Friday, April 26, 2013


April 24, 2013

     Look who's in my yard right now, sitting on the bird bath!!!  A Painted Bunting and he's soooo beautiful with the colors you see and lime green on his back.  I'm sure his emerald green mate is here, too, just haven't seen her, yet.  I'll keep trying to get better photos.  I think it's the one who's been here before, because he moves around and acts like he knows his way around my yard.  I'm SO thrilled !!

April 26, 2013

     The past few days, I've seen so many migrating single birds.  In the spring I usually don't see any, but I think the cold fronts and unusual weather are pushing them back here.  Usually, they're in a hurry to get back home for nesting.  The last of my american goldfinches left about two weeks ago, but yesterday,  there was a lone male in my yard and I saw a flycatcher.  There were a couple of birds I didn't recognize, but they are all very welcome in my yard!!


   UH OH!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


     There are lots of baby lesser goldfinches on my feeders right now. They are still in camouflage, not fully colored out and every once in a while, one will flutter it's wings like it wants to be fed. I'm guessing their parent is nearby. I love that the parents bring them back to show them a dependable source of food and clean water.
     And, they spend a lot of time in the back of my yard, where they have trees, bushes and shrubbery. I purposely leave that area thick with greenery that provides berries, seeds and lots of bugs for them.
     I've been trying to take photos, but they are flitting around.  I'll keep trying.

Well, this is the best photo I could get, so far.  The new leaves on the trees are shadowing and the babies are still in camouflage.  I'll keep trying to get better photos.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


     There are newly out of the nest, baby wrens in my back yard right now.  They're sooo cute and happy.  I didn't want to get close enough for a photo, because I didn't want to scare the parents.  They were hopping and chirping all over the back of my yard, where it's thick with bushes and shrubbery.  The family will stay together for quite a while and probably go back to their nest to sleep at night, for a while until they get brave enough to start going out on their own.  Happy times!!  Change is good!

This little Carolina Wren is part of a mural I painted for a little boy's room.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


     Starting tomorrow, the city is coming by to pick up limbs and brush.  So the last few days, I've been on my ladder trimming all the little sprouts on my oak trees and other small limbs that I can reach, safely.  And, today, Gus (my go-to guy) came to help with the bigger limbs.
     While I was on my 10' step ladder, I was up in the middle of the tree and there was such a nice breeze blowing and I thought to myself, "no wonder the birds love being up here!".
     Soon, the city is going to give us compost bins.  I'm so glad because I always hesitate to trim my landscape because I can't bear to throw trimmings in the trash.  Now, I think my yard will be looking much better.
     A couple of weeks ago, I fertilized my yard and landscape with Medina granular organic fertilizer.  I do believe it shows, because everything, usually, looks very healthy.

     Having a huge truckload of compost or dirt delivered and dumped in my driveway is just overwhelming for me.  So, I buy very large bags of organic soil and and just throw hands full all over my grass.  Today, I mowed the yard, added the soil and then watered it in very well, so my Charlie wouldn't be tracking it in.  My grass will be very happy with this new layer of soil.  
     A few years back, I got lots of bags of organic "compost" from ----- and it nearly killed all of my grass.  The gardening show on the radio from Shades of Green here in town, has mentioned that a lot of compost has manure and the hay eaten had been treated with picloram.  I believe that chemical must have been in the compost I bought, so be very careful when it says organic.  And, be very careful about using hay in your garden...just my thoughts.

     There is a winter weed that tries to grow in my yard that is so pretty, like baby's breath.  But, when it goes to seed, it is a nightmare for furry doggies.  I try to keep it pulled up, but while I was working in the yard, trimming, Charlie got into some of that weed that had gone to seed and omgoodness!!  I'll be spending about 30 minutes pulling this stuff out of his fur.  If I comb him, it hurts.  He's gotten in it so many times, that's why I try to keep it pulled up.  I'm like a mama monkey picking those seeds out of his fur.
My yard looks so pretty with all the trimming and mowing.
Today was a good day!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


The american goldfinches are coloring out, a bright sunflower yellow.  That is a sure sign to me that spring is here.  They hang out here all winter and are a yellow, gray beigy color.  Starting in March, the males start turning a very bright yellow, their time to find a mate colors.  The very last ones to leave for home are still here.  There are, probably, three left on my feeders.  I hate to see them go and look forward to seeing them, again, next fall.

The birds drop sunflower seeds here and there in my flower beds and I always let them grow.  This one 
has just opened and so beautiful  to see the bright yellow in my back flower bed.  There are others around the yard, not quite ready to bloom.

All winter, I've been feeding and nourishing my two beds of butterfly weed so it will be ready and blooming when the monarchs get here.  I haven't seen one, yet.  But, they will be laying eggs on it and the larvae/tiny baby caterpillars will eat every single leaf on it.
A few weeks ago, I found a cherry tomato plant.  I cook a lot with tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are such good producers.  I didn't want to plant it until all the cold weather and frost had passed, but it really, really wanted to bloom and make tomatoes.  So, I picked my very first cherry tomatoes, yesterday.  Tomorrow, I'll get it in the ground.

I tried to take a photo of one of the last american goldfinches, but couldn't get a good angle from the screened in window.  Can you see how bright yellow he is, with that tiny black cap on his head.
I will miss seeing them.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wm Shakespeare

This is a wonderful time of year.  The birds are nesting or already feeding their young.  The early bloomers are blooming, like my white lady banksia rose.  It's climbing way up into the trees and so beautiful.  The roses are still blooming.  And, when I look out of my studio window, I can see all of the beauty around my garden.

Gus is my friend and he always helps me when I have a new project.  A couple of months ago, I asked him to build me a trellis for my wisteria, because it would be blooming, soon.  The wisteria is several years old and was climbing on a smaller porch trellis and climbing on my roof and into the trees.  I knew how beautiful it would be, hanging over my fish pond.  And, I would be able to see it from my work room.  He, ever so gently and carefully, unwound the vines out of the trees and the smaller trellis.   He's such a nice guy!  
While he was building the trellis, I asked him not to trim on the frame, making it perfectly square and even.  I wanted all of the boards to be different heights and lengths.  I knew the wisteria would take over the whole thing and I could hang bird houses and yard art on them.  And, it will look even better once the frame has turned a weathered gray/green.

Oh my goodness!!!  I'm certainly LOVING looking out and seeing this!!!  It thrills my soul and I love seeing the red Martha Gonzales antique roses with the purple wisteria!  Just so, so peaceful and beautiful.