6th September 2023

“Excuse me?”

“If it’s not too much trouble,”

“Could you come back inside,”

“We would quite like breakfast.”


“Um, would now be suitable?”

“She’s not even listening.”


“Maybe I’ll just nibble this little flower.”

“Please flower, may I eat you?”

Muffin is very polite. She would never eat a plant without asking permission or giving thanks.

After a few rejects, she settled on a blend of Fancy Feast she liked.

Not that she will like it next time it’s offered, of course.


There is always someone looking for a meal around here.

Our regular squirrels have not yet returned from their prolonged holiday.

But it seems they sent temporaries to fill in while they are gone.


They appear to be recent discharges from squirrel hospital.

Battered is quite a normal condition for squirrels.

Such sweet faces. Such vicious fighters.


Groundhogs chase each other too. Recently we saw one that was dragging itself along by its front feet.

At least one of its back legs was useless, if not both, although the animal was getting around quite well.

We haven’t seen it since.


This one was singing an ode to the coming hibernation:



“Winter’s cold and very long”

“I go me down below”

“Woe, woe and woe, below”

“I stuff my face all summer long”

“And get all big and round”

“But then I go below the ground”

“To sleep the winter through”

“Ooh, ooh.”

“And when I wake, I’m like a rake.”

“A rake, a rake! For heaven’s sake!”

“Oh woe, oh woe!”


It’s also called “Woe’d to a carrot”. The meaning a bit lost in translation.


“Master Sparrow, it’s awfully quiet!”

“Perhaps it’s the humidity, wife.”

“It makes the wings so heavy.”


The heat and humidity have been climbing steadily these past couple of days and it’s got stinging insects worked into a frazzle of activity, dive-bombing me every time I venture out.

The last time I was thus tormented was when I was 8, my fresh English blood such a treat for Cambodian mosquitoes.

What these New York mozzies get from such ancient serum, I can’t imagine.

Indigestion, I hope. No. That’s unkind.


My hair which is frightful at the best of times, is frizzing up at all angles.

And to be really annoying, a few extra grey strands had a growth spurt.

At my age the colour is not an issue.

Gray hair has a whole different texture and degree of unmanageability.

No-one warned me to expect this.


Well nevermind.

This heat bubble is supposed to burst after tomorrow.

It ought to culminate in a rip-roaring thunderstorm, though none is predicted

Those storms that break oppressive heat are so refreshing.


But as I make my way through the scruffy expanse of assorted greenery on my humble piece of land, I wiggle my naked toes about reminding myself that in a few short weeks, they will once more be clad in boots.

What creatures will spend the winter with us this year? Will the wild turkeys reappear? The possums?

What of all those other squirrels and which birds will we see?

Whoever comes will be most welcome.

4 thoughts on “Woe’d

  1. A very entertaining song from the groundhog 😁. I’m sure you will have a lot of winter guests coming to stop by! Beautiful last two photos of that lovely pink flower 🌸.

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