December 16, 2008

Blogger's Block

The garden room sure is cozy. The fire is nice and the coffee is so good. There's not much happening in the garden. There's a challenge in writing about gardening when you aren't gardening in the winter. If it would snow, then I could get some good photos.

Those books might give me an idea. I could play Sudoku to wake up my brain with a bit of exercise. At my age... oh my, I don't want to think about that. Anyway, solving puzzles is supposed to help the brain stay young.

Right now, I'll have to leave that game where it is or I will waste a few hours playing Sudoku and write nothing. I'm a Sudoku addict. I can't count how many of those books that I've already finished this year. Solving puzzles is also a great way to fall asleep... right here, on this little sofa in the garden room.

There's a French for Dummies book hidden somewhere in that stack. Learning French is like lifting weights with my brain. Let's run that statement through a translator. L'étude du français est comme les poids de levage avec mon cerveau. It looks impressive, but is it correct?

I've thought about adding a page translator gadget to my blog so that my visitors from France don't have to read the blog in English. However, I suspect that my blogging friends who live in France are actually British. I would probably just waste a lot of time translating my blog into different languages for my own amusement.

I have several gardening magazines in my stack of books. The BBC Gardens Illustrated is full of great gardening eye candy. Piet Oudolf's gardens in fall are featured in the magazine. There's also an estate in France with restored gardens. I think I remember an Irish garden as well. Looking in the magazine could result in another hour or two of time spent without writing. I need more ideas.

Do I really own all of these Peterson Field Guides? I think most of these books were presents, but I use the books quite frequently. These are great books to give (and receive) for Christmas. The stack looks staged for the photo, but there's an honest explanation. The guides are on top of the stack of books because they're smaller than all of the other books. I didn't touch a thing before I snapped the photo.

There are quite a few plant catalogs in that stack. Let me tell you that reading plant catalogs will burn up all of my time and I'll still have nothing written! My new Bluestone Perennials catalog came with a sticker that says "168 New Plants!" right there on the front cover. Instead of writing a story, I'd be writing up a plant order since they have holiday coupons for discounts.

Let me get back to those guides.

Butterflies. None of those around.
Wildflowers. Not right now.
Birds. Good idea for a story! Okay, let me see who might be visiting the feeder.

Let's look outside the window, over the patio, beyond the waterfall and out into the butterfly garden.

It looks like there may be a Purple Finch or two on the feeder. Let me zoom and focus the camera. My mind needs to focus, too.

That's clumping bamboo behind the feeder. The Chickadees are very fond of using it as a spring board to launch onto the feeder. No Chickadees right now because the finches are a bit territorial. I bought that clumping bamboo because it was advertised as being the favorite food of Giant Pandas. I don't have a Panda, but they are just too cute.

There's not much of a story at the bird feeder. At least there are no squirrels raiding it. The squirrel baffle is still working.

I read about a big acorn shortage this year throughout the east coast. Squirrels may starve this winter. I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about denying them the opportunity to steal birdseed. On the other hand, I keep finding cracked shells on the deck. Do you think a deck is like a great big cutting board for a squirrel? I have a great cutting board in my kitchen that I use for chopping herbs. I must admit that it's probably easier for the squirrels to crack open the nuts on the wooden deck.

Let me think. I need another idea for a story. Let's look outside the front window here beside the fireplace. I wonder where the deer are grazing right now? Could it be that they really headed to Tennessee? I usually see four to six right out front in the meadow in the mornings.

See all that dirt on this side of the stream? We removed all of the shrubs and the weeping cherry that our landscaper had planted when we built the house. Those plants were too large for the space and I want more flowers here in the cottage garden.

The transformation started in September. There are a lot of new perennials planted in that space. I have zinnia and cosmos seeds to sow next spring. There are poppies sown there already. It's too soon to write about that new garden bed. I'll have to wait until there's something to photograph.

Oh well. I'm stumped. This writer's... blogger's block finally hit me. I knew it was going to happen during these winter months while the garden sleeps. Sleep? Maybe it is time for a nap. I stayed up after midnight trying to write a story.

Photos and story by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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