I received a pumpkin from one of the realtors who always delivers pumpkins to the neighborhood.  Mine is a small, lovely green stripy orange one,  and true to form, a squirrel already nibbled a bit.

A little nibble that must have been interrupted.  I took the pumpkin in, cut out the bitten part, set it in the yard for the squirrel to finish, while I hoarded the pumpkin in the fridge.  Eating the Halloween pumpkin seemed rude, somehow–so I went on the internet to see what measures to take to guard against squirrels.  The first time I got the gift pumpkin, a nice sized one, the squirrels demolished it in minutes, leaving only bits and the stem.  Same thing the next year, even as my neighbor’s pumpkin remained unscathed.  The third year, I don’t think I got a pumpkin.

I applied vaseline over the orange flesh & applied Hot Sauce, after duct taping the hole from the bite.  Here’s what it looks like:

I’m not sure it really works. What do you think?

wild plums


Wild Plums © Marek Kosmal | Dreamstime.com




It is our first really cold day here.  Fingerless glove weather, wrap a scarf around your neck weather.  At the Farmers Market I finally got my knives sharpened, and bought okra, spinach, strawberries, peppers, chili, mushrooms and a pumpkin.  The pumpkin I’m going to try in an Indian dish.  It’s the time of the Nine Day Festival in South India, when doll displays are built, chickpeas and coconut salads made, and women visit one another.  Yesterday I lit the light.

After the market, I went to the store, and on the way back, I noticed that bicyclists don’t stop for stop signs.  Maybe they pause minutely?  What’s more perplexing is that they don’t stop for street lights.  They carefully look both ways and run the red light.

Today, from my window, I can see an apple tree brimming with apples.  Easy to climb as well, and old, for a brick driveway was built around it.  Closer to home is a plum tree, loaded with fruit.

I transplanted a geranium yesterday.  From the soil, out plopped a plum, the work of an industrious squirrel.  I now eye the other plants I brought in, and wonder what surprises they contain.  Now I know the reason a squirrel leaped onto the fence and noisily ate a plum in front of me.


under the umbrella


I was away for a couple of weeks during the Late August/Labor , fixed, Day holiday, so I brought down the garden umbrella.  It’s a sad affair, with a broken splints which I tried to reattach vainly with a handmade splint.  Getting caught up with work, I never got around to opening the umbrella and let it sit unbothered in the heat that took its toll on the herbs.

The other day, I decided to open it, but did not get very far, for inside, clinging like–well, insects–were a clog of bees.  About a dozen yellow jackets, climbing over one another, with a few buzzing about, way up near the top of the pole.  I immediately desisted.  Now I had an umbrella about a quarter of a way open.  All day, I kept peering at it, looking at the bees.

I wondered what they were doing, congregating like that?  Yellow jackets, after my internet search, did not make honey, so my first idea was wrong.  Making babies?  Maybe.  I left them alone, and thought I could wait for the frost.  I went back inside, shutting my indoor, wishing I had the screens my landlord promised in June.

I don’t know what made me brave it that evening, but since the bees did not seem that interested in biting me, I cautiously cranked up the umbrella, tilting it to avoid the fence.  Really, the set-up’s comic, and the one who really enjoys the comfy chair underneath is the neighborhood cat, although lately he has not been around.  Now I know why.  So I cranked it up, and left the premises.

Next morning, the bees were gone.  I kept checking back to make sure.  A mutually agreeable eviction.