Of Cats and Catkin

It was another beautiful day in Amsterdam. Although the Summer Solstice does not occur until June 21st, Memorial Day (May 30th) is the traditional start of the Summer season. For me, the Summer starts when the hedges need their first cut and the Black Walnut trees flower. There are both Maple and Black Walnut trees in back of my house on Grove Street. While the Maple tree puts out leaves in early Spring, the Black Walnut waits until late Spring, a welcomed occurrence my first year here. I thought I had a bunch of dead trees I would have to cut down but discovered they were just late bloomers!

As I took on the arduous chore of trimming 50 feet of hedges, I noticed the Black Walnut trees had not only produced their compound leaves but also their male flowers called catkin. The Black Walnuts produced by these trees feed the local squirrel population. A large brood of squirrels live in a hollowed out tree across from my house in the wooded area bordering the south side of Green Hill Cemetery.

For me Summer started today May 25, 2011.

After trimming the hedges, I watered and fertilized them along with the flowers.

I made the mistake of letting the cats out on the balcony while I was watering the flowers. One look was all it took, the cats wanted out!

Spike is trained to walk on a leash, Lee…not so much. They usually just want to explore around the house and eat some grass. Spike likes the little walkway along the house. He hides in the hedges and watches birds.

They both like to sniff the hedges. Lee sticks close to the house and gets spooked easily by cars, noises and people. He can wriggle right out of the harness.

Now it’s time for some Motrin and a hot shower before these old bones start to stiffen and ache!

Categories: Amsterdam, Pets, Photography

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8 thoughts on “Of Cats and Catkin

  1. Margaret Persico

    VERY NICE!! Luv your kitty cats! Great pics, as always!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Margaret! The cats are great subjects to try to photograph. You have to get down to their level with the camera for the best shots.

  2. Diane

    Love the pics Jerry. I see someone mowed the state side down below. Was that all they did?? Your hedges look great though. Maybe when I get back we can work on that bank behind your house and clean it up some??

    • DOT came through the past two days and mowed both sides of Rt 5 with their tractor and mowing machine with the adjustable side arm cutter. They also painted new lines in the road. I had already done the area behind my house with the weed whacker as well as the Buddhist’s vacant lot to the left of my house and half of vegetation around the parking lot to the right of my house and part-way down the bank from the parking lot to Forbes Street. I am limited by the length of the electric cord. There are some felled trees on the city owned side of the Grove Street parking lot that came down last winter that need to be removed with some heavy equipment.

  3. karin

    Beautiful photos, your home is lovely.

  4. I’ve always wondered how in the world someone can train a cat to be on a leash. Given a cat’s nature, I bet it’s pretty difficult and takes a lot of patience. I’d never even bother trying with mine.

    • I started leash training Spike as a kitten. Cats on a leash seem to have attention deficit disorder, distracted by every little moving object. I use two commands, MOVE and GO HOME. Spike does well with both, although compliance is often accompanied by a whiny growl.

      I’ll assume training human children is a similar experience, minus the leash!

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