Butter nut?

If you live with cats, you can expect to have your plans thwarted.

When I got up this morning, I decided I would change my bed linen, so I threw the cover over temporarily, intending to strip the bed after breakfast.

When I came back, there was Toby, all sprawled out.

Turf him off? Never!

Instead I went back outside to see whether I could get down the slope to this old tree we call the “waiting room” because it’s normally full of birds waiting for the bird feeders to be serviced.

The poor tree clings to life by a thread, throttled by the evil vine, in it’s scarlet Fall colour here.

My intention is to cut the vine off at the root to stop it growing further. But the slope is steep and thick with all manner of wild plants just waiting to twist my foot.

On top of which, everything was very wet this morning, so on balance I decided this might not be a good idea.


Meanwhile, one of those bizarre coincidences was playing out:

While chatting at breakfast, Grant mentioned he’d seen on Facebook Market Place a big box of butter nuts.

We eat butternut squash, which grows on the ground, but the nuts, Google advised, grow on a tree, known as white walnut.

In the back of my mind I remembered identifying one of our trees as a white walnut, but I did not recall ever seeing fruit on it. Maybe because I never looked.

Not half an hour after our conversation, Grant called me over with a bemused look on his face.

He was rounding up cats after their morning outing and came upon what looked like some sort of shell.

He held it up and sure enough: a butter nut.

Presumably discarded by a squirrel.

In the three years that we’ve lived here, we never even knew such a thing existed.

But no sooner did we mention it, than it arrived beneath Grant’s hand.

This sort of thing happens to us all the time.

We went to look at the tree, but there was not a nut in sight. Presumably already filched by the squirrels.

Just the one shell got left in front of the house.


While I had the opportunity, I should have grabbed Grant and asked him to move the wheelbarrow for me.

But I try to maintain some independence. Once you give in, I feel, it’s all downhill from there.

So I drained out most of the water and dragged the sodden mess up to a piece of open ground where I hope all my cuttings will turn into a good mulch.

Then I took some more pictures of the marigolds that looked almost ceramic in the dew:

Still not my favourite colours, but what pretty flowers.

Last year I planted a hollyhock in the bed up by the garage. It struggled at bit, but bore some pretty lavender-coloured blooms.

When it failed to show this year I was very sad and blamed the groundhogs for “pigging” it up.

After all, they ate everything in sight.

Discouraged, I didn’t buy a new plant just to feed the wildlife. Then, in late Summer some elaborate-looking weeds came up, near the back door.

Having almost pulled up one that turned out to be a very lovely and prolific impatiens, I thought I should give this other one a chance.

Surprise! It’s a hollyhock. And doing rather well.

Where it came from – not a clue.

Grant is not a gardener and I try not to use him for wheelbarrow duty so maybe that’s why he volunteered to find a hedge trimmer. I really didn’t want to pay the messy lawn lads to do it.

Grant is tall and has a long reach, but remember the steep slope I mentioned? Not sure what we’ll do about those back bits.

As for the rest…I guess I know what I’ll be tidying tomorrow!

Right after I get done with the laundry.

Toby didn’t even rise for lunch, requesting room service.

He finally stretched and hopped off around 2 pm.

Now if I’m quick I can whip the bedding off before he comes back…

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