Dear Auntie Peggy,

Today on our walk, we saw two Golden Retrievers. They were really big, compared to us, but that’s not why it was an odd thing for me to tell you. They were shaved, Auntie Peggy, except for one long strip of hair running from their heads to their tails! Mama L. said it’s like a mohawk, except that it’s not on the head. I wanted Mama to take a picture for you, but she said she didn’t want to embarrass us in front of those dogs. She said there’s nothing wrong with the way they look, and that anyone could dress however they want. Personally, I thought they look kinda naked, and I hope their humans won’t bundle them up in big sweaters like our Mamas do. And then I hope they won’t think about shaving us like that coz I like the way I look now.

We were inspired by our friend Bassa to tell the world the things that we see around our neighborhood. Bassa usually has interesting stories to tell about her town in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her Tall Person takes pictures on their daily walk. Mama L. usually has her camera with her, and when we see something unique, we would ask her to take a picture for us. She refuses to take pictures of dead things, though, much to Big Sis’s disappointment, but here are some favorites.

This succulent is huge, bigger than a dog, and is also flowering. I don’t know how long it took for the flower to get that big and long, but Mama L. says that it’s at least 20 feet long, with the arch and all. There were bees all over it, so she wouldn’t let Madeleine and me close. You remember Madeleine’s bee-sting incident, don’t you?

Here’s a persimmon tree that had lost all its winter leaves. Only the fruit remained on the tree. Mama L. said that the persimmons will never fall off no matter how long you wait — you’d have to pluck them off, even if they are fifty feet tall. The tree looked like it was decorated with orange ornaments! I can’t wait for our persimmon tree to produce fruit. I wonder what it will taste like since I’ve never had a persimmon before. Mama wasn’t sure if dogs can have persimmons, although she said we can have mangoes.

Here’s a picture of Mama’s latest gardening obsession: Square Foot Gardening (“SFG”), re-invented by some guy named Mel Bartholomew. He borrowed and refined the idea from the French Intensive gardening system. It’s supposed to provide a maximum yield of healthy crop in a minimum amount of space, thereby using less water. Mama L. said that with careful planning and with the right plant combination, we could have vegetables all year long because of where we live. But anybody can do this in any region even if they don’t have a big yard! Mama took this picture in front of somebody’s house. There are all sorts of vegetables and flowers all mixed in. The whole thing sits on top of a platform, with wheels, so it’s actually portable and can be moved around. It’s about the size of a small car.

She also likes to take lots of sunset pictures.