July 12, 2009


I had to open up August 2007 to see what I posted. I began this blog almost two years ago and I remembered a lot of initial posts about a bear. That's when we FINALLY after years of frustration got an electric fence! Now we can sleep in peace and Monte doesn't have to sleep out in a tent with his gun. :-D

Yes, there is a story of Monte sleeping out there. An old friend used to make up songs about some of our sagas and a naked Monte sneaking about our neck of the woods was put to music. One of the naked Monte stories involved a skunk ... are you curious? I might tell you.

Monte heard a bear last night. I heard his footsteps upstairs running, not meandering. I was knitting. I finally took the time to undo part of a monkey I'm knitting and figuring it out so I can continue.

It was a good day yesterday. I had bought more perennial plants last week. I read in the 2007 August postings that I strive to fill in spots in my perennial beds for blooming throughout the seasons ... which reminds me of an old book by Gene Stratton-Porter called The Harvester in which the main character prepared his home setting for a woman in need of healing. He took care in planning the gardens thinking through the season's visual interests. And I'm still filling in spots, both with new purchases, starting my own plants, dividing my old plants and moving things around.

Ahhh ... Gene Stratton-Porter ... if you've not read her books ... We visited her historic place in Indiana on a road trip. At that time they were excited because something like a time-capsule was found in Alaska containing old movies. They were hoping some of Gene's old movies would be in there since some of them are long gone. For years we've collected and read all her books, written in the early 1900's.

Most people are familiar with Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost. Gene was a lady ahead of her times and yet so much a part of her times in a way that helped me see my grandmother Nellie Herder's world. Characters in her books were herbalists collecting plants and insects and such from the woods for that day's medicines. My grandmother was a homeopathic nurse and she understood these medicines and would grumble about the new medicines the medical world was moving into. Gene's characters were photographers, moth collectors (there are moth's more beautiful than butterflies - I know, cuz Dawson has some in his collection - and that's got its own stories I could tell) and bird watchers and keepers of the woods so lumber companies couldn't cut down heirloom trees. Gene herself made her bathroom into a darkroom for developing her own photos (I did that in high school - fun).

Anyway, I'm still gardening. I woke this morning with thoughts of moving some plants, like a grapevine, to Dawson's newest bed he just finished. This is the last bed to be made. I didn't want to make him do anymore rock work, which meant collecting truckloads of rock from excavating a neighbor did as well as truckloads of topsoil. BUT, when I said I'd be content to leave the area the already flat level it was, he said, "But I want to make a spiral bed!" Wasn't he joking? No! "Okay, go ahead and do what you want." Monte finished posts that extend our pergola out into the new deck to the hot tub. (Remember the old posts about the oozing hot tub plant bed that collapsed? It's just finished now too. And it's still oozing/draining from the gravel and pipe the boys put in.)(See the blue wheel-barrow in the above picture? All this labor over the years ruined it. Dawson forged and welded the metal anew and Monte sanded and refurbished the wood handles. I painted it. It's like new!)

Once all the rocks are moved, finishing off some areas left in limbo, we'll get the last bit of area ready to put down some sod. Beyond his spiral bed is an area Monte will finish. He's already dumped large lichen covered rocks and will arrange it along with the knight he brought up from the lower garden and he wants to move some natural plants from the surrounding meadows, like Colorado wild irises and kinnikinnik bushes (notice it spells backwards the same?)(and there's a kinnikinnik story I could tell of Travis). Monte still has to get some picket fencing - he wants French Gothic - to do some finishing garden visual touches and make gates for the split-rail fence.

Gates ... lack of ... that's where the bear came through last night. Originally it was in our trash trailer - that's when Monte heard it. We went up to his office for a better view. I couldn't get a picture of it. The motion-sensor light on the tree went on backlighting the bear standing in the trailer rummaging for anything edible. The only smelly thing in there would be diapers (Heather's switched to cloth diapers now when not on the road). But not diapers ... he found some of Dawson's vehicle trash and licked clean some Starbucks cups. With composting and recycling there's nothing worth raiding the trailer for anymore.

We thought he'd go get into the compost bins, which Monte thought "okay - he'd stir it up" :) - but he didn't. He/she/it just rambled toward the house. We had to run down from the office to head him off. That's when Monte saw him come under the electric fence at a spot Dawson's finishing rock stairs up from the driveway parking area to our backyard. He could have then ruined the birdfeeders, like the bear did over and over again two years ago. Monte yelled him away and proceeded, in his socks and underwear, to put a board in front of the future gate opening and put the rails back into the split-rail where the truck has been driving through. He said, "It's an adolescent bear"... "How can you tell?!" ... "It's not big". I thought it big enough ... big enough to do damage ... control of my domain has be shattered.

It was a nice day ... I finished planting, putting my watering wand on mist to keep me cool while planting and weeding, cleaned everything up before it rained, knit listening to "Prairie Home Companion" and went to church. Went to church last night cuz Monte left early to go fishing. Dawson and friends are up Mt Evans backpacking. They left Friday morning and will come home Monday night. Monte's meeting them on top at Lincoln Lake and will come home later today with fish. Yes he will ... he always comes home from that lake with fish. It's a snowmelt sink hole near the top of the 14,000 foot mountain top. He has to hike down about 1000 feet. Dawson hiked up.

Me? I didn't go. "Enjoy your day!" Monte said as he kissed me goodbye as I lay in bed. I've now taken time to write! Hi. Bye. Tata for now.

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