I know I will have lots of Christmas pictures to share with you, but they will come tomorrow. Auntie Bridgett and I went for a walk to the market (who knew we didn’t have any tomato paste?) and saw some lovely things. A friendly cat came out to check our credentials.
We saw another cat in a window, looking very warm and cozy, while this hummingbird mocked her from the top of a very bare tree. There was also n early blooming azalea making the world pretty.
We talked to a man about the tree by his door, which is blooming, in mid-winter. He said it is called a viburnum, and that he planted it precisely because in the cold dark, it would bloom and smell sweetly. There is also a Daphne bush, which we have by our front door! I look forward to all the lovely scents coming soon.
And by Sunnyside School, we found this posting of neighborhood friendliness. We just took one, because we already feel pretty full of love, with family, friends, home and hearth so close.
With all the walking we do around the neighborhoods, we get to see a lot about people’s lives. We see them moving in or out, jump starting dead batteries, arguing with their children, picking the fruit in their gardens, and helping pull fallen branches from the street.
We see a lot of dogs being walked… on leashes and off, poking along behind, dashing ahead, or being wheeled in carriages. Portland is a very big dog-city. I heard that 50% of the households have one or more dogs. That’s millions of dogs!
I do enjoy the dogs. I love seeing the dog-joy on display when the leash is unclipped and they run at top speed, just because they can. I love how dogs are part of people’s lives wherever we go.
But you know me. I am a cat person. Their joy of sleep, their short list of needs, their “yeah, you feed me, but let’s not make a big deal about it” attitude.
Cats in Portland are mostly people friendly. They will saunter up to be petted, or dash over as if checking our credentials. They roll to be petted or stoically stand their ground. What they don’t do as much is run away. These are confident cats.
So far, I have gotten to be here in the spring (for just a week), and the summer (for two months) and the trees and bushes keep changing and growing.
In the spring it was very wet and cool, with only the blooms of azaleas and rhododendrons making big wads of color amid the dark and damp. It seemed like the wet dirt was napping, just waiting for sunshine.
And it’s a good thing the ground was so damp, because we haven’t had rain for two months, except for a short, dramatic thunderstorm. The larger trees are doing well without help, but we see a lot of people out watering their gardens to make sure the plants stay healthy. Summers weren’t always this dry, but because of climate change we are seeing more drought conditions here.
Over at Sunnyside Environmental School, there are watering crews that come in once a week. They have even made signs which crack me up!
This part of town also has lots of food growing. There are apple trees weighted down with fruit and even grapes hanging on fences.
I love sharing my new city with you. I hope your new year at school goes well.
Now that is is officially summer, our evening walks have moved from six o’clock to more like 7:30. It stays light until nine and it feels silly to waste all that lovely sunlight!
Yesterday evening Auntie Bridgett and I walked around the neighborhood and noticed that the flowers are really exploding. Sweet peas, roses, day lilies and hollyhocks are shooting up out of the ground like the police are after them.
Even the sunflowers are getting tall and majestic. The bees all seem to be prosperous and busy.
We met a new cat, a very friendly young lady with beautiful markings and a tag that declares her to be “The Princess.” She not just allowed, but demanded, that we pet her, squeaking in a very royal voice.
On the way home we passed The Belmont Inn, and stopped in for a few games of Monster Bash, our favorite pinball game. We played together for a few, then went head-to-head. My score of six million made me very proud until Auntie Bridgett whupped me with forty-four million!!! Holy smokes, I need more practice!