My cousin Shirlee, the native Californian who defected to North Carolina in retirement, is having the time of her life making new discoveries. And she lets the rest of us who were left behind here on the west coast participate in her new life because of her newly-discovered talents with a camera. Today I'll share some of her discoveries with you.
She lives in a rural area not too far from the coast, and her particular piece of property backs up on a forest with a stream passing through. This makes for lots of surprises. One of her first surprises was that it seems to be an area where people drop off cats they don't want any more. The cat above, I think it is either Mean Face or Jim Bob, showed up on her porch one day looking for a handout. You can see that my soft-hearted cousin let him make himself at home, and he never again will wonder where his next meal is coming from.
She has a racoon family who periodically come to visit. Momma Racoon scouts the area first to make sure Shirlee is still living there. Once she knows, she brings the kids to visit - and for a snack.
Somehow the waif cats know which house will be open to them. This little guy greeted Shirlee one morning not too long ago. She does not adopt all the cats she sees, but she does see that they get spayed and neutered.
Winters are cold along the coast. She rigged up a warm crate for the outdoor cats, but quickly learned it was first come, first served.
She has more visitors than cats, racoons and possums. Each spring this beautifully decorated turtle appears for some home grown veggies. Turtle eats from her back yard goodies. The wild deer manage to eat what she grows in her front yard.
Why this old house? She says that it seems to be a tradition in the area never to destroy an old house that hasn't been lived in for years. The NC natives are quick to point out that this was "Grandma's House" and that there is no way they could tear it down. On my one visit there I could see that she isn't kidding; these old rickety houses die a slow death.
These are just a few of the interesting photos my cousin has sent. All I can say is that her back yard is sure a lot more interesting than my back yard.