It took a number of years, but my father and I managed to convert the back lawn from crab grass and other undesirable woody grass blends to a nice turf of zoysia grass that stands up to the heat and dry periods of Saint Louis summer. It stays green all summer, doesn’t need a lot of cutting during the dog days and probably could stand up to a football team playing on it everyday. I don’t have a football team, but I do have Mlle. Renee and the grass stands up to all of her daily yard racing all summer long. The vet tells me that among her multiple breed ancestries, she pick up a gene or two from an African ridgeback hound. Not a bad breed of dog, just one that was born to run. Something I know well from when she likes to pick up the pace on our daily walks.
There is one problem with zoysia grass. In mid-west winters it goes dormant and takes on the looks and texture of a stiff scrub brush. This is something that has not gone unnoticed by Mlle. Renee. And in the spring of the year her life is enlivened with the pleasures or running, jumping and rolling on her back on the stiff zoysia thatch.
So every day, after she wears herself out playing in the back yard, this is the image that greets me when I go out on the back deck. I don’t even have to say anything before she gives me her “Did I do something wrong?” look. She might look all Ms. Innocent, but I know she’s waiting for me to get the brush out and give her a good brushing. It’s not easy to get all of the thatch out of her coat. But then, it’s totally impossible to vacuum up any of the dried grass that gets into the house. The lawn will start turning green in a month or so, but until then I have a part ridgeback hound disguised as a porcupine.
JACK FROST’S FAIRYLAND
It’s a rather surreal photographic accident in the night photos I shot earlier this evening. I had the camera lens set at full telephoto with the flash on and focused on a shot of the snow-covered trees in the back yard. The flash reflecting off the trees and snowflakes between me and the trees did the rest. OK. I am now officially done with snow until next winter.
And I’ve spent most of the weekend trying to figure it out!
Anyway, if I ever get around to writing it, I’ll let you know what it is. In the mean time I’ll make this my Pick Pic of the Week.
This is a tree I noticed when I visited the Zoo Friday afternoon. It had once been a twin trunk tree, or perhaps even a Siamese Twin Tree if such a thing even exists. But a some point in time one of the twin trunks had been removed. Don’t know if the tree has separation pains, but it did make my Pick Pic of the Week.
Last week I read that archaeologists in England believe they have discovered the long-lost remains of King Richard III under a parking lot in Leicester. In case you don’t remember Richard, he was the king from Shakespeare’s “Now is the winter of our discontent” play who was described as a hunchback madman who offed his two young nephews in the Tower Of London and ended up running around a battlefield shouting … “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!” before being killed in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. Historically, he was not treated very well and the monastery where he was buried was torn down centuries ago and eventually paved over as a parking lot.
While I haven’t found any royal remains recently, I do believe that I have uncovered the petrified remains of a genuine dragon during a walk in the woods in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee last week.
If you look closely at my Pick Pic Of The Week, you’ll see the dragon, too. Unless it is just my imagination running rampant or an optical delusion.