Critter of the week

This has been a dry week, but at least the stifling hot and humid weather that is so typically Chicago has abated. Also I live in a micro-climate that is close enough to Lake Michigan to get some sort of breeze.  If you go a few blocks south and cross the railroad bridge, you don’t feel the lake effect any more. (This is the same “lake effect” that dumps tons of snow across the expressways in Indiana and closes the roads every winter.) So this week would have been a good week for gardening if school hadn’t started. Still I was able to get in a couple of walks and mow the lawn across the street at my old apartment building. So here is my haul for the week:

Cricket. These are singing at night now.


Morning glories. Variety: self-seeding Grandpa Ott

morning glories in gas line

As you can see, they’re pretty much out of control and covering up the hostas.  The “red basil” with the purple leaves is not at it’s most attractive phase right now–it’s going to seed, and I let it–this comes up true to variety every year.

More morning glories seeded themselves around the clothes line pole. In the background you can see a snake skin on the grass before I mowed.

morning glory on clothes line pole

The snake skin close up. The snake itself hasn’t been seen since this post in June.


But the brightest spot in the whole day was the discovery of mutant Creeping Jenny on the neighbors fence across the alley.

For seven years  I have battled a plant that on the farm we used to call Creeping Jenny. It has a tiny, white morning glory-like flower, but the leaves are longer.  Every year it keeps coming in from the yards of neighbors who are less fastidious about weeds.  Creeping Jenny is hard enough to eradicate from one yard–like the morning glory, it’s an annual that keeps reseeding itself–but when it’s in neighboring yards, or on the farm if it’s in the fields, it’s nearly impossible to root out.

Now it seems I have accidentally hit on genetic warfare.  This neighbor’s Creeping Jenny no longer has the small white flowers and tiny elongated leaves.   It has cross-pollinated with my purple morning glories and mutated.  Mwa-ha-ha-ha.

creeping jenny on fence

Hmmm.  One word.  Seeds.

We’ll have to see what comes up next year in that spot, Creeping Jenny, thistles, and pigweed, or ….something else.

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