Early May on The Urban Porch ™

It’s kind of nice to roll out of bed and sit out on the porch in the early morning, cup of coffee in hand, watching the neighborhood come awake.

You would think with all the rain, sun and early blooming happening around here this spring, that the flowers would be more prolific. Oddly enough, there are way less blooms on many of the perennials than in previous springtimes. There are fewer bells on the Lily-of-the-Valley. The lollipop heads on the Allium are significantly smaller than last year. And the poppies seem sparser. They also have not gained as much height as usual. The first poppy bloomed over the last week – just one to begin with.

It has been an interesting View From The Urban Porch ™ regarding the poppies. Each year they have expanded in the front corner of the lawn, drawing a lot of attention – bright, floral dancers in their frilly orange petticoats. Throughout the day, people walking by the house will stop to admire them, comment on them, crouch in front of them and photograph them. When multiple flowers have unfurled, they make quite a stunning show. However, up until today there was just the one, which then dropped its petals, with only another single one taking its place.

A funny thing happens as people pass by the lone, open poppy flower. Even with just the one, they have still stopped to admire it. A few have photographed it. But the most interesting part is that almost every person who has walked by it, children and adults alike, reaches a hand out to touch it as they are walking by. Even if they don’t stop, their hands automatically gravitate towards the petals and graze it as they pass its magnetic allure.

people can’t help but want to touch it

There has been a variety of vignettes passing by the porch lately. I try to take note of all the snippets as they are observed, each one a small story unto itself. There is a pre-school in the area – the staff periodically takes the kids out for a walk through the neighborhood. The children all walk in a line, single file, each one holding onto a loop that is attached to a long central rope which keeps them together. Animated and chatty, they create a colorful, happy human caterpillar.

a happy caterpillar of pre-schoolers

Over the sound of barking crows, the weet-weet-weet-pew-pew of the cardinals. and the incessant prattle of the house sparrows, there suddenly comes a complicated and piercing song. What bird is that, I wonder? The “bird” soon arrives – a bird of the human variety – a young guy, happily and very loudly whistling a tune as he quickly strides by.

A man in a motorized chair goes whizzing down the middle of the road at high speed. I didn’t know they could go that rapidly; he’s going as fast as a car! Somebody in a real hurry…..

The house on our street previously occupied by the tenants from hell has been vacated and now put up for sale. Generating some notice, it’s been interesting to see all the different potential buyers who have come to look at it. Some of them stop by the porch here to chat and ask questions about the neighborhood. Everybody is hoping we will have some wonderful new neighbors who will give that late 1800’s house new life.

hoping for restoration

After transplanting rosemary into a pot, I sat down on the porch with dog Rudi to enjoy the sun. Suddenly a squirrel bounds across the porch, right past the dog, and almost runs over my feet. It freezes, looking startled to find us there. Rudi merely gives it a cursory glance. I suspect the squirrel’s intention was to pull up whatever I had just potted. They do this every year, ripping up newly planted flowers almost as quickly as they are put in. Probably attracted by the freshly disturbed earth, they arrive very early in the morning and dig, often destroying the roots while burying peanuts and other surprises. Thus, I stick plastic forks and knives in the dirt to help deter them. Sometimes this is successful, but it doesn’t stop the really determined ones. I am also hoping this will keep the feral cats from wanting to use my plants as litter boxes. Squirrel pauses for a moment, avoiding the basil seedlings (complete with forks) before darting under the railing and down beneath the Rose of Sharon.

squirrel coming through

In other wildlife/porch news, there is some kind of recent roadkill in the street in front of the house. One lone crow has been making a big deal about this, loudly announcing their find, guarding and staking its claim to that prize. The bird periodically lands and struts down the pavement with great determination while avoiding oncoming traffic. It then tears off pieces of whatever and swoops off with it – likely back to a nest to feed young ones. It flies so close to where I am sitting on the porch that I can almost reach out to touch its wings. The crow makes a serious and quick job of it. I admit to being both fascinated and a bit repulsed watching this process, although my view is – mercifully – mostly blocked by a parked car.

determinedly heading towards his prize

I’ve spent a few mornings weeding, with Rudi by my side. He stays close, following me as I move along the garden beds. He tends to enjoy lying in dirt over the spots I have just weeded, directly on top of my plants. I’ve decided I’m tired of pulling weeds now. If it gets to hot or too buggy, that will be the end of it for me.

Across the street on the corner by the crow lookout tree, a sign suddenly appeared one morning. I don’t know who put it there or why.

The sign remained for a few days and then was replaced by another one.

One or two days later, that one disappeared too. It got so I was looking forward to what would be next, but so far there haven’t been any more.

This afternoon five of the poppies opened all at once. Hopefully they will make their usual spectacular display. It is a lovely feeling to see people experience a moment of happiness as they pause to appreciate them, and it’s enjoyable chatting with strangers who are brought to my porch by the enchantment of the poppies. Looking forward to seeing what May will bring next.


This entry was posted in Animal Stories, Daeja's Garden, Gardening, nature, Perspective, Spring, The Urban Porch ™, Uncategorized, Views From he Urban Porch ™, Wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s