Saturday, August 30, 2014



This is butterfly weed or asclepias.
I grow it every year, specifically for the monarch butterflies.

Around late July or August, I start feeding and taking really good care of it so it will be healthy and have lots of flowers for the monarchs as they are passing through on their way to Mexico for the winter.

Other butterflies are attracted to it, too.  
For several days now, two monarch butterflies have been fluttering around the blooms.
A few weeks ago, I stopped at a nursery that was having a plant sale.  Butterfly weed was one of the plants on sale.  They weren't doing too well, but I knew I had a plan for them and I could make them happy, again.  I bought 6 one gallon size plants and paid under 3.00 for each one.  
THAT was a good deal!!  
I'm ready for the migrating monarch butterflies.

This poor little dove.  She has been sitting up there on my martin house since she first built her nest in the spring.  But, she never hatched any babies.  After several months, she's still there and I've come to the conclusion that she might be hurt.  Like a wing or leg or something.
I do see her flying straight down for water in the bird bath.  And, she's very close to the area where I feed sunflower seeds, so I guess she's ok with food and water.
Poor little dove.

My bronze fennel is doing really well for summertime.  I was thinking it dies back in the heat of the summer, but maybe not bronze fennel.
Anyway, it's really pretty right now and attracting beneficial insects.

And, here's sweet Punkin.  
Every morning, she's on the front porch where it's cool.  And every afternoon, she's on the back patio.  I'm sure the a/c in the house keeps that little corner cool.  
Also, if by chance she's not there, I'll spray water on those rocks so they'll be cool for her when she starts napping.
It's been a mild summer, so far.  
They're saying our drought might be over by the end of the year.  A lot of rain is expected between now and then.  
For the sake of nature, hope you and your countryside are getting a decent amount of rain.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014


These are some of my favorite cannas because I just love the color.
They're in a tall pot in the middle of pinks, yellows and purple flowers.  They look so pretty.
When they first started blooming like this picture, one day I looked out and the blooms were broken.
Obviously, a large bird like a grackle had tried to land on the stalks.

I was trying to figure out what to do and remembered I had some of this bird netting in my garden shed.
If you look closely, you can see it on top of the blooms.
It's a great deterrent because the birds can see it and know they might get tangled in it.
My only concern is that a butterfly will get up under the netting and won't be able to get out.  So, I'm keeping a close eye on it.
Ever since I put the netting on the flowers, there have been no broken stems.
All I did was cut a small piece and laid it across the top of the flowers.
I do have to keep adjusting it because a bud tried to develop through one of the holes and when I tried to remove the netting, it broke the bud.
So glad I remembered to use this bird netting.  
It's perfect!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Today is potato chip day. 
 I've planned this calorie splurge for several days now.
I stood at the window drinking tea with my potato chips.

This big bag is almost empty now and they still crunch good, but not so tasty anymore!
Potato chip day is OVER!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I'm not a fan of sparrows at my feeders. 
They come in gangs, eat EVERYTHING in a hurry and then move on.  The house finches, chickadees, titmice and other native birds at my feeders don't have a chance to get any food.  So, I know to put black oil sunflower seeds out when I'm going to be near the kitchen window and monitor what is happening.  If the sparrows start ganging up on the feeders and being territorial, I just gently tap on the window.  I've done that for so long that all of the sparrows will immediately leave the feeders.
 I've trained 'em!
(Of course, when I walk away from the window they take over again.  So, they're getting to eat, too.)
So, I was just looking out of the window and twice I gently tapped on it because a little chickadee had just landed on the branch above the feeder but couldn't get to it because it was covered with sparrows.  Of course when I tapped on it, the sparrows scattered and it occurred to me that the tiny little chickadee might have a greatly inflated impression of himself.  He appears and suddenly everybody scatters!
"ME big bird!"
Ha, I love the little chickadees!!  
They're so feisty and brave.

Monday, August 18, 2014


This is such a good instructional video about saving seeds from your garden.
I save lots of my own flower seeds, but when I want to buy something unusual or unique, I always look for Renee's Seeds.


I'm telling you!!  I have done everything I can to keep the small wildlife out of my yard so Charlie will be safe at night.  I dug down and placed bricks under my gates so the possums and skunks couldn't dig under like they have in the past.   Charlie has been sprayed twice by a skunk digging under the back gate.  But, not anymore because of the bricks.
Recently, I could tell something has been in the backyard because of the way Charlie runs around sniffing everywhere.
I think the coyote is gone from the neighborhood, for now.  And, since the birds are no longer nesting they're not chasing Charlie around the yard.  But, he still won't go out at night unless I go with him.  This started about three or four months ago.
So night before last I was standing outside waiting for Charlie to come back and kept noticing an odd shape on top of the fence.  This is an 8' high fence.  I kept getting closer to see what it was and got my camera for this shot.

Hello possum!!
Because I have tried to create a bird sanctuary in my backyard for many years, I have planted lots of shrubbery and trees.  Some of the shrubbery like my lady banksia has spread so beautifully that it's easy for something to climb into and out of the yard, especially if you consider a compost pile a delicacy.
We've had two encounters with this possum on the ground, but I play like I don't see it and Charlie can't keep his eyes off of it, hoping it will run so he can chase it.. 
"Go pottie, Charlie!!"  
I just hope it's not hiding in my garden shed!!  
One time I found a tiny possum hiding in there and I think it had come in through the kitty door.
I do love nature and so glad it has found me in the middle of town.

Friday, August 15, 2014


This is a great tutorial on how to make ribbon roses in less than a minute.
I'm guessing that means AFTER you learn how to make them.
The instructions say you need 75 cm. of ribbon.
That should be about 2 ft. 5 inches of ribbon.

                              HOW TO MAKE A RIBBON ROSE IN UNDER ONE MINUTE

I can think of lots of ways to use these roses.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


   Isn't this little flower beautiful!
It is a 
Confederate Violet
a gift from a friend a few years ago.

If those little runners get in the dirt on the ground, they will form new plants.
I love this sweet tiny violet!