Summer and Cat and Trees

Franklin keeps track

Franklin can be puzzling. He’s so long-legged and limber; exactly how has he tucked himself up here? His front legs are poised in front of him, bent at the knee joint. They’re a little indistinct because I’m still working with a camera that focuses when it wants to, so we’re mostly soft focus now. The visible hind leg is extended along with his tail. I’m thinking that underneath him, he’s thrust his other hind leg far forward and he’s resting his head and neck on that hind paw we don’t see. I think the the large joint on the back leg, called the hock, is partially visible in the picture; but you have to look close.

Pines . . . some are matter of fact and some get weird.

Farther than it looks

Threading the canopy

Game of pick-up-sticks

Mimosa, way up in the air

There’s even mimosa out there!

Waving at skies

Cunning conifers

In the pines . . .

Slipping in pastel

There’s a bumper crop of pine cones this year!

Pinecones galore!

Strange fiction

Franklin, one smug cat!

Franklin has no intention of editing, but he did remind me that listening to the critters outside is one of his passions and it’s time to post some of them.

As I’ve said before, taking pictures of insects around here is called “Looking for bugs in all the wrong places.” That goes for reptiles and amphibians, too. They will not seek out the nice natural backgrounds!

A five-lined skink on some steps

Moth/butterfly, species unknown

Chilling on pasteboard, I can’t find the identity of this moth/butterfly in the guides.

Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly

At least it’s sitting on a leaf; the background is a broom.

“I’ve heard all of those,” says Franklin. “seen ’em too.”

Rescued tadpoles

The hubs scooped up these tadpoles from a transient mud puddle in a (now) treeless part of town, where the sun would have sizzled the water away before they became frogs. He transferred them to shaded waters out in the woods. I’m amazed that they look so blue! Can’t find out any mention about blue tadpoles in nature guides so far.

Blue Tadpoles

We saw a frog hopping around a week or so later!

Sunny skies

Days are often sunny . . .

Frankie looks really sweet when sun sleeping

But it’s raining a lot too . . .


Trapped in the car on a stormy evening.

That means a lot of leafy growth:

Plush foliage this year

Stay tuned, we’ll be back. Meanwhile, fade to green.

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Tributary: Becoming Green Warriors of the Red Earth Country

I’m reblogging this older environmental essay of mine for a number of reasons. There are many ongoing struggles to protect the waters of my state and nation right now. And, some newer followers who are environmentally minded have not seen this because I first posted it in 2013. Sorry, fellow cat enthusiasts, there are no cats in this. But they were always nearby when it was composed. Cats will return here soon!

Catwoods Porch Party

This essay was published in the online literary journal Steel Toe Review in August, 2012; in the Birmingham Free Press in August, 2012; and on the Friends of Hurricane Creek website in August, 2012. An earlier version placed among the top ten in the 1990 Sierra Magazine writing contest, but because only the top three were published, the only acknowledgement was to myself only. (Story begins after photos)

From autumn 2018, “Spectral Waters”:


Picture from early spring, before the snakes.


Summer air here can be felt, almost fingered, it’s so succulent with moisture. At high temperatures, it’s chokingly humid, but in more moderate weather, it’s velvet and invasive against the skin. In Alabama at the southernmost end of the Appalachians, everyone wades the water/ air mix many evenings during the warm seasons. This state has an abundance of water resources; some popular forms of water contact are boating, fishing, water…

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Gotcha!Cat Rocks Spring

Franklin’s a Gotcha!Cat

Franklin’s got me by the camera strap. My only purpose is to play with him, in his view. (He’s mewing at me now after playing fetch the wadded up paper with hubs for the last half hour.)

Wisterious Lavender

I promised wisteria . . .

Forest going wisterial

but there wasn’t much of it out our way this year, and health problems have made it harder for me to get to town.

It was on its way but time ran out . . .

All the wisteria is gone now.

Dreamy Green

The forest is going gangbusters.

I’m going to need a new camera. A few months back, bedazzled by the spring light, I stepped out to take photos moments before the hubs lost control of the garden hose. The camera and I got soaked. I dried it off but gradually it began to turn itself off now and then, and I don’t think it focuses as well and I know something’s amiss. I need to learn so much more about taking pictures any way. Replacing it will take time because things happen slowly in my world. And learning something new and digital has become more of a challenge for me.

Ascending imagination

It’s strange up there in the trees . . .

Leafy density

I love the plush depth of the wild-growing woods.

Franklin has a question

Franklin wonders why he can’t go out there.

Tiger Swallowtail with wisteria petal

I think it’s a Tiger Swallowtail, not sure. Franklin would probably chase these if he went outside. Much larger fauna might chase him.

In other news,

Iris everywhere I look

Iris came to town!

The ground was bursting!

There was always something underfoot!

Shy, unruly iris


I think someone got this with the lawn mower.

Iris kaput

This might have just up and happened, or it may have been knocked down during an evening of strong winds. Not sure. Iris doesn’t last long, it’s gone now.

“I came from town!” says Franklin.

Franklin curls up in his favorite chair

“You did Frankie! But you didn’t have your chair in town, or anyone to purr with.”

“True that. Puurrrrrrrr.”

Stay tuned, it’s industrial strength green out there now.

Posted in black cats, Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments

Sunny Relief

Franklin takes a snooze

I just needed a sunny picture today! And Franklin knows how to make the best use of our infrequent sun puddles. Working on yet more spring pictures, stay tuned!

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Cats, Cats Nature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 42 Comments

4-27-11 Tornado 8th Anniversary

We thought we were over it, but last September when I was in the hospital we channel flipped to the movie “Twister” during the scene when people were in the shelter during the storm. We both freaked out, and had to turn it off. The video shows why, this was what we were under that day. (I’ve never linked to a video before and it seems to want to start at the end. you may have to run it back to the start to see the whole thing.) The young guy who made it survived, fortunately. The video is remarkable but don’t try to do this, keep up with your weather and seek cover during severe weather alerts in your area.

Here’s the link to my write-up.

Here’s my late Mom’s cat, Tiger, that we lost that day. He survived and ran out of my mother’s wrecked house. We searched and searched, and never found him.

Tiger, we will always love you

Video by Jason Rosolowski. Found on youtube, (and I don’t know why it doesn’t show that at the bottom of the frame.)

(I’ve never linked to youtube before, so if I’ve done this incorrectly, someone please let me know and I’ll try to correct it.)

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Spring Moves Fast, Like A Cat

Violet Intensity

All these violets are gone now.

Rained on flowers

We’ve had plenty of rain, cloudy skies, and severe weather watches.


Glorious Franklin

On scarce days the sun lights Franklin.

Early on

Occasional violets quickly became . . .

Well look at this


Everyday purple

I love the bursting messiness of the forest floor. I’m partial to violets!

Dandy Lion

Out in the forest our one dandelion is now also gone.

Beginning of spiderwort takeover

The first spiderwort in town, a few weeks back. At present the yard takeover is ongoing, which is the way I like things. I prefer the wildflowers to the cultivars.

Where’d the sky go?

Out where we live, the crabapple tree jammed the sky with blooms this year.

Here we come!

They pop out anywhere amidst last year’s dry leaves, they don’t care!

All floaty and springy

Scheming colors make any sort of combo, old or new!

Green scheme

The greens were on their way, even a few weeks ago.

Mr. Cardinal

I finally got his picture! Mrs. Cardinal wasn’t around, at least not that I could see. I’ll bet she’s sitting on eggs somewhere.

Dogwood Emergence

Dogwoods joined the party, too.

Tall dogwood trees decorate the sky

Violets, dandelions, and crabapple flowers are all gone now. Leaves came back and suddenly, sprong! Green everywhere.

Sleepy Franklin

Franklin’s having a snooze! He’ll feel nice and refreshed later while he’s getting into everything.

Wisteria was slower this year, those pictures are still in the camera. They won’t be quite like past wisteria:

Wowza wild wisteria, 2015

Again I’m sorry to have not gotten around to comment on other blogs as much as I’d like to. I haven’t been too well. There have been so many severe weather watches! They drain my time and energy because I have to make preparations, shut down the computer due to electrical storms, keep up with changing weather conditions at every moment, and try to alert others through social media. Spring is beautiful but . . . I feel rained on.

Anyways, Happy Earth Day! Coming up, more Franklin and spring; now with iris, the current wave of wisteria, and oh my, all that green!

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We Have Spring! And Before That . . .

Crabby Apples (not really)

Spring’s here . . . and has been for awhile. I first noticed these blooms on February 27th. The tree is a crabapple as near as I can tell. The flowers change after the initial magenta buds open and they’re staying for a long time this year, through wind and cold. These pictures were taken March 5th.

They have the right idea!

It’s always the first tree to bloom but still, this crept up on us. I’d have expected them about late March-April-ish.

Angling in on the Violet

We saw the first violet on February 27th too, but these pictures were taken in early March.

Violets have many tricks

Wild violets are some of my favorites.

Suddenly, more!

First dandelion

First and only dandelion, seen on March 8th. This was in the middle of the road; we don’t usually see them in the woods. We’d love to have more, they’re good for bees!

Visitor bird

To give a sense of what happened on February 10th using very bad pictures, about fifty Cedar Waxwings came for the berries. They were fluttering and tweeting throughout the trees for just one day.

So nice visiting with these birdies!

Two cardinals, a male and a female, showed up later in February. The pictures I took of them were even worse than these, lol. We see flashes of them through the leaves, which are slowly sneaking back. The two cardinals may be nesting, another sign of spring!

Trees in February:

Looking up

Sky antics

Trees in January:

There’s more coming soon!

Your everyday winter pine

Frankie, suave and long-legged

Non-editing cat Franklin. He’s a good kitty boy, he just doesn’t edit.

Water’s up quite a bit!

And, there it goes!

After lots of rain in January, a slight flood with more turbulence than you see in the pictures.

And, don’t tell anyone but I forgot to include this in my last autumn post. Seems like we were just here yesterday, time moves so much faster than I do now:

Busy light

The woods looked like this during that long-ago season that doesn’t even feel distant to me yet:

Spots of brightness in the canopy

Stay tuned, we’re only in the beginning phase of spring and it’s changing fast.

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments