Black as midnight cat...

 Off on a mission...
Buster, Secret Agent Cat

Scary Buster, black as midnight cat! The household is (understandably) feeling a little sensitive about its animals at the moment. Buster is missing for breakfast. This is awful. She's in trouble? She's lost? No - she's just out hunting in next-door's weedy paddock.

But it takes me ten anxious minutes of wandering around the garden, calling, before she pops out of the wet grass. Aargh! Buster! I love you so much! Please take care - you're too close to the road for my peace of mind.

Just leave a note?

I just wish that cats could leave a note. 'Dear House-Mother, Such a fine morning that I decided to check out the mice next-door. Back later'. OK - GPS tracking collars, maybe?

Winnie and I have been for a 'Rusty Memorial Dog Walk' in the forest, with my dear friend and her dog. And then a large coffee, salmon bagel, and date scone. Then the rain splattered down, so I popped into the library on the way home.

Winter bed-adventuring...

I am now armed with six 'large-print' books (just being lazy - their shelf comes first) including an extreme adventure book by Ranulf Fiennes. It's definitely the season of winter bed-adventuring.

 The leaves left behind are covering the crowns, in case of frost..
The Gunnera is Cleaned Up

The Weekend...

It's been a splendid weekend. Family walks with Winnie the dog, picnics, a visit to a Community Garden, and finally this afternoon - personal gardening! I wriggled into my froggy wading suit and worked for three hours in the water race. I chopped off Gunnera leaves and dead Phormium leaves, weeded the banks, and scooped soggy rubbish off the bottom. All all I used was one of the kitchen steak knives - the perfect all-purpose gardening tool! And I didn't lose it.

This morning Escher and Winnie went to the red zone for another Rusty Memorial Dog Walk. Or, more accurately, a Memorial Run. And run they did - Escher flashing back and forth in pursuit of rabbits, Winnie doing circuits chasing a pack of teasing pigeons. We all shared happy memories of Rusty and his silly doggy habits. Dear dog Rusty. It's different without him.

 Daft Dahlia
Still flowering, after three frosts.

Still Flowering...

Then I took some photographs of the Community Garden. It's in a frost-free area by the sea, and in general the night-time temperatures are warmer than those enjoyed by my garden. So new plantings of lettuces are in the open ground, and lots of woody shrubs are still flowering - lots of dahlias, too. Most of mine have sensibly kicked the bucket.

Sensory Garden

Community Gardens are allowed to look eclectic and artistically messy, and this one is no exception. It has a new sensory garden, open to the park, full of fragrant plants. Escher the big brown dog didn't understand that he was not allowed into the sensory garden, and kept pee-ing on a row of newly planted Pittosporums. Fragrant indeed!

Like two clucking, protective parents, Non-Gardening Partner and I are still discussing Buster's worrisome wanderings next-door. I can't lock her in - country cats grow up here enjoying the indoor-outdoor flow. So we all take our chances, hmm... And next-door is her favourite hunting ground - it confirms for me that our own property is rather well 'policed' as far as rats, mice, and rabbits go.

Latest offerings...

Latest offerings - a large headless rabbit (don't ask who, or why - but definitely a cat) half-way up the stairs. Guess who screamed? Me. I got a fright! A dead mouse underneath my bed in the cottage (thank you Minimus, for causing the stinky aroma), and three more mice laid out carefully on the hearth rug, one each morning this week.

 Lolling on the patio table.
Black Buster

Buster really concentrates when she's hunting. I've driven past her, crouched on the side of the driveway, and she's hardly moved for my car. Scary Buster! Please look after yourself for me.