Friday, June 17, 2011

The stealthy cat

There is a pond outside our back gate. It's a small pond, man-made, and ostensibly serves as a reserve in case of fire. In this time of drought, the pond is slowly evaporating. This happened a number of years ago during a similar long dry spell. The town reacted by trucking water up from the river to replenish the pond. With the river water came an invasive weed that takes over and chokes the pond. But it has pretty yellow flowers.

Here's Bertie walking around the pond. Callie heard him meowing, but hadn't seen him yet.

This weed is everywhere in our region. It's called jussie or ludwigia, and we saw something about it on television recently. In a nearby wildlife preserve, one of the big ponds (or lakes) was choking with this weed. The authorities drained the pond completely (saving the fish by moving them to a new home) and burned the weed out. This process took nearly a whole season.

I'm sure that our town will not be doing this with our pond. The weed dies back in winter, but flourishes in summer, nearly covering the whole of the water's surface. Still, our little pond is full of life. It is home to frogs and fish. I've actually seen people fishing the pond, although what they catch is little more than bait-sized.

On Thursday morning, while returning from my walk with Callie, I noticed Bertie at water's edge. I wonder if he was fishing? Callie usually goes around the pond to the north through the grape vines, while I stay on the dirt road to the south; she waits for me at our back gate. Bertie saw me and started to come toward me. Callie stood by the gate and watched. Bert was meowing and came through the wire fence so that I could pet him. Callie didn't move. That really surprised me because she usually wants to chase the cat. Maybe it was because I was petting him and that calmed her down a bit.

Just before Bertie got to where I was, I was able to get the camera turned on and snap this picture.


  1. maybe she is finally getting used to him?

  2. Speaking of weeds... what is the common phrase in French for "to weed"? I found désherber in the dictionary. I just have never heard it used, so wondered if I'd sound funny using it, as in, "J'ai passé toute la journée à désherber."


  3. Callie must be coming around- after all she is most or less always in your company and may have concluded that Bert is not really the competition.

  4. Did something happen to Bertie's tail?

  5. There is some kind of "river weed" growing in the lower Colorado river. It has become so aggresive it is choking some of the small lakes along side the lower Colorado. It's called Hydrilla, native to Asia. About Hollywood, I have lived here, West Hollywood and now Studio City, nearly 40 years. I moved here fram Yuma Az. as soon as I got a car that could go that far.

  6. melinda, only in the very smallest of ways. She's learned his habits so she know where to look for him.

    judy, I think I'd just say arracher les mauvaises herbes but I know that what the grape growers do is to désherber, and I buy désherbant to use on my gravel path.

    t.b., ah, not so much. :)

    starman, no, it's just that it's in a weird position. He was wagging it around as he walked toward me. Is't still there!

    mike, hard to imagine living in Yuma. It must be a nice place to be from.

  7. nasty weeds
    I remember the definition of a weed is a plant that is growing where you don't want it - and it is damned determined to stay!

  8. Yes, Yuma is a good place to be very far from. It's not backwards but when I lived there, I lived in he farming valley, it only had about 40 thousand people. Now it is nearly 150 thousand. One good thing I was glad about when I lived there was that it was only a little over two hours drive to San Diego. We, the family or friends, were there all the time. San Diego is still my most favorite city. BTW, my high scool was very progressive, Yuma High, our senior class president was gay and our class secretary was a lesbian. Our calss secretary went on to become an Arizona state Supreme court judge. My civics teacher went on to become a state represntative, Democrat in Phoenix. TMI??


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