Monday, March 22, 2010


We had brush pickup today. Had to cut down a kaffir lime tree that I'd raised from a pup. It got to be maybe ten feet tall. We're hoping that it will make a comeback from the roots. Kaffir lime leaf – Thai name makrut or maybe magroot – is that funny double-leaf you'll find floating in some savory Thai soups. It has a wonderful citrusy aroma. I made some bogus limoncello or maybe kaffircello with kaffir lime fruits and leaves. Used cheap vodka and sugar syrup and steeped the stuff for a week or so. An oddly appealing flavor, at once sweet and peppery. Censusing on the other side of the county I noticed a guy had a couple of kaffir lime trees in his yard. Turned out he was ex-military with, as I surmised, a Thai wife. His trees survived the winter freezes.
You could collect a pie's worth of blackbirds with one shot from a twelve-gauge out under the bird feeder these days. They're that thick that four-and-twenty are easily packed in shoulder to shoulder.
Wife reported that our resident great horned owl high up on a utility pole was checking out the pups during a late walk this week. Now and again you'll spot it silhouetted against the night sky. So damn big it just kinda makes you shake your head in amazement. I like to hear it and the smaller ones whooooing away late at night. The great horned is known to pick up skunks for a snack, and I hold hopes that they could go for cats, too. My Mexican students, even those who should've known better, were frightened to death of owls. Owls are supposed to be harbingers of death in Mexico. Harbinger of death in Mexico is a big SUV with tinted windows, not some nocturnal bird trying to scuffle up a mouse.
The owls ask simply Who? The whitewings ask Who cooks for you?, and they're asking it all around town. Noticed a lot of Eurasian collared doves on the east side of the county. We have a few over here, but not nearly so many.
Our neighborhood bull-of-the-woods tomcat seems to have disappeared, no doubt a victim of his many years and old war wounds. He was a tough old hide … ate from everyone's porch and allowed nobody to touch him. The power vacuum left by his absence has a lot of obnoxious toms wandering around truculent and marking, so the garage reeks with that nasty cat-pee odor.


Sugar Magnolia said...

Man! The lime tree AND Tom are gone???

There goes the neighborhood.

We have bluebonnets popping up in our yard, along with enough clover to sink a battleship. Still hoping my Confederate Jasmine does well and blooms as well as it has in the past. It came through the freeze okay, except a few top and outer vines look a little shocked. My peace lily is a little worse for the wear, too, but I am confident spring's restorative properties will infuse life once again.

Kari said...

We have barn owls with the wonderful hooooot in our neighborhood, and little screech owls who come to watch Lloyd at night when he sits in our backyard to enjoy the dark. I love hearing these wonderful birds. And I love knowing the story now behind their questioning "Whooooo?" xo Kari

Pilot said...

Hope the tomcat you referred to wasn't ......adrift. He is/was a cool cat. His ragged features with the missing parts defined him.....

The Loon said...

Pilot - Nah, not **Adrift [full name 'Pore Ol Seadrift']. She's a girlcat and the very bottom of the hierarchy around here. Her old raggedy ears are the result of being mugged by other cats.
Spring is nice here. Shame it's so short and feeble. Another couple weeks and we'll be whining about the heat.