The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sassy Prances Through the Neighborhood, Getting Love and Treats

When Team Jackson has a BBQ,
Sassy enjoys finishing up the plates.
We had quite a walk this morning. Sassy's landscaper (and Army veteran) friend was getting off work He had treats for her. Sassy knows he is home before I do.

He was looking for his Army cat yesterday, and thought she was far away and likely to miss her vet's appointment. Sassy's ears went up and she stared at the bushes. There was the Army cat.

The neighborhoods kids were waiting for the school bus; they fussed over her and petted her.

Finally, her Happy Bark friend started off for work. Sassy always gets a smile from her and that question, "Where is your happy bark?" Sassy lets off a bunch of barks, left and right, very loud and happy. Sassy also helper herself to the cat food left out for Roach.

The pet owners think it is funny that she checks their food and water. I often say, "Don't you have food and fresh water at home, Sassy?" Munch, munch, slurp, slurp. Laughter.

A retired couple often rushes out of their home to say hello to Sassy, but we did not go that far today.

Conrad Hilton in the Creation Garden

I read about the Hilton family in the bookstore, fascinating enough for drinking a cup of coffee but not enough to buy the book. Hilton was famous for buying laggard properties and turning them into showcases - like the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

That is probably the allure of gardening. Most of the architecture is there already. By adjusting plants and landscaping features, the property takes on a new look.

Yesterday - inspired by Hilton - I took apart the Creature Convention Center and merged it with the Jackson Bird Spa. The CCC is modular, two plastic sheets and many concrete blocks.

This time I thoroughly washed out the blocks, which had been used by mud dauber wasps before, maybe recently too. I also saw remnants of bird nests - new or old. By starting new I had a two dozen concrete cubby holes for various kinds of nests and hideaways. Animals like that. As Sharon Lovejoy wrote in one of her books, a birdhouse in the winter can become a temporary, welcome shelter.

I washed off the clear sheets with the garden hose and assembled the CCC in a flat area near the newly planted Lantana and Elderberries, with bargain Lanatana between two majestic Elderberries, and some new Scarlet Runner beans along the row of Lantana. Why plant the beans so late? I found the package and decided to grow some green manure in a new spot, so there was some logic in that. Seeds lose their germination power, so I wanted to use what I had. Late-planted items will rot in the frost and help the soil creatures turn the living material into compost on the spot.

I refreshed the water in the two kiddie pools and watered the plants clustered around the spa. The plants will help foster beneficial insects and provide some perches for the birds.

Now I need a majestic and impressive name for the newly merged area - the Jackson Bird Paradise.
What better name for a center with fresh water, suet, seed, corn, and berries in season. The blueberries will be unprotected there, to let the birds enjoy their treats. Other berries growing there and nearby are - raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, beautyberries, and blackberries.

I will run electrical cord out there and put a birdbath warmer in one kiddie pool to keep the ice away for the winter. The warmers only go on enough to keep the water from freezing, about 40 degrees, so there is not much electrical usage.

Our window is another center of bird activity, with a Jackson EZ Bird Swing, a finch feeder, and a platform often controlled by the avaricious squirrels. When there is one large area for feeding, the birds will flutter, make noise, and attract more birds. When there are several areas for food and water, the squirrels will take their turns but not eat everything in sight.


Beautyberry is an end of the season food for birds.