growing along the fence at the side of the house. In spring the friend who comes to help with the heavy gardening puts long poles at an angle from roof to ground and the vines climb along the poles to form a canopy of green. It keeps the house considerably cooler in summer and costs us nothing more than a couple of hours of our friend's time. (Yes, we do pay him!)
Yesterday he reversed the process ready for winter. The poles came down. He cut the vines back and our "green" wheelie bin is full of what we cannot compost.
The house is much lighter. The sun will come in during the winter and help to keep that side of the house warm. It is a system which works well particularly since the vines are watered from storm water and have never needed much attention.
But (yes there has to be a "but") the birds and animals are confused. We have any number of birds in the garden. We were careful to inspect the vines for anything the birds might need but the two nests have long since been abandoned. Nevertheless the birds have made their displeasure known. They congregated along the fence and on top of the rainwater tank we use for the garden and the downpipe which leads to it. They chattered vigorously and then headed for the grape vine over the pergola instead. Problem solved for them? I hope so.
The three visiting cats are another matter. They each have their own spot along that side. They lie along the path. They watch each other warily but do not usually engage in any conflict. The shade is welcome. The concrete pathway is cool.
After our friend left yesterday two of the cats strolled past. They tried spreading out in their usual places, stayed a short while and then left for their own garden directly across the street.
The third cat, Pluto, wandered in a little later. He stopped. He sat at the corner of the house and spent a considerable time just looking at the vines, the fence, his spot. I could see him doing all of this through the window as I was preparing lunch.
A little later I looked up and thought he had gone. Then I heard the old cat flap bang. He came in and sat in the middle of the floor. His tail was swishing. His ears kept twitching. He was clearly very displeased about something. No, he most definitely did not want to be patted or cuddled!
Eventually he jumped on the windowsill and looked out at where the vines had been. Then he looked at me and said, "Miaou!"
I think perhaps I was being told he did not like what had happened?