Monday, August 9, 2010
It's been awhile since I posted an update about the Heather Garden, so here goes. Summer's growth has reached its zenith in the garden. The roses are in their second bloom, boasting sprays of pink champagne. The butterfly bushes are also blooming, but the butterflies are fewer than last summer. Maybe it's the heat wave that has pounded the city all summer and has made the passion flowers droop in exhaustion. Too hot for passion, say the butterflies as they languidly beat wings of butter yellow and orange flame. The little garden snakes, too, have been missing this summer. Last year, they squiggled across the path, forming commas and corkscrews in front of Poochini and me. This year, I saw only one, and that was in early spring. The urban wildlife has burgeoned this summer, and maybe they have eaten the smaller creatures. Skunks, in particular, have taken over the garden. The other night, around dusk, Poochini and I turned a corner to face Mr. Skunk five feet in front of us. He raised his tail, ready to take aim. I pulled back hard on Poochini's leash. We froze, as if Mr. Skunk had been a cobra loaded with lethal poison. The woodchuck population has also exploded. They scurry under bushes, their fat bellies round with grass, and remind me of overgrown New York City subway rats (which is saying something). Then there are the feral cats, fed by neighborhood do-gooders. One cat, in particular, sits every evening on the hill just outside the dog park fence. From there, he regally surveys the antics of the dogs. I wonder, does he wish to join their play, or is he satisfied with his solitary vantage point?