Sunday, December 29, 2013

PEPPERMINT OIL KEEPING THE SQUIRRELS AWAY FROM MY BIRD FEEDERS??? MAYBE!!

     This morning, I was listening to the organic gardening radio show and a lady called in and said she uses peppermint oil on cotton balls to keep rats out of her attic.  I've heard that before.  I think she said they're allergic to something in the peppermint oil. 
     A few minutes later, I noticed a squirrel coming down the limb to my birdcage bird feeder and wondered:  if it works for rats, maybe it would work for squirrels.  Squirrels are rodents, too.  So, I soaked a cotton ball with peppermint oil and put it inside the cage.  Twice I saw a squirrel come down the limb, get close to the cotton ball and then leave.  I'm not sure if it was afraid of the white "someting different", or if the peppermint oil really worked.  I'll let you know.  Wouldn't it be great if it works!  I know they're hungry, too, but I want them to go find some bugs and stuff and LEAVE MY BIRD FEEDERS ALONE!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

MY BEAUTIFUL MARTHA GONZALES ANTIQUE ROSE IS BLOOMING IN WINTER

I have lots of trees in my yard and am very thankful for them in the horrible heat of  summertime.  But, in the winter after the leaves have fallen, I love the way the sunlight streams through my windows.


So far, we've had several mornings that were around freezing temperatures.  My Martha Gonzales antique rose bush doesn't seem to mind that it's really, really cold.  Maybe the heat from my house helps keep it a little warmer.  
Whatever the reason, I really love seeing these beautiful red rose blooms when everything else is struggling to survive the cold. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

BACK TO THIS GIANT TOAD FROG IN MY GARDEN

Today, I was afraid the rain coming in with this cold front would pass us by.  But, it's raining a nice soft shower with a little thunder, right now.  I love this kind of homemade chicken soup weather.
Thinking we might get some rain, yesterday I got on my ladder and checked my gutter guards to make sure nothing was blocking the screens.
When I was on my ladder, I noticed some broken shingles and went to investigate.  I think a raccoon must have tried to dig into my roof, but was unsuccessful, thank goodness!  Dear, sweet Gus has been my go-to guy whenever I needed help with something I couldn't do, myself.  But, recently Gus found out that he has liver cancer and is undergoing chemo right now.  
So, since he can't take care of those shingles, I'm pretty sure I can do it.  I'll post pictures when I get up there to do the repairs.
In the meantime, back to our giant resident 
TOAD FROG:


The handle on that bucket is 3 1/2" wide and that frog is bigger.  I'm telling you, it's a giant frog.
A couple of days ago, I saw it sitting on the rocks by the fish pond and was acting really sluggish.  I figured something had interrupted his hibernation.  He always startles me, because he's just so big.  I came in and googled this picture to make sure he's a toad frog and not some scary poisonous african frog.  But, he has the exact same markings as a toad frog, so I guess he is.
While I was watching him, Punkin jumped up on the rocks and kind of starting carefully sniffing him.  That frog gently lunged at her like "lea me alone" and I told her to get down.  Then, being curious she jumped up there again and the frog gently lunged at her, again.


I went on about my business, but kept watching the frog.  Finally, he made it to a pile of leaves on the edge of the fish pond and scooted under the rocks, trying to get back to his snoozing.
I don't know how long he will live, but he has been an interesting part of my backyard garden.
And, it's still raining!

Friday, December 20, 2013

MY EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS TO ME

Lookie at my early Christmas presents!  A cordless drill and a compressor and nail gun combo.  My other one is so old, it will be nice to have new tools. 


The drill even came with a cute bag for storage.  I got it early because I was afraid Lowes would run out of them.  
Gonna charge my drill tonight and can't wait to try to figure out how to use the nail gun.
I'm happy, happy, happy!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

FLYING BIRDS ON MY WEBSITE & HUNGRY BIRDS & SQUIRRELS

     Well, I've been working every extra minute on my lyndabco.com website and finally!! finished.  I did all of the text and color changes, but my friend helped me with the new look.  For my navigation bar, she used my bird art and, as you're clicking on a link to view my work, it looks like the bird is flying.  I LOVE it!!
     Birds, birds, birds, I love birds!  Well, maybe not doves and sparrows so much at my feeders.  Doves do such big poop and sparrows come in gangs, chase everybody off of the feeders, eat everything and move on to their next attack on feeders.  I know they're hungry, but they are aggressive and chase off the wonderful little chickadees, titmice, gold finches and other native birds.  I do feel guilty about my attitude, but that is how I feel.
     While I was on the computer, I had to keep getting up and chase squirrels off of the feeders.  Charlie will start barking so I'll come out.  This mama squirrel's earlier two juveniles are here and she's very pregnant again.  Doesn't she know there would be more food for her if she would just stop producing babies???  Squirrels are so pretty at this time of year and I love seeing them way out in my yard.  Their winter coats are very orangey and gray/brown.
     I rarely see black squirrels and when I do, they're all in one location.  Not far from here, I was working in a home close to a woody area and there were lots of black squirrels.  That's so interesting!  Maybe the gray squirrels and the black squirrels are territorial and that's why I don't see them together.  A couple of months ago, I was driving down my street and saw a black something moving on the ground and I got closer and realized it was a black squirrel.  It carried it's tail low, not high like the gray squirrels.  It made me wonder if someone had it as a pet or the black squirrels are moving in.
     Thanksgiving was so nice and Christmas is almost here.  Soon, the holidays will be over with one more year behind us.  I hope you and I have a good new year and dare I hope for peace in the world!
     

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LAST VIEW OF MY GREEN, GREEN GARDEN BEFORE THE FREEZE

We had a very cold spell last week.  Today, it was really warm, in the 80's.  In two days it will be sooooo cold, again!!  I'm thinking this is the last view of my patio before everything freezes.


The last couple of days, I've seen beautiful little butter yellow butterflies everywhere.  I tried to get a picture of them, but they just won't stay still, flitting from flower to flower.  They were loving my blue plumbago and there are only a few flowers left because of the cold spell last week.  I do wonder what will happen to those little butterflies when it stays cold for several days.
In late fall, I let everything grow however and wherever it wants to grow.  I think the very last flowers, foliage and bugs will benefit birds, butterflies and nature in my garden a little longer.
I love my yard when it's so green and pretty.  But, when the first freeze comes, I'm almost relieved that everything is frozen for the winter and I don't have to bother with it for a few months.
Hoping your winter will be warm and cozy.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

CHARLIE & THE TOAD FROGS

CHARLIE & THE TOAD FROGS

Last night while I was cooking dinner I looked out my kitchen window and saw Charlie pestering our resident toad that lives in the downspout drain pipe.  
I told him to stop and he came in the doggie door.
 I watched the toad and he hopped toward the doggie door.  Waited a few seconds and hopped again and then again, toward the doggie door.  I thought, "oh my gosh, is that frog coming after Charlie?".  I got the camera and after the flash, the frog turned away.  Whew!!  It is a very large frog.
A couple of years ago, a handyman installed a larger doggie door for Charlie.
 I saw Charlie sitting and staring at the doggie door.  There was a frog with it's feet on the opening and staring back at Charlie.
I wonder if the light inside the house attracts the frogs.  Maybe the plastic door reflects like it's water to the frog.  Wonder what the frogs see that attracts them.  
I don't think the frogs could push the doggie door open, so I'm not concerned about that.  It's just interesting that they're so brave.
Or, maybe they ARE coming after Charlie because he won't leave them alone!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

SCAVENGERS...(POOR LITTLE SQUIRREL)

When I got home today, there was a poor little squirrel in the street that I guess got hit by a car.


The next time I looked out of my window, the buzzards had discovered the little squirrel.  
I heard one car go by and honk at them and I saw another car swerve to scare the buzzards.
It concerns me to see the ignorance and lack of respect for the fact that we need scavengers!   I know both cars had to have seen the squirrel.
One time I was in a dr's office and this man was bragging about how he and his little boy found a possum in their yard and they started beating it with a board.  I cringed, thinking about that possum doing what it's supposed to do.  
I asked the man why he killed the possum!!  He said it was nasty and ugly.  I said that the world needs scavengers.  They eat dead and decayed matter and we need them!  And, how could you do that with your little boy??
(There were other people around, so I was pretty sure he wouldn't come after me!)
Right after that, his little boy came out from the dentist and they left.  I can only hope that the man would stop and think next time.
Because of Charlie, I would certainly chase something out of the yard.  And, if I saw it attacking Charlie, I might do something drastic, too.
But mostly, I want to live peacefully with nature.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FROM MY KITCHEN WINDOW I SEE A HEART

Do you see a black eyed susan vine "heart"?  
This is what I can see from my kitchen window and from way back, 
I see a heart shape growing on my glider.
Do you remember when I told you about my black eyed susan vine and how in August I finally let it grow wherever it wants to go?  It's so invasive and all spring and summer I keep pinching it back or it will climb ALL OVER everything.
But this time of year, it's just so beautiful and the leaves and yellow flowers really stand out.
This vine is a perennial and I'm so glad it keeps coming back in my flower beds.
Years ago, I got this table and chairs from an elderly client.  I think she said it was from the '40's or '50's.  It's very, very heavy iron.  I just loved it and when she was ready to get rid of it, she sold it to me.  One winter, one of my cats jumped down out of the tree onto the glass table top and broke it.  
I just haven't replaced it yet, but will some day. 
 It gets so dirty outside and I don't ever use it, so I'll just leave it like that, for now.

Monday, October 28, 2013

SELFIE OF SELF

One of the bloggers is asking for selfies and this is the best I could do, this time.  The last time I tried, I got mostly nostrils.  I know! I know!  I'm not good at this!!


Have you tried to do a selfie??
There's a special talent to getting it right.  And, you have to kind of be a contortionist!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PUNKIN DRINKS BIRDBATH WATER & FISH POND WATER!!

                Punkin's two favorite places to get a drink of water are the birdbath and the fish pond.
And, I bet I know why!  
The birdbath water tastes like bird and the fish pond water tastes like fish.  Yum! 
It's nice to know that nature makes the birds and the fish very aware of predators.
In this picture, she looks like a giant cat, but she's not.  I guess it's the angle of the shot.
Punkin is a good and sweet cat!  Charlie's best friend.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

THOUGHT I HAD LOST MY OLD FRIEND'S BEARDED IRIS BUT, HERE IT IS!!

The summer was so unbearably hot that I didn't take care of most of my flower beds like I should have.  Now that the weather has cooled off, I'm loving working in the yard, again.


A long, long time ago, a neighbor friend was dividing his old german bearded irises and shared them with me.  When I moved to my current home, I dug up and brought lots of my plants, including the iris bulbs to my new home.  I've loved them all of these years.  But, as my trees have grown and spread they are blocking sunlight and I've lost all but one of my friend's irises.  A few days ago, when I was cleaning out an overgrown flower bed, I was so happy to see that this last one is coming out, again.  I have put it in better sun and am going to pay very close attention, now.  By next spring, I'm hoping to have, at least, two more irises coming up.  I bet I will!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

YAY!! I GOT EVERYTHING FERTILIZED JUST BEFORE THE RAIN MOVED IN

The weatherman was saying a coldfront was coming and lots of rain with it.  So, yesterday, I ran out and got three bags of organic Medina Growin Green granular fertilizer and got EVERYTHING in my yard fertilized.  The organic gardener that I listen to on the radio, says that fall is the most important and beneficial time of the year to fertilize.


I must have slept very soundly last night, because I didn't hear the coldfront and the rain blow in.  But this morning, I can tell I gots lots of rain on the new fertilizer.  And, all morning there has been a slow, steady rain and that's even better.  This fertilizer doesn't wash away.  It "bonds" to the ground and  continues to slow release.
So, one more very important thing off of my list of things to do.  And, this one is a big relief!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

MOLLIE, THE TORTIE CALICO CAT

       This is little Mollie.  Her mommy left her under my bedroom window when she was a tiny kitten.


 One night, I kept hearing a tiny "meow".  I took a flashlight out and looked in the cast iron leaves under my bedroom window and couldn't see anything.  Then, the next morning I saw Charlie staring at something in the bushes in the backyard.  Mollie had squeezed under the back gate.  
The love began!
She and Charlie became best friends and it was so much fun to watch them play.  Kittens are just so, so cute anyway, playing and stalking everything.  I tried to get her to live in the garden shed, but she loved Charlie and insisted on following him in the doggie door.  I could not keep her out of the house.
I'm a painter and my studio is big and open.  She would climb on my shelves and knock paint off.  Twice when I was painting a bench and a table, she jumped up on the wet paint.  I know she was just trying to be with me, but it JUST COULD NOT WORK!!  Too frustrating for me.
  

When she was smaller, she would sleep in this bowl.  So cute!  She was a sweet, beautiful tortie calico, but I had to find her a new home.
For a whole year, I searched and looked for the perfect home.  I felt sooooo guilty, but just could not have her inside my house.
Finally, my friend Monica found her a WONDERFUL home.  They had three other cats and just loved Mollie.  Their cats were "inside" only, so that was perfect for her.
That was three years ago, but I still remember her and every once in a while, I have a little guilt feeling, but she's wonderfully happy, now.  Marty is the new mom and she has shared photos and let me know how happy Mollie is and how happy they are to have her.
Slowly, I'm getting over it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES LOVE EUPATORIUM, TOO!

     The little purple flowers are called eupatorium.  They're in the flower bed with butterfly weed, which the monarchs are attracted to.  You read that butterfly weed is a monarch butterfly favorite, but they also LOVE eupatorium.  They flutter around it more than my butterfly weed.  I know butterfly weed is a host plant for their larvae and I even noticed their caterpillars on the eupatorium.  But, you don't hear about eupatorium for monarchs.
     Eupatorium is a hardy perennial that really spreads out and I love the way it grows in and out of the rest of my flowers.
     And, you can see the yellow black eyed susan flowers and vine.  I do love vines!  All summer and early fall, I'm constantly pulling it away from all of the places it likes to grow and hang on to. By September, I just let it grow wherever it wants to because it's so beautifuL when it starts blooming in September and blooms until it freezes.  This glider is going to be full of the yellow flowers and vines and, I will be loving it!  I will, gladly, sit somewhere else.
I googled eupatorium and:  (Perennial for part-shade and butterfly magnet: 
Gregg’s Mistflower (Eupatorium greggii, Conoclinium greggii,)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

MY FANCY, BEAUTIFUL MOSAIC GUTTER DRAINS

A few months ago, I decided I needed gutters on one part of my house.  There was just too much water coming down in that one area.  Gus is the guy who helps me a lot and I asked him to install the gutters.  I went to the hardware store and got some of those roll out bright green water diverters to attach to the bottom of the downspout.  I kept looking at those and knew I just could not live with such a plain, common downspout.  I knew this was an opportunity to create!!
Gus and I designed these and I just LOVE the way they look.  I already had the rocks and the decorative tiles.  As he was building the drains with concrete, I placed the tiles and rocks.
I had several metal birds and thought they would look so beautiful on my downspout that looks like a river or waterfall.  They are bright metallic gold and I smeared concrete on them to make them look messy and old. (Old is what I do in my work and love things to look old.)
This is the other one.  Over time, it will get more and more stained and I'll love that. 
 I might even paint some stain on the areas that are not getting naturally stained by the water off of my roof.
Gus dug and put a pvc pipe under my rock walk to divert the water.  Look who now calls it his/her home.  That big ol' toad frog is always in there during the day and comes out at night.
While the concrete was still wet, I asked Gus to put a few of these tiles along my rock walk and I added this little cement dove.  Gus was wiping and cleaning the concrete from the tiles and I asked him to smear and smudge the concrete ON them.  I think that looks old and when they finally get stained from weather, they'll look really nice, (to me).
Excuse me!! I'm trying to take a picture, here!!!
Charlie and Punkin started playing in my way.
I live on a hill and am always working to divert water from going under my house. So, I asked Gus to build this rock border to keep excessive rain water from flowing under the studio part of my home.
I just took this picture and am very proud and happy to say it rained last night and this morning as a cold front was coming through.  We have been in a horrible drout and really appreciate any rain that comes our way.

Monday, September 30, 2013

ELIJAH CAT SLEEPS IN MY FLOWER POTS

This is Elijah.  He loves to sleep in my flower pots, so I leave them empty, just for him.


He's a very sweet scaredy cat.  He came to me with Punkin, when they were babies.  But, it's like nobody ever touched him, because he is very skittish.  Even though I'm the one who feeds him, he's always nervous about me touching him and jerks away. 
A major problem is that he has "insect sensitivity".  His poor nose and a paw are always skin exposed, like he's been scratching.  It's time for his shots and I will have to have the pet carrier nearby and grab him to put him in.  That's always stressful for me, too.
For a while, he had stopped hanging around.  I've noticed that since the skunk is gone, he's acting like this is his home, again.  I guess he was avoiding the skunk.
I've been doing my best to get him to trust me.  I'm sure he's in pain all the time.
Poor baby!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

I LOVE BLUE FLOWERS!!

Blue is not my favorite color, but I do LOVE blue flowers.  


Blue plumbago is everywhere in my yard and I love looking out of my windows and seeing the beautiful blooms and green foliage.  Here, they start blooming early spring and don't stop blooming until they freeze with the first hard frost, (November? December? January?).  They're very hardy and come up from seeds that are dropped in the flower beds.  I have large flower beds and more and more blue plumbago(s?) are coming up along the fence lines and I love it!!  All of the swallowtail butterflies love the flowers and they always look so pretty fluttering in the midst of the blue.
I, also, love tree trunks and these are my giant crepe myrte trees.


This is a butterfly pea vine.  To see these royal blue flowers all over the vine is just breathtaking.  It's a legume and grows beans for seeds.  It is very, very hardy, too.  It seems to come back, no matter what kind of winter we have.
(You might notice that I have spider mites on these leaves.  I'll spray some organic liquid seaweed on the leaves and it will get rid of the spider mites really fast.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

NO BALTIMORE ORIOLES THIS YEAR. OH, WELL!!

     This is the first year in many years that I haven't seen baltimore orioles in my yard.  I've seen several other migrating birds, but I'm really disappointed that I didn't get to see a flock of these amazingly beautiful birds this year.
     I do believe it has something to do with the weather.  In the past, I've always seen the orioles between mid August and mid September.  They always seem to come in with the cold fronts and we finally had one, but it was really late for a first cold front.



     This photo is from last year.  A whole flock of orioles stayed in my yard, coming and going, for a whole day and I was here all day watching them.  Because of the weather, maybe it's not too late and I do keep looking for them.  Oh well, for sure next year!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

"THE EARTH HAS MUSIC FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN"

                                   "THE EARTH HAS MUSIC FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

SKUNK TAIL, RUN!!!!!

     Many years ago, I added on my studio.  When they were laying the foundation, they forgot my supply closet, so they added it on with rebar and wire, but not a trench in the ground like the rest of the foundation.  For years, I've had to work to keep critters from trying to live and nest under it.
     Monday, I noticed a huge pile of dirt and noticed that something had dug a hole under my closet foundation.  With a hose, I flushed that critter out and it was a very wet skunk!!


This photo is blurry because I was holding a hose in one hand in case it turned on me and trying to work my camera with the other hand.  I'm not exaggerating!!  I had to flush it out NINE times.  I would open the gate so it would have an exit and twice it burrowed back in.  I filled those holes and then twice he climbed my large lady banksia and got over the fence.  I just couldn't believe it didn't get the message to move on.  I did wonder if it might be a mommy and had babies under there, but after all of that water they couldn't be alive and I really don't think it was a female.  But, it just WOULD NOT go away!!
I plugged the hole under the foundation and put all kinds of stuff on it, hoping it would deter the skunk, but it didn't.
Last night, I put out a have-a-heart trap to get it and didn't, so I think it finally went away.  Maybe, it was waiting for darkness to leave.  And, if it had babies under there, I'm hoping it was waiting for darkness to move them.  I would rather think that way, rather than think I killed her babies.
That was quite an ordeal and very frustrating because I didn't want to hurt the skunk and for sure didn't want it in my yard with Charlie and the cats.
Not once, did it spray while I was chasing it out.  I kept my distance with the hose and water.
It was an interesting experience.
And, in case you ever wondered, a skunk shakes the water off just like a dog does after a bath.
I'll know for sure in the morning, but I do hope this ordeal is OVER!!
(Today, I went to Lowe's and got some concrete and will dig a deep trench around that closet and fill it up with the concrete.  Oh my!!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

INTERESTING ANT TRAIL...WHY NOT A STRAIGHT LINE?

I walked out of my gate and this ant trail wasn't there.


I walked back to my gate and there it was!!  They look like wood ants and I'm not sure if they're after my picket fence or the oak trees nearby.  They were working really, really hard, but I had to get rid of them.  Often, I'll find a little trail of wood ants close to and on my house.  Twice, I've seen a trail of them going up to my roof or attic.
On Google, I read about a product called Terro and it's borax and sugar water.  It's supposed to kill the ants within a couple of days.  I truly do feel badly about killing them, but can't have them destroying my home and they WILL do that!! 
I just thought the trail was interesting.  Why didn't they have a straight line, instead of this particular pattern.  The end of that trail was going right back to the edge of my driveway.
  They were on a mission, for sure!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A SQUIRREL CHEWED THROUGH MY GARDEN SHED SCREEN DOOR!!

Recently, I had to replace the screen in my garden shed door.


Instead of putting the bird seed back in the big garbage can, it was easier to leave the sacks on the floor of the garden shed.  I noticed some holes in the screen and then, through the laundry room window, I was able to take a photo of the culprit!!  That squirrel had chewed holes in my screen to get to the sunflower seeds.  The yellow tape was to deter the squirrel.  I twisted several pieces so it would be sticky.  
After a couple of days, the handyman came to replace the screen.  Even though I had chosen a much thicker screen, he said that squirrel might chew through it, too.  So, I'm keeping the birdseed in the big trash can, again.
Everything is hungry and trying to survive.
(I understand, but it doesn't make me like the squirrel!!)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

MIGRATING ORANGE TUMMIED BIRD STILL HERE & A FLYCATCHER AT MY BIRD BATH

     It is soooo hot here and can't believe this orange tummied bird is still around.  It's shaped and looks like an oriole, but doesn't have wing bars.  It's back is a browny greenie color.  I'm thinking it might be a scout and waiting for it's flock.  But, we'll see and I'll be watching.
   

And, the other one looks like a flycatcher because of the shape of it's head.  I'm just so glad I'm home and get to see these beautiful migrating birds.  I'm so happy they come to my yard.  I will make sure they have plenty of fresh waater.

Friday, August 30, 2013

SECOND SIGHTING OF A MIGRATING BIRD AT MY BIRD BATH

Today, my second sighting of a migrating bird in my yard.  I'm pretty sure the post below and this bird are baltimore orioles at various stages of maturity.  I always start seeing the baltimore orioles in my yard from mid August to mid September.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

MY FIRST SIGHTING! MIGRATING BIRDS ARE ON THEIR WAY SOUTH!!

My first sighting of the migrating birds that pass through my yard every fall.  This is the time of year that I start watching for them.  I'm never quite sure what kind they are, but am thrilled, anyway, that they come to my yard on their way to wherever they're going.


This one looks like some kind of oriole to me.  It's kind of big and was not afraid of the sparrows that were trying to chase it off.
I think water is the most important thing you can offer them.  They'll find bugs and seeds, but water is hard to find.
I am happy, happy, happy!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'M STILL HERE!!

(I just posted this to my decorative artisan blog, but wanted to share with you, too.  I really miss working on my blog and will be posting again, soon.)

Hi there,
     Anyone who might be wondering where I've been, I've been on back to back jobs and believe me, I'm WORN OUT!!  This is the time of year that my clients start creating and planning how they want their homes to look for the holidays. It is a bit stressful, finishing with one job so I can move on to the next client who is waiting.  I love my work and love the transformation and am so glad they choose me to work with them.
In these photos, I'm working on Christa's kitchen island.  I finished her kitchen a few days ago.  She was looking for knobs and handles and wanted something special and unique.  She did her research and hunting and I wanted to wait for photos until those were installed.  They are just beautiful in her kithcen.
I really enjoy working on my blog and am looking forward to getting back to posting, soon. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

HELP ME IDENTIFY THIS BEAUTIFUL PINK FLOWERING VINE

Do you know the name of this flowering vine?
Years ago, I was driving through an older neighborhood and saw this vine growing on a fence.  It was sooo beautiful and in full bloom.  I knocked on the homeowner's door and asked about the vine.  She didn't know the name.  She said a friend gave her some seeds a long time ago and she's always let it grow on that fence.  I asked if she would share some seeds with me.  
Months later, she called and had a large sack of seeds for me.
It is similar to a wisteria, but the leaves are very different.  It is a legume.  The large seed pods look almost like a large okra and have several beans inside.
All of these little green flower buds look like a stalk of bananas and will turn into the large pink flowers.  Then, as the flowers drop off, a seed pod will start growing.
I love vines and really love this one.  I've planted it in several places because I never want to lose it.  It's very hardy and comes back year after year, no matter how bad the past summer or winter happened to be.
Can you help me identify this vine??

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

MAMA MOCKINGBIRD PROTECTING HER NEST

MAMA MOCKINGBIRD PROTECTING HER NEST

This mama mockingbird is a different one from a few weeks ago.  She's different because she keeps dive bombing Punkin.  She still makes those warning chirps, but it's like she has a death wish.  I've watched her come so close to Punkin and peck her and I'm so afraid Punkin is going to grab her.  Then, what will happen to her babies.
Her nest is in this crepe myrtle tree next door.  It's a perfect place for a nest.  The limbs are very sturdy and cradle the nest.  And, mockingbirds make such good, pretty, sturdy nests.
I know she's just trying to distract Punkin from her babies and I really hope she survives.
I'll be watching and hoping for the best!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BEAUTIFUL GREEN & BEIGE MOTH & MY QUEENS CROWN VINE

Look at this beautiful green and beige moth.  Those are my favorite shades of green.



I was gettng leaves out of my fish pond and this moth was in the leaves and ended up in my net.
Look at his caterpillar body.
(if you click on the moth photo, you'll see the colors better)


Queens Crown is one of my very favorite vines.  I've had this one for about 20 years and each spring it blooms as soon as it comes up until it freezes in late fall.  Many of them don't bloom until fall.  This one climbs into my trees, the neighbor trees and up the telephone pole and wires.  I love vines, so this one makes me really happy.  I, even, love the word VINE.  And, the color of the flowers is so pretty.
You can't see them in these photos, but there are honey bees swarming all around the flowers.  I'm always happy to see that.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

PAINTED BUNTING & MIGRATING BIRD TIME

Yesterday, I heard a "different" sound in my really high montezuma cypress tree.


It reminded me that one of my most favorite times of  the year is almost here.
Starting around the end of July, the most beautiful, colorful migrating birds pass through my yard and I get to see lots of them.
For many years, I've tried to create a bird sanctuary in my yard.  By now, I do believe I'm on the migrating path of many of them.
On my facebook, if you click on photos and then albums, you can see photos of many of the birds that pass through.  Album:  "Birds Visiting My Yard"


This is a male painted bunting and the bright colors are just amazing.  The female is a beautiful emerald and avocado green.  Spring and fall, I get to see these passing through.
Hoping I'm home enough that I get to see lots of the other birds passing through this year, too.  Most of them will hang out for a day or two and come to the bird bath early morning and late afternoon.  Sometimes, the baltimore orioles hang out for a week to a month and I really, really love seeing them.
I'll be watching!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I LOVE MY FISH POND!!


My fish are more active and seem healthier since I got those new water hoses.  These new hoses are cleaner and don't outgas chemicals.  I'm so glad I discovered them.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

THE SWEETEST GIFT EVER FROM DEBBIE

Yesterday, my client Debbie called and said she had something for me.  It just so happens that I'm working in her neighborhood right now, so I told her I would come by on my way to work this morning.


She gave me this so, so beautiful umbrella.  The colors are amazing!
 Knowing that I love birds, she said when she saw this umbrella she had to get it for me.
Isn't that the sweetest gift and the sweetest thought EVER!!
Love you, Debbie 
 THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

BLACK-EYED SUSAN & CATERPILLAR GUEST

Today, I visited my favorite nursery, Shades Of Green SA, and saw these beautiful perennial black-eyed susans.  I've had these before and they atttract lots of different butterflies and bugs.  This time, I'm going to take very good care of them so they will come back next year.  They're so nice and bright yellow out in the flower bed.


If you look closely at the center of the top left flower, there's a caterpillar.  I wanted to bring the caterpillar home too, and they said yes.  Usually when you see one caterpillar, you see several because of the way the butterfly lays her eggs, but only one on this plant.  So, I'm wondering if the others had already crawled off to start their cocoons.  Anyway, it's here and I'm hoping it will be happy in this big flower bed.
Oh, and not sure what kind of caterpillar it is.  Guess I'll just let it surprise me~

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BEAUTIFUL ORANGE DAYLILIES AGAINST THIS STONE BACKGROUND

These daylilies were just too heavy for their thin stem, so they fell over on the patio.  I thought they looked so pretty on the stones.


"STARS IN THE GARDEN ~ ORANGE DELIGHT"  
(Lynda Bergman)

Usually, I stake them and forgot about this flower bed.
They're saying we have a chance for rain, several days this week.  I certainly hope so!
The daylilies and my whole yard will be very thankful!

Friday, July 12, 2013

A RAT SNAKE IN MY BIRDHOUSE

A RAT SNAKE IN MY BIRDHOUSE

Well now, I believe in live and let live.  
Even for snakes.
But, oh my goodness!!
A while back I was on the patio and saw some movement in that pyracantha bush in the background.  I kept watching and this rat or chicken (?) snake moved through the shrubbery, slithered through those cords and went directly to that pretty birdhouse like it had been there before.  I watched that (around) 4' snake slither and coil it's whole body into the birdhouse. 
 I was amazed!!! 
 I kept watching, then thought to go get my camera.  When I came back only it's head was peeking out of the portal.  I got a little bit closer to take this photo and it slithered out of the birdhouse and away it went.  Either that was a "den" or it was looking for eggs and baby birds.
Interesting, huh??