Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Wisdom

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"

Dirt du jour  had that perfect tidbit on the daily wake up.

Fruit salad is even more delicious when displayed on handcrafted pottery

The tomato crop is rather late. Only the grape-style minis clustered red before independence day. Lanky, I ran lengths of tie-wire to the eave above where they rambled and tied them up to a height even with my eyeballs.

The green coated wire is the world's cheapest tomato trellis
We are expecting grapes any moment

Unless the local residents beat us to them.

Grape vine, agapanthus and birdfeeder. A chain-link fence disappears.

Not that we mind the competition from the birds. Squirrels, possums, raccoons- now those critters conjure different emotions. Although not as evil as what I think of Mr. Coyote- who has been stalking the neighborhood for the past few weeks. He's gotten way toooo comfortable wandering about all hours of the day and night, nosing around places he doesn't belong, doing things which might be natural, are still anti-social.

Lavender, Santa Barbara Daisy, Aeonium 'Kiwi' and Rosa 'Joey' re-define this 'hell-stip' into a friendly welcome

Last Saturday, in the broad daylight of our street, Mr. Coyote decided to take a dump right in front of one of the neighbor ladies. If our dog's can't do that without our getting fined- the coyotes shouldn't be able to either.  The Los Angeles County Agriculture Department was contacted yesterday- they called back this morning. It looks like Monday the trapper will be out.  

We got very lucky the last time the Chihuahua went nose to nose with the Coyote. A moment's hesitation by the young male had Gerry in hot pursuit with a nasty sharp-edged shovel. I don't expect Mother Nature to cut us a break like that again.  Worse- what if his next nose to nose is with a young child?

Diamond Bar is in the news for not so flattering reasons.  A Ponzi scheme where three local ladies used the Armstong PTA to meet victims, making the parent's organization as much a victim as the regular folks. Not that this is apparent from headlines written to rope in readers. Then there is the alleged illegal "hostess bar"  set up in our residential by someone overstaying a tourist visa.

These headlines remind us that my city is not heaven. However, this community is still as good a place to live as the world holds.

The knowledgeable remind us the coyotes were here first. The wise understand that when peaceful co-existence is threatened, it is right to put human life first.


  1. Your landscapes are, as always, beautiful. That fruit salad looked wonderful too! Mmmm...

    As for Mr. Coyote, I hope a peaceful (humane trapping, relocation) solution is reached. My coyotes here are a Godsend when it comes to 'critter control'... i.e. moles & ground squirrels. They are healthy and magnificient looking. I love watching them jump straight up into the air when they have an active confrontation with a fur meal!

  2. Lydia,

    Yes humans do come first. In a neighborhood with pets and children those coyotes can be a danger. We also lucked out when Coco and Velvet were babies. That Coyote came over our wall twice to get to them but they set up such a racket and coyote hit some buckets on the way over so he retreated. Scared us silly! Scared coyote too as he peed as he retreated!
    Love the quote about tomatoes. Cute. We are getting many many green beans and cucumbers but as yet, no tomatoes! Drat! I want to make garden fresh salsa!

    XO Trisha

  3. Hey, Sue! For the most part we have a don't ask dont tell policy with coyotes. Our problem here is the finger canyon becomes what is known as a mortality sink- they get comfy and don't have any motivation to move out. One spent 3 hours breakfasting on a neighbors pet- law enforement do not respond to that type of call. Another time, a child in a stroller- the mother felt the child was being threatened.

    Trisha- Joan Bolton has a Great post you should should show John on late season veggies. It's at

  4. What you say is true, but sometimes, I feel very sorry for all the Wildlife here---They were here first, and we encrosched on their territory...And part of the reason they roam around looking for food and take chances by going into streets and traffic is---they don't have as many places to "feed" as they used to....So, indeed, I realize Human life is more important, but....Well, I'll leave it at that.

    As always, it is a joy to see your garden and your love of plants, flowers, and The Birds! Just BEAUTIFUL, my dear Lydia.

  5. Dear Naomi- I understand. If it makes it easier, there are professional biologists that inform that we have added habitat- not necessarily healthy habitat. The conundrum comes when the situation grows to where people are knocking on each other's doors to look for parts of their missing pets, kids can't come home because the coyotes are circling the homes and men are wearing 9mm weapons to protect themselves while mowing the lawn.

    It isn't a constant situation. Just time to time we need to decide if things aren't so out of hand that if anything bad happens- no action at all means it wouldn't be an accident.


  6. I cringe at the thought of the coyotes in your area...i know they are supposed to help keep other critters in check (circle of life) just wish there was another way! :(

    On another note, your garden is looking wonderful! those grapes look so yummy! thank you for sharing over here at Cottage Flora Thursday's Garden Party! oxox, tracie

  7. Hey, Tracie! Your flowers are gorgeous. I wish you just enough bunny rabbits and squirrels not to tempt in the carnivores):-

  8. Lydia,
    Oh, your coyotes are bold! Ours skulk around the edges, and occasionally get a pet (thankfully none of ours). But they don't seem to be nearly as accustomed to humans as yours.
    Our biggest problem is still deer. They have fawns at the moment, so are a tad skittish. But by the end of the summer, I'll undoubtedly be able to walk right up to them, yelling and screaming, to "shoo" them away.
    Thanks for the props to Trisha!

  9. Hi Joan! I'm glad this is just a once every 5-7 year issue. They get bold enough here to take the pet right from beside the owner.

    The bunnies are so tame this year I'm thinking of sitting out there with a carrot to see if they'll come up to eat it out of my hand.

    We have deer areas closer to dedicated open space (bigger ridges)- so far haven't had any here.

    Trisha's husband's name is John. He just refurbished the garden area- he's going to LOVE what you wrote.

  10. Beautiful gardens! I remember when I was younger living in CA we had problems with coyotes. Good luck with everything- it was just something we had to live with since they were here before we were.

  11. Thank you Rachel.

    Yesterday a coyote followed a family pet into the home- I cannot imagine the horror they returned to.


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