Watch the Birdie!
Earlier this year, I bid and won a Bird of Paradise plant, (Strelitzia reginae), also known as crane flowers, one of the most beautiful exotic flowers, from a fellow master gardener. Originally from South Africa, I remember seeing these striking flowers all over Honolulu, Hawaii when I worked there with the US Navy.
It can take 5 years before the plant has its first flowers, depending on growing conditions. This was a plant started from seed.
The plant I won needs to be cut apart so my gardening friend let me cut off one of the flowers to enjoy. Excited to have this lovely flower home the same week snow was in the forecast, I put it in a flower vase in my kitchen so I could see it while I was bottling honey.
One of the rules I have in my kitchen is cats, especially inquisitive, trouble-in-the-making yellow cats, are not allowed on the kitchen counters, including the center kitchen island. When I came back to the kitchen with my camera, guess who I found not only standing on the center island but giving the Bird of Paradise flower a closer look?
Shirley Honey likes to watch birds outside my living room window but this is not a good bird-watching spot, even if the flower is called a bird of paradise.
After moving her off the counter and finishing my dishes, I found her in her window seat in the den, looking forlorn. She's actually in her favorite spot ready to watch a bird, or lizard, or me go by.
This is a cat perch one of my brothers built out of PVC pipes and canvas. I added an old pillow sham for winter warmth for my 18-year old cat but Shirley Honey has claimed this as her favorite sunning spot.
Watch for the birdie from there, Shirley Honey!