Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dog days begin

We've hit the dog days of August. It's a phrase as old as the Greeks, but in my mind, it's synonymous with the hot humid weather of August in the Southern U.S. I was daydreaming and reading at our dining room table this morning when I saw a loose dog racing its way down our street. Our street is busy--I rushed into action. Out the door with a leash, down the steps, across the street and there I was, embracing a chihuahua. A male one, un-neutered,no tags, collar or leash. My husband the professor noticed me, committing adultery there with another dog out there on the street, because before I knew it, he'd met me by the car. He handed me my purse, the keys, some water for the dog. Off I went to our amazing animal shelter for help. They know me there, I am a dog magnet...the lost dogs literally follow me around. The professor and I lost count somewhere around the 20th dog we dropped off. Many, if not all, have been sent home--either with their repentant owners or to new homes. Some of the dogs I've caught have been sent to other places in the USA, where the shelters are not quite so full with the dog overpopulation problem that we have here. Due to my strange power to attract dogs, (what can I say, it's my superpower?) maybe I help cut down on the serious overpopulation we have here. (I hope this dog is neutered before he goes home!)

I took advantage of the sunny weather to shoot some garden photos. First, you may remember that the professor is not a great fan of squash. (or, as it is known around our house...yucky squish.) However, back when my professor put the stinky compost in our garden, he also seemed to put some volunteer plants in! Within days we had two or three squash and tomatoes plants. The professor wanted to pull up the squash but I'm not one to quash volunteerism, and it is food and food is expensive just now. So, may I introduce a squash blossom or two? I've never actually grown squash before, and we have no idea what sort will immerge from these plants. It's like a plant surprise. I am enjoying it. We may be sorry later when they stat to fruit, but for now? I enjoy anticipation.

Our yard is verdant and the flowers get lost out there in the deep green weeds. I now use weeds to offer us privacy from the neighbors. I used to cut it down, but have since discovered that I like it better when I don't know what the neighbors are up to. Here are just a few of the flowers in our deep dense garden. I have no idea what this one is, but it's a volunteer. Can anyone identify this?

Then we have our lilies--again, no idea what kind, but they are so cheery! One of the advantages of living in an older house is appreciating all the plantings that were done before we arrived. We add to them, we nurture what's here as we can--and we enjoy the generations of flowers! We seem to have lost many of our orange tiger lilies this year, maybe from last year's drought?..but the pink ones are coming up stronger than ever.
The hitchhiker seeds are doing their evolutionary best to spread; I shot a photo of what I was wearing after I shot these few photos. The dogs bring them inside on collars and fur for me to pull off every day!

The professor loves heirloom seed varieties and plants with whimsy. This year, he's planted one named "Jack and the Beanstalk." It's a runner bean, just beginning to flower. It may be too hot for it to produce beans but in the meanwhile? We are climbing to the sky. Just a bit farther above the back porch, and away to the sun....(or to get the goose that laid the golden egg?)
I'm off to sit on the couch, drink something cool, knit and maybe read the afternoon away. Yesterday I fed my parents breakfast and they left us as they continued their vacation. Then I put up some food, making 2 quarts of Everlasting slaw (thanks for that recipe, Deb!) and roasting a few pounds of tomatoes into tomato garlic sauce for my freezer. Today, it's the dog days of summer, high time to lounge a bit, eat leftovers and look outside to watch the heat rise off the pavement.
Want to take a guess about my squash and flower varieties? Go for it in the comments!


Blogger Nancy said...

The lilies are known as Surprise Lillies. They come up early in Spring, looking like fat daffoldils. Then the plant dies back entirely. Then, this time of year you get stalks rising from the soil and the lovely lilies appear!

August 3, 2008 at 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first flowers certainly look like garden phlox (Phlox paniculata). And I'm with Nancy on the Surprise Lilies, aka Lycoris squamigera. I planted white garden phlox many years ago, but I think the purpley-pink color must be its native state, because I have them growing all over the place in my garden now, too. (You can see them in the background at They're bright, they provide lovely color this time of year (an appealing quality!) and they're even good for cutting. I've never cut the surprise lilies, though, so I don't know how they'd do.

August 4, 2008 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger The Professor said...

If you had asked me what the flowers were, I would have told you! I'm glad your blogger friends were able to help you out though.

August 4, 2008 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

You are brave to rescue lost dogs!

Around here they call the surprise lilies "naked ladies"...go figure?

...and I love a volunteer in the garden...(even if it is just a squish,) it is very good of them to just offer themselves up that way! Like they are just happy to grow where ever they fall!

August 4, 2008 at 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Naked Ladies are actually an amaryllis variant.

I just read about the neighbor incident and wow!!! I now understand why our fence people refused to work until each neighbor signed off in person on the project, even the ones that refused to pay for their part of it.

Squash blossoms in batter, fried--a good old Southern-style dish, if you don't like what the first blossoms grow into.

August 4, 2008 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger weebug said...

i haven't a clue on either account, but wanted to let you know that i have been lurking! not being able to pop around on blogs during breaks at work has put me seriously behind! i am always thankful to those people who let us know they have found our bad boys when they go a wandering!

August 4, 2008 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

well, the dogs look as if they've found a relatively cool spot to hang out, at least. :)

August 6, 2008 at 10:55 AM  

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