Dave and I are watching a terrific TV show called "Chernobyl," a dramatization of the events following the explosion at the Russian nuclear reactor in 1986. It's a British production so I don't know if it's on in the states, but it probably will be at some point. I remember the day Chernobyl blew up -- I was a college student, working as a clerk in the tiny Tampa bureau of the St. Petersburg Times. (That's St. Petersburg in Florida, not Russia!) One of my colleagues heard about it and I think we turned on the TV to find out more. No one was sure how bad it was or what would happen -- there had never been a nuclear accident that big, but we'd all seen movies like "The China Syndrome" that predicted the worst. I don't know that I felt any sense of personal risk, but that might be because I was young and stupid.

I'm also still watching "Bloodline," which in last night's episode featured a murder with a conch shell -- fitting for a show set in the Florida Keys! (Key West is often known as the "Conch Republic.")

18 comments:

gz said...

an interesting...and interested...visitor!
Your garden is doing well.

I'm pleasantly surprised as to what turns upon American PBS (91 on Freeview here I think)..much historical and factual...including an in depth look at Vietnam and the troubles there. And no ad breaks....

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I laughed about the fox incident. It would have been great to see the expression on your face at that moment. As you may remember, we regularly had a fox in our garden but Fred never came near our kitchen door. There was a story last year about a fox mauling a baby after entering a house in Plymouth so I guess you were lucky! Good job you were awake.

e said...

That poor fox...I'm glad nothing bad happened and your cookies were spared. Lovely garden shots and yes, I remember the newsroom buzz about Chernobyl although I do not think any of us realized the possible consequences at the time.

Ms. Moon said...

Well, hello, Fox! Yes, I'm sure he or she wanted some cookies. I am SO glad that Olga slept through the whole visit.
Oh, Steve! Who would have thought that you'd become such a gardener? I love it! Your flowers are such objects of beauty, planted and nurtured and sustained by your work and love.

37paddington said...

A fox in the house! You really are in have a nature boy experience there in the middle of london. yes, better that olga was none the wiser. and that pink peonie is a beautiful thing. It's stamens look like a Chihuly sculpture!

Sabine said...

A fox inside! Wow. I would have freaked out. Totally.
Chernobyl was so so scary. We had conflicting information and for strange reasons the radioactive rain miraculously stopped at the Irish borders meaning that Irish dairy and vegetables and meat was "not" contaminated. This of course only increased the panic.
On the positive side it set the pace for several good initiatives incl. one that brought children from Ukraine and Belarus on regular holidays to Ireland which improved their health quite dramatically.

Red said...

A fox trying to read your book with you would give you a jolt. Urban wildlife can do some very different things like try and visit other residents.

robin andrea said...

A fox in your house! That's something I would never have expected. Wow! Sounds like a wild moment. Glad Olga slept through it. Your flowers are so beautiful.

Sharon said...

An encounter with a fox in your living room will get the old heart pumping. You are so lucky it scooted out before Olga knew what was going on. I guess those urban foxes are a bold lot. The flowers are gorgeous. That poppy is perfect and the "shredded coleslaw" is a perfect description for the center of that flower. Nature's designs are so amazing.

The Padre said...

Absolutely Gorgeous Photographs!! Well Done & Very Dimensionally Captured.

Cheers

The Bug said...

I love the fox story - Dr. M & I would have been on cloud 9. I wonder if we would have managed to get a picture, or if we would have been too stunned too?

I think I need to have that Bowl of Beauty in my life. So lovely!

ellen abbott said...

beautiful flowers. we have the scarlet pimpernel that grows wild along the road but a couple of years ago I saw a blue version growing as well. same plants/leaves/size, just that deep blue.

I've had a squirrel come in when the door was open and a juvenile possum once. and wrens.

jenny_o said...

That was a close call for the fox even though he didn't necessarily know it. Wow! Good thing he was easily scared off. Very cool event, and all's well that ends well.

Catalyst said...

Reading your post, I could see that fox spinning it's wheels on your floor before "getting purchase" and zooming out the door. BTW, my wife says that phrase about "finding purchase" or "getting purchase" is an archaic expression which her parents used but which has lost meaning in the modern world. I was glad to see it in your post.

Allison said...

That peony is just spectacular!

Linda Sue said...

The fox has been my favorite part of the day! I am glad that Olga snoozed through the visitor's scrambling on the bare floor. That would make a great animation.

Elizabeth said...

That is a WILD story. I would have freaked out, I think, and I so admire your calmness and quick reaction. My Carl has been rising at the crack of dawn to make his way to a nearby park to photograph foxes and their kits that are especially active this time of year. I can't wait to send him here to read about your experience! I haven't watched Chernobyl but intend to -- have you seen Fleabag? It might be my most favorite series EVER. Honestly.

Comox Valley and beyond said...

Beautiful photos and fun story nothing better, I have been absent quite a bit entertaining out of town visitors.