Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here is Mr. Red

Not the best photo of Mr. Red ...but the best that I could get early in the morning. You can click/open for a bigger photo.

Here is our resident blue jay who clearly does not like the paparazzi.
I also saw the most stunning indigo bunting during lunch and failed to get that photo!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Tenants

A new couple has moved in nearby. Since I am still at work in the city, my husband has been the spy of their activities. Except for the demolition and remodeling noise, they are a quiet couple. The male part of the team arrived earlier this spring and began the remodeling. We were sort of surprised that he installed the entry away from the water and facing our deck. I wish I could have heard her comments when she saw this.

"You have that lovely water view and you decide the entry should face that brick monstrosity? I will have to listen to noisy biped chatter every evening from that deck!"

He probably appeared sheepish but continued to move wood chips out the front, because he knew she loved him and she needed someplace to nest soon.

Over the next few days, hubby watched them settle in and begin their child care. They seem to have a balance of responsibilities. When he returns to watch the little ones, she leaves -- probably to get a meal out and some fresh air. There is not much room in that abode.

Yesterday they had their first adventure. Blackie, the black snake, which I had talked about in a previous blog entry has come out of hibernation and returned to the yard. He was 'snaking' his way up the remaining trunk of a small dead tree. This trunk was within a yard of the trunk in which our young couple had set up housekeeping.

I wish I could have been here to see the drama. There was a rather vocal (on the part of Mr. Red--you would think I could come up with more original names) argument followed by diving and flapping. Blackie, probably intimidated by that jackhammer bill, eventually gave up his territory even though it was only feet from the bird feeders. He moved on in search of a meal elsewhere and will certainly startle me one morning when I am out gardening.

I will post some photos today of the newly-weds, if I can.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shed Your Inhibitions

Tulip Tree -- Yellow Poplar -- Liriodendron tulipifera tepals

Some people have cats or dogs or even birds that seem to shed throughout the house. I have a forest that sheds throughout the yard and deck.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Overnight Summer

It happens every single spring. I ever so carefully and eagerly study the swollen tips of the tree- branches while I anticipate the new beauty that is yet to come. I am rewarded ever so briefly with the Easter colored flowers that blanket the trees and the shrubs along the roadside as I hurry off to work or back home at the end of the day. I see the grass on the roadside turn lime green with each spring rain. And every year, like a softheaded fool, I am so dumbfounded when I wake up that next morning and discover that every single tree has exploded with all its leaves meaning summer is well on its way.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Should I go to War?

This is my Lungwort (Pulmonaria x 'Berries N' Cream') or Bethlehem sage that I planted last year. I could not find it in the local nursery and they special ordered it for me. The variegated leaves with a hairy-furry surface are almost as interesting as the flowers which start out pink and change to purple. The blossoms remind me of the blue bells that grew wild in the foothills behind my house growing up in Colorado. This perennial spreads out about 2-3 feet. My specimen sits in a landscape bed that is right up beside the house and the plant is touted as deer resistant.

...Unlike my purple rhododendron which sits only four feet away in the same landscape bed and which had only one bloom that escaped the cropping of the deer. I am hoping that the deer and I can come to a better compromise once I live here full time. Of course, if they are fundamentalistic and uncompromising in their diet, we will work this out on less friendly terms!

Finally, it is now time for the wild sassafras (below) to be in bloom. If you tear or crush the leaves, they smell like root beer. Tea can be made with the leaves by pouring boiling water over a handful, letting them sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes and then straining out the leaves. I remember doing this when I was a scout leader... but I cannot remember if it worked.