Sunrise with "typical summerish" fog bank hanging over the river's mouth along Eastern Point on the morning of the Fourth.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Here's a gallery of images, captions and anecdotal commentary from the extended Fourth-of-July weekend Down East at Goomp's.
In the shadow of a patio umbrella dazzled by the same Maxfield Parrish sunrise blogged here, Tiny lays plans for a day of field and forest reconnaisance. She and her brother stayed out all night every night, with occasional pit stops for kitty treats. During the days, they alternated heavy power napping with further forays into the wild.
We awoke one morning to the sound of a White-Tailed Deer snorting in the direction of the terrace. At the sound of our opening the door, the deer darted down towards the lower forty as Tiny -- unruffled at the goings on from her vantage point atop the stone steps -- looked on with mild interest. As we posted two years back:
With cats and chipmunks, each species knows exactly what to do, but with cats and deer, the predator/prey instinct is skewed by the size differential. We've observed both Tiny and Baby nose-to-nose with White-Tailed Deer, and each seems bemused, the prey too large to worry and the predator too small to go for the jugular.
In the car on the way up, Babe (foreground) and Tiny keep an eye on Tuck as he fills 'er up with black gold. At $2.97 per gallon, it's still a lot cheaper than bottled water.
The animals -- especially Tiny, who has not a sixth but a seventh or eighth sense about these things -- always try to escape our clutches once they catch on that it's time to go for a ride in the car. More than once Tiny's made eye contact with sudden realization and hightailed it for the most inaccessible place she can find, usually under the master bed, just at the center where she is beyond Tuck's or our reach. Once we're underway, they settle down, with Tiny mostly sitting on the luggage in the back seat and Baby sitting in our lap. We ourselves invariably emerge at the end of these trips lined from head to toe with gray fur. The cats emerge with their inner feral cat front and center, ecstatic to be free to come and go when and where they will.
Common Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) -- taken from the wild in the surrounding landscape of Western Point by our mother decades ago and planted just outside the door in the border garden along the ocean side of the house -- thrives and blossoms year after year with a little assist from Tuck's artful pruning hand. A low-key exotic "escaped from cultivation," as the plantsmen say, it's considered a noxious weed in wheat-growing country due to the fact it's an alternate host for the crop-damaging wheat rust (Puccinia graminis). Much thanks to TigerHawk's second cousin, Greenman Tim of the fascinating Walking the Berkshires blog, for causing us to cast a second glance at those deceptively live-and-let-live transplants in Mummy's garden.
One woman's garden ornamental is another man's invasive species. Two introduced barberries -- Common Barberry (above) and its cousin Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii), both residents in our mother's garden -- long ago escaped from cultivation and are on the Federal Noxious Weed List in agricultural states, as is Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), a volunteer in our own Chelsea garden. As we blogged last summer, Rosa is "a lovely and fragrant early summer bloomer once prized as a "living fence" but now outlawed in many agricultural states for its aggressive weediness." Aggressive weediness. 'Reminds us of those unassimilating Muslim Eurabians we blogged about yesterday. Not to mention those phytoterrorists with their chemical WMDs in our own backyard.
Update II: Lots more cats plus snakes and snails and puppy dogs' tails at Modulator's Friday Ark #94. This week's picks: Mr. Gato's "new dominance tactic" at enrevanche and the 10th Circus of the Spineless at Science and sensibility, where "The surprise behind an Io Moth's forewings" at Burning Silo is a must-see.