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A Walk Around the House + Plastic Animals

It's that time of year again. Time to mow the field before it becomes a fire hazard. Since we do not have a tractor, we hire a dude to mow our little one-acre field three times a year. Then we wait for him to show up. The field can't be too wet or his tractor will get stuck in the mud. Of course, it rains ALL THE DAMN TIME here in Oregon, so the days when the field can be mowed are few.

The field is full of gorgeous poppies, daisies and other random pretty things. On a few spring days, the field is the perfect setting for the Von Trapp Family. Knee-high grass flowing in the wind. Orange poppies. The field is so beautiful. That would be about the day a tractor shows up to mow it all down.

It is heartbreaking.

Elsewhere around the property, due to the fact it rains ALL THE DAMN TIME, everything is bustin' out all over.

This pretty flower is a weed - the noxious blackberry that is slowly taking over the Pacific Northwest. At least this weed has delicious - free for the picking - fruit.

I wish you could hear the bubbling brook. So soothing. The creek is really full because we get rain ALL THE DAMN TIME.

The forest is mostly filled with Douglas Fir (aka dugfur, 'round these parts) and maple.

Our rhododendrons are heavy with blooms. Rhododendrons grow wild all over this part of Oregon (but we planted these). There are many spots in the Cascade forests where the rhoddies are amazingly abundant under towering dugfur. The blooms are so massive and stunning, you literally stand there with your jaw dropped - astonished that anything could be so beautiful. This is precisely why we get ALL THIS DAMN RAIN.

We planted lilacs along the south side of the house, so I could fill the house with pretty lilacs bouquets in the spring. These days, we are rarely home from our winter travels before the lilacs bloom. And when we are home in time to see the lilac show, I can barely bring myself to cut the flowers because they look so happy and pretty where they are... and usually end up buying a $9 tulip bouquet at the supermarket instead. Stupid.

This is heath. Or maybe it is heather. I can't recall.

We have a lot of wildlife in this forest as well. We have to protect ourselves from marauding creatures. Deer are always looking for a free lunch. Squirrels think our attic is a lovely spot to raise a family. And then there is the most destructive creature of all - the evil wren.

Every spring we purchase two pretty wreaths to hang on either side of the front door. The area is covered, protected and shady. Every spring the wrens think the wreaths are there to serve as free nest-building supply buffet. Who wouldn't want a lavender-scented nest? A few times, the birds skipped the part where they rip the wreath to shreds by building their nests INSIDE the wreath!

Which can be quite intimidating for guests approaching the front porch - the momma bird swooping out of the wreath to attack! Not to mention the mess. Birds are very messy. Stinky, even. A pretty dried flower wreath is ruined. So we outsmarted the birds and purchased a $12 plastic owl.

Meet Cisco. Stuffed with golf balls to weigh him down, Cisco hangs out on our front porch. He is moved every few days from one part of the porch to another, hopefully out-smarting the sneaky little wrens. It worked last year and Cisco's presence also kept the robins from trying to mate with their reflection in our front windows.

I think I just realized where the term "Bird Brained" came from.

Enough about our house and plastic animal statues. Check out Lisa's house and plastic animal statues in Los Angeles:

It looks like Pee Wee Herman is having a garage sale, but in reality a television network paid Lisa to used her front garden to film a promo last week.

I bet if we had that tiger on our porch, the deer would stay out of our garden.

Until my next update, I remain, your Saturday correspondent.